Having an animal in your life could be quite beneficial if it’s actually something you intend to have. Having pests, on the other hand, might ruin your life and your property. While not the most formidable or dangerous pests out there, cockroaches can impose a severe threat to your health. Moreover, their resilience makes them one of the worst pests you can find in your home. Cockroaches are pretty persistent when they make your home their new nest.
Moreover, they can withstand some truly harsh conditions and survive several days without a head. Luckily, they will never attack a human as they know they don’t have a chance. But, unluckily, they can still harm you, your family, and your pets as they transmit various diseases.
The good news is that while they are tough to eliminate, keeping your home cockroach free is easy. All you need to do is ensure you are not inviting them by making one of these mistakes.
Unsealed garbage cans and old trash
Keeping your garbage unsealed and not throwing it for quite some time is not only an invitation to cockroaches, but it’s also hazardous. Cockroaches are scavengers and will eat almost anything. They are not looking for fresh food specifically, so they will try out decaying meat, rotting fruits, and all other organic sustenance they can find.
So, naturally, if you want to prevent these pesky bugs from entering your home, you need to seal your garbage cans, always keep your sink clean and never leave dirty dishes overnight. An easy food source will most likely attract cockroaches, as they are mainly driven by their hunger, but also consider how hard it is to get to the food source. So, for example, if you have your food refrigerated, your garbage can sealed, and your trash is thrown away in an outside bin regularly, cockroaches will most likely prefer to find some sustenance in more hospitable habitats.
Excess moisture in the home
Right after the food, water is the next highest priority for cockroaches. They can survive several days without water but still prefer easy access to quench their thirst. So if you have some leaky pipes or high moisture in your home, chances are cockroaches will like this. Moreover, they will most likely sustain on the moult that will grow inside your walls. Having excess moisture in your home is definitely not something to be proud of, and you need to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not an easy task, but the least you can do is find out the reasons, and if it’s a leaking pipe, seal it off and cut the cockroaches’ water supply.
Clutter and poor hygiene
Having your home cluttered and with poor hygiene will definitely disappoint your parents, but, hey, at least cockroaches will approve highly of your lifestyle. Jokes aside, having your home dirty and cluttered with useless junk will attract cockroaches and tons of other pests and take its toll on your mental health. Yes, many studies have proven that a messy home is a sign of some mental problems, and decluttering your home will bring much-needed relief. Moreover, having your home dirty may lead to allergies and health issues, as dust is one of the immune system’s biggest enemies.
When it comes to pests, all of them will prefer to dwell amidst junk and dirt, as it may provide sustenance and a place to hide from pets, humans, and all sorts of dangers. Cockroaches, in particular, will find a cluttered home extremely appealing, as it will provide them with an excellent spot for nesting near a food source and many hideouts, where they can run whenever the lights are turned on at night.
Some smells attract cockroaches
As omnivorous insects, cockroaches simply can’t resist the smell of food. This is the most persuasive driver in their actions, so keeping your food packed and always ensuring you seal your garbage can and clean your dishes will take a long way in preventing a cockroach infestation. However, that’s not the only smell that attracts cockroaches. They can also come into your home if they “sniff” other cockroaches’ pheromones. They are typically released by the so-called scouts, who check your home, and while they eat and poop, they release a pungent pheromone, which can even leave stains on your counters, walls, and near entry points. The smell is quite disgusting, but it’s a strong signal to other cockroaches that there is food nearby. So naturally, killing this scout before they get to any food will help you keep your home cockroach-free.
Warmth and the prospect of shelter
Just like humans, cockroaches are not that fond of cold weather. That’s one of the reasons most cockroach infestations happen during extreme heat waves or at the end of winter when they can freely travel between houses without worrying about the weather. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about that, as you can’t keep the temperature in your home below 10 degrees. Still, you can regularly check some heat sources for early infestation signs. These are places like water heaters, boiler rooms, behind kitchen appliances, especially near the motor and, more often than not, in the oven. Actually, deep-cleaning your oven every six months is a must if you don’t want to make it an all-inclusive cockroach spa hotel.
Keeping your home clean is an excellent start, but unfortunately far from enough. Cockroaches will attack your home if they have an unobstructed and secure path – an overgrown yard, for example. In addition, hundreds of cockroaches can be crawling around in your garden, looking for food. However, if they find a crack that can lead them to the warmth of your home, they will do so. So, the best way to prevent that is to keep all external cracks sealed, keep your flower bed away from your walls and keep your yard well-maintained and cut.
How to deal with a cockroach infestation
If you missed the opportunity to deter cockroaches from getting into your home, unfortunately, getting rid of them is not very easy. Fortunately, scientists have experimented mainly on the most common house cockroach in the world – the German cockroach and found some very effective poisons. Here are some DIY methods you might want to try if you catch an infestation in its early days.
- Diatomaceous Earth – is an excellent natural insecticide composed of pulverised fossilised algae. This compound leads to severe damage to the cockroaches’ skin and rapid dehydration.
- Baking Soda – When cockroaches consume baking soda, they will literally burst from the inside out, as the backing soda will create gas in their stomachs.
- Boric Acid – This is a compound created when mixing boron and water. Consuming it affects the roaches’ nervous system, and they will die quickly.
- Borax – When consumed, the borax will lead to rapid dehydration and death within minutes.
- Citrus – The acidic nature of the fruits is not to the cockroaches’ taste. A few drops of lemon in the water with which you mop your floor will instantly repel any cockroach activities.
- Essential oils – Peppermint or lemongrass will keep any cockroach attack at bay.
When all else fails
If you couldn’t catch the cockroach invasion in its early stages, you might cut your losses and call a professional cockroach exterminator. They will make sure to clear all pests and their eggs and give you peace of mind that your home will be cockroach-proof, at least for a little while.