Cockroaches are among the most common pest that infests food service establishments, homes, restaurants and other structures. They are not only undesirable pests but also a threat to human beings as they contaminate human food, damage wallpapers, electronics, books and even spread germs.
Cockroaches are hard to control since they always find their way back into a home even after they are extracted using chemicals or using the natural means. Getting rid of these intrusive pests and preventing their return is not a stroll in a scenic park. It calls for stringent measures of keeping your house clean and tidy and having at your disposal the right products to exterminate those roaches that show up.
What are they?
Cockroaches are members of Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta and Order Blattaria. They have two antennae, six legs and some of them have wings. They can measure up to 50mm in length, but those that are found in tropics tend to be larger than those in other climates.
There are several cockroach species, but the most common are German cockroach, Brownbanded cockroach, Oriental cockroach and the American cockroach. The German and Oriental cockroach are the most common in households. The former likes to stay in the bathroom or kitchen while the latter loves to live in the basement because it likes moist environment.
Cockroach Feeding Habits
Cockroaches are nocturnal; they are highly active during the night. They spend the day hiding in crevices and cracks that are dust and moist. They eat anything that is organic, from food scraps, cotton, garbage, fabrics, and wallpapers. They also need water, and it is most likely to find them staying near food and water sources.
Harmful Effects of Cockroaches
Cockroaches are said to be carriers of serious diseases such as typhoid, dysentery, salmonella, and gastroenteritis. Their droppings are also said to accelerate asthma and eczema. Other than the health risks, cockroaches are a nuisance and distasteful in that they taint foods with their obnoxious smell.
Cockroaches are highly resilient and can breed very rapidly. So immediately you see some signs of your house having them, a quick response is imperative to prevent adverse infestation or spread to the neighboring properties.
Signs to Look For
- Cast skin and egg cases – since they shed their skin 5 to 8 times before they mature, you can look out for their skin and eggs
- Smear marks – when water is readily available, instead of droppings, cockroaches produce irregular marks that are brown in color.
- Damage – cockroaches can eat anything. If they are in your house, you will definitely see damaged paper, clothing or food stuff.
- Odor – when they are fully established, they start producing an unpleasant smell that can be categorically identified when you are near their harborage.
- Cockroach droppings – when water is scarce, cockroaches produce droppings that are dark brown in color. They can be found on wall-floor junctions or on horizontal surfaces where roaches hide.
- Look out for the pests at night. Since they are nocturnal, you will see them running to hide when you turn on the kitchen lights at night.
Natural Methods of Getting Rid of Cockroaches
- Soap Solution
The regular bathing soap can be used to control the pest. Prepare water and soap solution and sprinkle it directly to the cockroach. The soap solution covers the breathing pores and suffocates the cockroach. You can also use the solution to drive the cockroaches out of their hiding nests and kill them manually.
- Sugar and Baking Soda
Take equal parts of sugar and baking soda to make a mixture. Sprinkle the mixture around the house. When the pests consume the mixture, their stomach’s acid will react with baking soda to produce a gas that will kill them automatically.
- Bay Leaves
These leaves have a characteristic pungent aroma. When you pour bay leaf powder around your house, the aroma of the powder will repel the cockroaches get out of your house.
- Boric Acid
You can make a homemade boric acid bait to get rid of cockroaches. Mix one part of boric acid with one part of sugar and one part of the white flour and use the mixture to make a dough. Place small piecemeal of this dough in different locations around the house. The flour and sugar attract the cockroach while the acid kills them.
- The key – natural means of getting the roaches out of your premises is maintaining cleanliness and ensuring that everything in your house is tightly sealed.
Chemical Methods of Getting Rid of Cockroaches
You can find many pesticides in the market to get rid of cockroaches. They contain a chemical known as Cyfluthrin that is very effective in rooting out cockroaches. Spray cracks, drainage area, and vents as cockroaches like to stay in these regions.
2) Cockroach Bait
This is a chemical gel that works slowly to get rid of the insects. The gel attracts cockroaches and their families to the bait. The roaches die in two weeks when they get attached to the gel.
3) Cockroach Traps
This is an efficient and popular method. The traps are made of adhesive materials that act as the bait. Once the roach goes to the trap to taste the bait, they get trapped by the adhesive material.
4) Liquid Concentrates
Applying liquid concentrates is also an effective method. The liquid concentrate acts as a deterrent or poison. The concentrate is sprayed on crevices and cracks which are the favorite spots for cockroaches. It drives them away or kills them completely.
The greatest task when dealing with cockroaches is preventing re-infestation. After getting rid of the insects from your home, you need to put in some measures to ensure that the cockroaches don’t return.
Measures to Prevent Re-Infestation
- Keep your house clean and well illuminated
- Seal cracks and crevices on house walls
- Set preventive traps in areas you think are entry points
- Remove trash and yard waste regularly
- Find breeding nests and destroy them.
Sometimes infestation can go overboard and overwhelm you. You should, however, not worry since there are pest control professionals who have the skills, knowledge and training to deal with such cases. The professionals will use their expertise and employ various methods to make sure that the cockroaches in your house are gone for good. Contact professionals and let them take care of your house.
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