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How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in the Home

Learn from the experts at Greeny's pest control on the best strategies for eliminating cockroaches in the home.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Cockroach on countertop in kitchen
Cockroach on countertop in kitchen

Discovering cockroaches in your home is usually an unsettling and frustrating experience. These resilient pests are not just a nuisance; they can also pose health risks by spreading germs and triggering allergies. Fortunately, with the right strategies, you can reclaim your home from these unwelcome guests. This guide will walk you through a comprehensive plan to rid your home of cockroaches for good.

Understanding Cockroaches

Cockroaches are survivors. They've been around for millions of years, adapting to almost every environment on Earth. The most common household roaches found in Canada include the German cockroach, American cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. Identifying the type you're dealing with can help tailor your extermination efforts, but general strategies work well across species.

Most common types of cockroaches in Canada
Most common types of cockroaches found in Canada

Step 1: Prevention is Key

The best way to deal with cockroaches is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.

  • Seal Entrances: Cockroaches can squeeze through tiny gaps. Seal cracks in walls, gaps around doors and windows, and entry points for pipes and cables.

  • Manage Trash: Keep kitchen waste in sealed containers and take it out regularly. Don't leave pet food out overnight.

  • Store Food Properly: Store dry foods in airtight containers. Cockroaches are attracted to food particles, so eliminating their food source is crucial.

  • Reduce Moisture: Fix leaky taps and ensure your home is well-ventilated. Cockroaches need moisture to survive.

Step 2: Cleanliness is Your First Defence

A clean house is your first line of defence against cockroaches.

  • Deep Clean: Regularly clean under appliances, inside cupboards, and other dark, forgotten corners where cockroaches love to hide.

  • Remove Clutter: Cockroaches thrive in cluttered environments. By reducing clutter, you eliminate their hiding spots.

  • Wipe Surfaces: Keep kitchen surfaces, floors, and counters free from crumbs and spills.

  • Vacuum Regularly: Regular vacuuming can remove food particles, cockroach eggs, and even cockroaches themselves.

Step 3: Place Insect Monitoring Traps

Before a treatment is performed, consider using insect monitoring traps. Cockroach traps can help you monitor the population and pinpoint where they're most active.

  • Store-Bought Traps: These usually contain a lure and a sticky surface that traps the roaches.

  • DIY Traps: A simple DIY trap involves a jar, some water, and a piece of bread. Roaches climb in for the bread but can't escape.

Cockroach glue trap
Cockroach Glue Trap

Step 4: Use Bait Stations and Insecticides

If prevention, cleanliness, and trapping are not enough, it's time to use stronger measures.

  • Bait Stations: These contain an insecticide mixed with an attractant. Roaches eat the bait and take it back to their nest, killing others in the process.

  • Insecticides: Sprays, powders, and gels can be effective against cockroaches. Be sure to use products specifically designed for roaches and follow the instructions carefully.

Step 5: Consider Natural and Home Remedies

For those hesitant to use chemicals, several natural remedies can help control a cockroach problem.

  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE): This powder is made from fossilized algae and is lethal to cockroaches when ingested. Sprinkle it in areas where roaches are likely to cross.

  • Boric Acid: A more traditional method, boric acid can be effective but must be used carefully as it can be harmful to pets and children.

  • Essential Oils: Some essential oils, like peppermint, can repel cockroaches. Mix a few drops with water and spray in affected areas.

Step 6: Call in the Professionals

If you've tried everything and the cockroaches persist, it might be time to call in a professional pest control service. They can provide a more comprehensive and potent treatment to eradicate cockroaches from your home. Professionals have access to commercial grade products which prove to be more effective than the off the shelf options available to homeowners. Exterminators usually treat the issue with a combination of:

  • Insecticidal dusts

  • Insect bait gels

  • Residual liquid treatments

Maintenance: Keeping Them Gone for Good

After you've tackled your cockroach problem, ongoing maintenance is vital to prevent a recurrence.

  • Stay Vigilant: Keep up with regular cleaning and inspections.

  • Repeat Prevention Measures: Continually check for and seal off potential entry points.

  • Monitor and Trap: Keep using traps to monitor for any new cockroach activity.

Understanding the Health Risks

Cockroaches are not just a nuisance; they can pose significant health risks. They are known to carry bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, which can contaminate food and surfaces. Additionally, their droppings, skin, and dead bodies can cause allergies and asthma, particularly in children and sensitive individuals.

The Bottom Line

Getting rid of cockroaches requires a multifaceted approach that includes prevention, cleanliness, trapping, and possibly the use of insecticides or professional pest control services. By understanding the habits and weaknesses of these persistent pests, you can effectively combat them and keep your home cockroach-free.

Remember, the key to success is persistence and regular maintenance. Cockroaches are tenacious, but with consistent effort, you can rid your home of these unwelcome intruders and enjoy a cleaner, healthier living environment.

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