Did you know that roaches can survive without food for 30 days? It is no wonder they have existed long before human beings! In the US, the most common roaches are the German Cockroach and the American Cockroach. The American cockroach is a darker brown, and both types are active all year long. So if you have ever wanted to know how to get rid of cockroaches, we are here to help.
How Do Roaches Get In The House?
It is believed that dirty homes are where roaches reside, but even the cleanest house can have roaches. They are often brought into the home by some of their favorite modes of transportation. This includes hiding in cardboard, newspapers, firewood, and even in grocery delivery.
There are also some other methods of getting in that are related to home fixtures. And pet food can undoubtedly grab their attention. So let’s dive into all the ways a roach can make its way into your home.
Through Corrugated Cardboard and Newspaper
Corrugated cardboard is a favorite amongst cockroaches. They can slip into the crevices and hide until they make their way to a new place. Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid using cardboard boxes and switch to plastic tubs for packing, storing, or transporting your things.
Paper is a communication tool amongst roaches, so they are very attracted to newspapers. They have secretions that the paper absorbs and sends messages to other cockroaches. This is why it is important to recycle your newspapers regularly, rather than let them pile up and attract pests.
Through Sewers or Drains
Sewers may be known as the highway for rats, but they are also home to other vermin. For example, cockroaches, also known as palmetto bugs, use sewer systems to make their way around an area. Unfortunately, this also means that American or German cockroaches can quickly get into our drains.
The best way to keep roaches out of the drains is to keep them squeaky clean. You can also add metal baskets to sink drains to keep them from crawling up through. Shower and bathroom drains can be closed shut when they are not in use.
Through Cracks in the Exterior Walls
Cockroaches can fit in some of the craziest places, like small cracks. These pests look for any openings in your foundation, outside dividers, or exterior walls. The best thing to do is to survey the property occasionally and fix any cracks as soon as you notice them. Caulk is a handy material that can help prevent roach infestations.
Under the doors is the most accessible entry point for cockroaches and other pests. However, it is also the easiest to remedy. You can begin with a door sweep for each exterior door. A door sweep is an inexpensive piece of material that covers the gap under the door. You can also combine this with a better threshold. Adding aluminum or steel to the threshold will keep roaches out and your sanity intact.
Dry Pet Food
Roaches eat dry pet food as much as possible. If you are leaving food outside for your pet, it’s best to bring it inside when the animal comes inside. Be sure to check that bowl for any stragglers! Pet food bags are not the best option for keeping out roaches. Consider taking the time to put the food into a different container, such as a plastic bin, so that roaches are blocked.
What Attracts Roaches To Your Home?
In South Florida, we are known for our humid and muggy weather. This is the reason why there are so many roaches. Here are other reasons why roaches are attracted to your home:
- dirty dishes
- garbage cans
- standing water
- crumbs and food spills
- piles of newspapers
Cockroaches are omnivores and will eat anything they can get. For this reason, kitchens are their favorite spots. They are attracted to starches, meats, and sugary items. Unfortunately, getting rid of roaches can be a bit harder because of how you store food. Even the cleanest of kitchens can attract cockroaches.
Some areas are more prone to roaches than others. Firstly, densely populated areas are a significant attraction. There are more food sources and more accessible transportation in most cities. As mentioned before, cockroaches love humidity. This is because cockroaches are cold-blooded insects. Please make no mistake; they will live anywhere. However, they prefer to be in a warm area.
Cockroaches love water and cannot last more than a week without it. For this reason, they are attracted to high-moisture areas. As a result, basements and bathrooms are high-traffic areas for most roaches.
Pay close attention to your gardens and landscaping. Standing water is highly attractive to roaches, and water basins are the primary culprit. Drainage systems for fountains and vases also draw roaches to your property. Finally, don’t forget about the birdseed other offerings you leave for animals!
How to Get Rid Of A Roach Infestation Naturally
Not everyone wants to use chemicals to get rid of roaches. While some are effective treatment options, they also can be harmful to children, people, pets, and other animals. Some people also choose natural methods not to upset the ecological system they live with. Here are some top techniques to help get rid of existing roaches.
Boric acid is a natural-occurring compound that is effective in treating roach infestations. It comes in powder or gel, but the powder is the most commonly used in pest control. This is because the powder sticks to the body of the roach as it travels. When it grooms itself, it will eat the powder and die. Then it will become food for other cockroaches, and they will ingest the powder and die. This is the most popular of home remedy for cockroaches.
Baking soda is often used in combination with a bit of sugar. The sugar is used to attract the roach to eat the combination. Once they do, they will slowly build gas in their stomachs until it bursts. Don’t worry; it’s not as gross as it sounds. All you have to do is sweep up the dead carcasses.
Citrus comes with an odor that is too much for roaches. They will avoid anything that smells like lemons, limes, or oranges. Using cleaners with lemon juice or oil is highly recommended to prevent a roach infestation. Using lemons in your garbage disposal and for drain cleaning is also highly recommended.
How to Get Rid of Roaches Inside the Home
While prevention is key, sometimes we aren’t quick enough to avoid an infestation. Unfortunately, this means you will have to kill cockroaches and take preventative measures to protect your home. Here are some examples of things you can do to save your home.
Use Glue Strips
Glue strips are effective in killing roaches, but roaches procreate in large numbers. Using glue strips is excellent for dealing with the issue at hand, but use them in conjunction with other places. These are best placed around toilet bowls, pet bowls, and leaky faucets. They also love warm places, so under refrigerators and near heating vents is beneficial.
Set Bait Stations
Bait stations are one of the best ways to get rid of roaches. These feature something sweet that invites the cockroach in, mixed with insecticide. The poison is ingested and slowly kills the roach. The others will eat the dead roaches and subsequently die.
Caulk all Entry Points
Once you see a single roach, it’s safe to assume you have a lot more. This is the perfect time to caulk all your entry points so that others do not get in. You also trap the ones inside so you can use bait stations to kill them off. Focus on holes between dividers, tile, and around toilets and drains.
Hire a Pest Control Exterminator
For the fastest and best results, hiring a pest control exterminator is the best option. They not only treat your home, but they can also advise you on how to protect your home as a form of roach pest control. An assessment is made and an exterminator can tell you how they got in and what you can do to prevent that. Furthermore, they may have eco- and pet-friendly options to keep your family safe.
How to Prevent Roaches
Preventing roaches from getting into your home is all about controlling the environment. So naturally, you want to make sure the house is clean, but that isn’t always a deterrent. Please take a look at our list to see other ways to prevent roaches.
Nix Newspapers & Cardboard Boxes
If you have a lot of newspapers and cardboard boxes, you are inviting cockroaches to your home. Newspaper absorbs a secretion they use to communicate with other roaches. Cardboard boxes are the perfect hiding space to take up residence without you knowing. Recycle your newspapers frequently, so they don’t sit around. Store your belongings in things other than cardboard boxes.
Clear Out the Clutter
Clutter is not your friend. We aren’t suggesting minimalism but having piles of things just sitting around isn’t helpful either. Everything must have a place it goes without piling up or being shoved somewhere. Get rid of things you aren’t using!
Seal Cracks & Install Door Sweeps
Take a tour of your home to look for cracks in your foundation and exterior walls. No matter the size of the crack, seal it as soon as possible. All exterior doors should have door sweeps to block the gap underneath the door. You can reinforce it with additional aluminum or steel in the threshold to further close the gap.
Regularly Inspect Any Plumbing Issues
The moment you notice a leaky faucet or running toilet, fix it. Not only do roaches use drains and sewers to find your home, but they also require plenty of water. Therefore, you do not want to send out a signal to the roaches. It will also help to have a plumber routinely come out and check your pipes for potential issues.
Don’t Feed the Roaches
Remember, roaches love pet food, so be very careful when leaving food out. If you are feeding your animals outside, bring the bowls in when they come in or after they finish eating. Store your pet food in plastic bins so it cannot get into the bag. Consider supervised eating schedules for indoor pets, especially during and after an infestation.
Let Us Handle The Dirty Work
Don’t let the roaches get the best of you! Our pest control experts know how to prevent and stop cockroaches in their tracks. Contact us today and we will discuss all your options.