Cockroaches are pretty nasty pests. They can cause allergies, destroy fabric and paper, and leave foul odors behind. They can be carriers of various diseases such as Salmonella typhi (which causes typhoid) and Poliomyelitis (which causes polio). These insects transmit germs either by contact with our skin or contaminate our meals without our realizing it.
They are very difficult to see and usually well-hidden. Most of them are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. They are flying and crawling surrounds, but we cannot notice their presence because we are sleeping and unconscious.
Why It's so Hard to Exterminate Cockroaches?
These bugs are very hard to kill. In fact, they are considered indestructible creatures. Here's why they can survive just about anything:
- Cockroaches have an extremely strong and flexible exoskeleton, which makes them almost impossible to squish withstand the hardest stomp or the toughest newspaper.
- They can withstand temperature as cold as 32 degrees Fahrenheit (zero degree Celsius).
- These little creatures can hold their breath for a long time.
- They can live without food for one month.
- They can live for weeks without its head.
- A female cockroach can lay eggs eight times yearly and produce 200 offspring in her lifetime. They are also parthenogenetic, meaning they can reproduce in the absence of males.
- They can survive nuclear explosions.
- According to some experts, if the apocalypse happens, they would be the only survivor on earth.
Should You Use Pesticides to Kill Them?
Scientists have tried to help fight these insects. They have developed many kinds of poisons. These poisons kill pests, but using them raises problems. The following are some negative effects of these harmful chemicals:
- They kill useful insects too.
- They can be hazardous to children and pets.
- Exposure to them can lead to respiratory illness, birth defects, and leukemia.
- They can produce tumors, and endocrine and reproduction disorders.
- Consistent use of pesticides can lead to toxins entering rivers and streams through water run-off.
- They are very harmful to the environment.
- They are expensive and you need lots of protective equipment and clothing when using it.
Not everyone is prepared to protect their family from toxic chemicals. So, here is how to get rid of cockroaches with home remedies which are the most effective, harm-free solutions for cockroach infestation.
How to Kill Cockroaches and Stop an Infestation with Home Remedies?
To get rid of them, do these ideas and instructions:
Clean and Repair Your House
1. Remove things that attract these insects.
Dirty homes offer perfect conditions for cockroaches. They are attracted to food that has been left on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink, pet food, and crumbs on the floor. They are also attracted to moisture, such as leaky pipes under a sink, roof leaks, wet mops, wet bathroom wall, standing water, wet toothbrush, and even droplets of water on the leaves of a plant outside your house. Roach egg sacs and body parts (like broken wings, and molts) contain pheromones that can also attract other roaches.
Do the following to prevent infestations:
- Clean your floor, kitchen, and kitchen appliances. Roaches in the kitchen can live off grease and food spills beneath and behind your appliances. Clean under and behind the stove, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, etc. Wipe down kitchen countertops, wash all dishes, and clean the sink.
- Dry or cover wet sponges, dishrags, and the mops that you used on the floor.
- Keep food in sealed containers. Store food in metal, glass, or hard plastic seal-able containers. Do not use a box or plastic bags, they are small enough to get into them. You can also put them in the refrigerator.
- Empty pet food containers when do not use or cover tightly.
- Keep garbage cans covered.
- Fix leaky plumbing and sweating pipes.
- Wet toothbrushes should be dried and placed in containers.
- Empty drip tray from under the refrigerator.
2. Clear all unused newspapers, cardboard boxes, books, and any kinds of papers out of your home. These little creatures adore papers. If these items are lying around your home, you’re inviting them in the vicinity into your home. They love to breed in these items, so it is best to remove them.
3. Seal up any potential entry point. These pests gain entry to homes by crawling in under doors and cracks in your home’s foundation. You may not even notice the easy access areas as they can be hard to see, but a professional should be able to identify entry points for you. Problem areas include:
- Around windows and doors
- Along the foundation or roof
- Attic and crawl space vents
- Around holes used for electric, gas, and plumbing lines
If you do notice cracks and holes, make sure to seal them. You can use caulk to seal small ones, while steel wool and foam are best to fill larger gaps, especially around pipes. For bigger openings around chimneys or attic vents, you can use a fine wire mesh to create a barrier.
Repellents and Solutions
Cockroaches cannot stand the smell of these things and usually move away immediately. Some of them release chemicals that can kill these pests too.
1. Bay Leaves (Laurel)
This is a very usual remedy, which is placing chopped bay leaves in places where you suspect they are lodged.
2. Garlic (Powder), and Pepper
Sprinkling any or combination of them around your home, it can help keep cockroaches away. It is important to replace the powder every month. You can also plant garlic in your backyard, it's a good repellent for your house too.
3. Catnip. Scientists found that it is 100 times more effective than DEET at repelling these insects.
4. Essential Oils: Lavender, Peppermint, Citronella, Eucalyptus, or Tea Tree Oils, etc.
- Mop floors with water that has a few drops any of them in it.
- Apply the oil to a piece of cotton and wipe down with it all the places, where the roaches gather.
- The other way to do it is to mix a solution of 15 oil drops and around 1 cup of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray it to the affected area.
5. Mouthwash and Dishwashing Liquid. Mix equal parts mouthwash and water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Give it a good shake in the spray bottle and either spray around the house or directly at the cockroaches. This will send them on their way and potentially kill them if aimed straight at them.
6. Soap (or Shampoo) and Water Solution. Mix 1 cup water with 1 tsp of soap. Pour the solution in a spray bottle, then spray it on roaches. The soap solution will suffocate them as the suds block their pores and prevent breathing.
7. Vinegar. Simply spray it directly on the cockroach or on the areas where they breed. It will create an uninviting environment for them. And within a few hours, they’ll die.
8. Boiling Water. Boil water in a pan, and pour it on their nest. Cockroaches can’t tolerate high temperature, and their outer shells crack, resulting in their demise. Repeat the process twice a day.
9. Rubbing Alcohol. Alcohol kills cockroaches and damages their eggs.
Baits and Traps
1. Baking soda and sugar mixture:
I recommend this one. This is the best way to kill these pests. Mix an equal amount of sugar and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in a container (please do not wet) and sprinkle it throughout the house. Cockroaches will be attracted to the smell of sugar and will eat the mixture. Baking soda will emit gas and this will cause chaos in their body.
2. Jar, Bottle, or Plastic Bottle Trap. Any jar will do, be it pickle jar, mayo jar or peanut butter jar. Spread some cooking oil inside the jar, this will make the roaches that climb into the jar unable to get out due to the slippery nature of the cooking oil. Put some sweet stuff as bait in the jar to attract them. You can also pour some beer as alternative bait into the jar to drown them. Make a few of these traps and place the jars or bottles in areas where the roaches frequent or suspected hideouts of the cockroaches such as kitchen cabinets, stove area, etc.
3. Duct Tape Trap
Unwind a fairly long strip and carefully lay it down with the sticky side facing upwards. Now you need to place a small piece of bait somewhere in the center of the duct tape. All you need to do is wait for the roaches to walk onto the duct tape and then their legs will become stuck.
Remove dead cockroaches, because, what I've said, they contain pheromones that can attract other cockroaches.
If you have a serious infestation, you should call a professional to help. A professional pest control company can help eliminate the roach problem in your home through effective bug-killing treatments. If you have pets and children, make sure to ask for an option that is safe for little hands and paws.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Eric Caunca