Have you felt your heart skip a beat—and not in a good way—upon turning on the lights and catching sight of an army of cockroaches scuttling away? If so, you’re not alone. Cockroach infestations are a common and distressing problem. However, you don’t have to suffer forever.
One of the most fundamental principles of cockroach eradication is that they need food, water and shelter in order to make your home theirs. Removing these three elements is the most crucial factor in getting rid of them permanently. They are most active at night, so if you are very brave, you might want to search for their resting place in the daytime. Follow the ten tips below to keep your house cockroach-free with these natural pest control tips.
Image Credit: WonderLane
All areas that have been used for food preparation and consumption must be wiped thoroughly after use. Also wipe affected surfaces at the end of the day before you go to bed. Frequent wiping ensures that no food particles or spillage are left behind to become food for hungry cockroaches.
No dirty dishes
Unwashed dishes should never, ever be left out overnight, even if they are placed in the sink. If you don’t have time to wash the dishes, at least soak them in soapy water or give them a rinse to prevent them from attracting cockroaches.
Keep your floor free from food scraps by sweeping it regularly. Focus on the kitchen and all areas where people eat or where pets spend time. Use your vacuum cleaner’s tube attachment to ensure all food particles are thoroughly removed. Vacuuming also has the advantage of removing any cockroach eggs you might not be able to see. Make sure you regularly clean your vacuum cleaner bag as it too can become a source of food for cockroaches.
Keep the dishwasher clean
Leaving dirty dishes in the dishwasher overnight is a big no-no. Make sure you not only wash all dishes immediately but also keep the dishwasher itself clean. Check if any food scraps are trapped in the filter and run regular dishwasher cleaning cycles with hot water when the dishwasher is empty to ensure no food is left behind.
Keep pet food areas clean
Your pet’s food can also attract cockroaches, so ensure that all pet food bowls are cleaned daily. Never leave any pet food out overnight—just because you wouldn’t eat it doesn’t mean the same applies to cockroaches. Water bowls can also become a water source for cockroaches, and this is a problem which might call for a creative solution.
The oven, microwave and extractor hood are all places that can harbour food for cockroaches, so make sure they are cleaned out regularly. Hard-to-reach areas such as the spaces beneath and behind the fridge and oven should be also be cleaned, as food can accumulate in these places unnoticed and become an invitation for cockroaches.
All food that is stored in the pantry rather than the fridge should be kept in containers with tight-fitting lids. Clean shelves and cupboards on a regular basis to remove any food particles. Any unused food or junk should be thrown out as soon as possible.
Leaky taps or exposed water sources can turn into a cockroach drinking hole. In addition, water sources just outside the house or at the entrance can lure cockroaches into the house.
Bin night every night
The inside of the house should be kept garbage-free, so make sure you take the garbage and the compost out each and every evening. If this is not possible for some reason, ensure your bins come equipped with lids that can be screwed on tightly.
Inspect your house
Cockroaches can conceal themselves in the most unlikely of places, so search your home well for any area they might be hiding in. Thoroughly inspect cracks, gaps in walls and any kind of piping. Check all cupboards and pantries for any places that might harbour or give access to cockroaches.
Nobody wants to admit they have a cockroach problem. Confessing you have a cockroach infestation in the house is like telling people you have a rash in an unmentionable place, and immediately gives others the impression that you live in a dilapidated dump with a strange smell. However, more often than not this is not the case, and even the most beautiful homes can become breeding grounds for cockroaches simply because food sources for cockroaches weren’t cleaned up.
Suffering a cockroach infestation can be very distressing, simply because these creatures instill disgust and are difficult to get rid of. However, once you understand what cockroaches need in order to thrive, you can then eliminate anything that contributes to their continued survival. If you are extremely meticulous, it is possible to keep your home cockroach-free.
Author Bio: Brie Moreau works with Flick Anticimex Pest Control. When he is not on the clock he enjoys surfing, fishing and curling up with a great book.