There is no feeling like getting up at night to go use the bathroom and seeing the flooring move. You rush to turn on the lights and happen to crash, or if you are unlucky crush a wild cockroach party taking place in your home. Very unpleasant.
There is a reason of course why those creepy buggers infest our homes and how they choose where to settle. Cockroaches are attracted to four main things: food, moisture, warmth and shelter. Cut off any of the mentioned and you are sure to reduce their numbers and eventually get rid of the roaches. Once that battle is won however you will need to take measures to keep cockroaches out of your home for good. Even if you have never faced an infestation you may like to consider the below tips so you are sure you don’t have to deal with one at any point in the future.
1. Fix all cracks and crevices
Each crack or hole is a potential entry point, no matter how small or narrow it may appear. Those pesky roaches vary in size and are able to fit places you can’t even begin to imagine. They are capable of everything to get to your warm, comfy and food-filled home.
A good helping of silicone or caulk is all you need to fill in cracks, gaps, or joints around your property’s walls and floors. The easiest and most beneficial to work with are the water-based caulks as once laid down you can smooth out their surface and also clean it using water. It is also paintable so you can easily match it with the colour of the surface you are using it on. Blocking as many entry points as possible is important before you take any further cockroach prevention measures.
2. Inspect and maintain pipes and drains on a regular basis
Consider thoroughly inspecting your drains and pipes as this is another place where cockroaches can come from. Expanding foam can assist you well to fill in any visible openings around the pipes. A regular check-up from a professional would only work in your favour, especially if you have any suspicions of faulty pipework. Nothing spells paradise for the cockroaches like a leaking pipe or clogged drain. Do your best to have such addressed as soon as possible.
3. Draw a line with boric acid
A common use for Boric Acid is as an insecticide and it comes in both powder and gel form. Sprinkling some of the powder by the door entrance and by the windows will help keep cockroaches, as well as other types of bugs, away from your home. It will stick to their bodies and they will spread it to ones you can’t see or reach, killing a big number of their colony. Note that boric acid in any form will not affect cockroach eggs. Be cautious when handling this product, always use gloves. Boric acid, even though it is not highly toxic for humans, still can irritate the skin. Make sure you keep it out of reach of the children and pets.
4. Baking soda traps to clear cockroaches
A very affordable and rather effective method to use for cockroach control is a sugar and baking soda mixture in a one-to-one ratio. Place the mixture in bowls around areas where you have noticed any cockroach activity. The pesky pests will go to it for the sugar but with that, they will also ingest the baking soda. How can this be helpful you may think. Well, a fun fact is that cockroaches can’t “pass gas” the way we humans do, and baking soda helps form a lot of gas due to which cockroaches eventually just die.
5. Essential oils to set the mood for a chase
Essential oils are among the best home remedies to keep roaches away. The scent of lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, neem and tea tree oils can be relaxing and pleasant to us but prove horrific for the pesky buggers. Mix any of the above-mentioned oils with some hot water and spray around your property with special attention to the areas where you have seen cockroach activity. Spray once in the evening and repeat in the morning. This will not only leave your home smelling fresh but act as a natural repellent for all sorts of pests.
6. Remove the clutter
Do you remember when earlier we mentioned that cockroaches can fit anywhere? Magazines piled up and sitting for years, stacked cardboard boxes, appliances that you are not sure work anymore, your luggage from last month’s trip piled up in the corner of the room; all those are great places for the cockroaches to play fort and build their unstoppable empire.
Clear up all the things you don’t really need or use, especially paper and cardboard boxes as those provide perfect conditions for the roaches to breed. Think about using plastic containers instead to store items when necessary. Declutter your home and keep everything in good order so there is no corner left where you can’t reach, clean or check-up.
7. Deep clean every corner of your property
Take the time to refresh and deep clean your entire home. It is not a bad idea while at it to invest in bleach or cleaning products that contain it in them. The bleach component will get rid of the smell that cockroaches leave behind as a means of communication and indication where there are food and shelter. Wipe thoroughly all surfaces and mop all floors without cutting corners.
8. Don’t feed the cockroaches
Get into the habit of leaving the dining area meticulously clean after you finish each meal. Wipe down the table, sweep and mop the floors to clean off any crumbs or spills. Go the extra mile and also vacuum any crumbs stuck in the corners or around the kitchen cabinets. Needless to say this should apply as well to the cooking area. Don’t leave any food residue behind.
And don’t think you are done before you also wash the dishes. You don’t want to leave this task for later when you feel like it and return to a sink full of “helpers” emerging from the drain. Clean and tidy up the area because if you don’t follow up, the cockroaches will happily do.
9. Put away any leftovers
And while on the topic of meals and tidying up after that; never ever leave food sitting out, especially overnight. Put any leftovers in sturdy containers or seal them up, before you place them in the fridge.
10. Don’t leave any treats
Cleaning after your companion’s meals must be just as important as is cleaning after your own. Once you are done feeding your dog, cat or other loving pet you have by your side, pick up their bowl and wash it up. Also, consider keeping your pet’s food in sealed containers. It will not only reduce the chances of attracting unwanted guests but also keep the food in good condition for longer.
11. Take out the garbage regularly
Refrain from leaving your garbage can full especially if you have recently disposed of food waste: peels, leftovers, expired foods, etc. Eliminate this nutritious food source that the cockroaches can take advantage of as soon as you can. When done rinse out the garbage can to keep it clean of any residue.
12. Have a distinct place for your shoes
Develop a habit of taking off your shoes and leaving them in one particular spot when you enter your home. You can also apply one of the above discussed preventive methods to the area where the shoes will sit like having a layer of boric acid or any other insecticide as a safety measure. If you are living in a neighbourhood where you come across cockroaches crawling on the sidewalks or the apartment building you live in has them running around, try to resist the urge to squish them with your shoes. You may succeed in killing the roach but eggs may still get transferred and safely hatch into your home.
13. Work with your neighbours towards a solution
Cockroaches are among the pests hardest to kill off. Especially if you live in a building or apartment complex it can be impossible. Before investing in a professional pest control service make sure that you coordinate your actions with your neighbours. The treatment can only force the cockroaches to spread out at neighbouring flats and after a while, they will burst back into your property rendering the treatment carried out useless.
There will be times when even with the above-mentioned methods you may still struggle to prevent cockroaches from entering your home. It is important to act and reach a professional for help before things get out of hand. Your home is your safe space and you must do your best to protect it!