Kill Cockroaches And Prevent Roach Infestations

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People react with disgust to roaches, and with good reason. Cockroaches carry diseases such as E.coli and Salmonella from sewers and garbage that can contaminate food and eating utensils. Cockroach feces, skin and saliva are common allergens that aggravate asthma symptoms, especially in children.

A cockroach eats almost anything, including book bindings, glue, leather and soap. The pests damage paper products and fabric. Large populations of roaches produce a sticky substance that stains surroundings and smells bad.

Roaches are nocturnal and hide in cracks, crevices and dark places during the day. Cockroaches lay eggs in cases containing 15 to 50 eggs, depending on the species.

Ways to Kill Cockroaches

A variety of traps and insecticides kill cockroaches. Sticky traps use bait to attract roaches to glue-backed paper where the pests become stuck. Sticky traps cannot control an infestation, but are a good way to monitor cockroach population levels.

Cockroach bait comes in child-resistant plastic containers. The poison within the container will kill cockroaches, but acts slowly. Female cockroaches eat less when pregnant, so are less likely to be affected.

Insecticides include powders and sprays. Sprays target cracks and crevices used as hiding places. Powders, often based on boric acid, are sprinkled under fridges, ovens and sinks. Both types of insecticide can harm children and pets if misused, and are best used by pest control professionals.

DIY bug bombs and fumigators don't kill cockroaches very well, as the roaches shelter within cracks and crevices that protect them from the fumes.

Management of Cockroaches

Insecticides and bait kill cockroaches, but cannot eliminate a cockroach infestation. Control roaches by making the house as uninviting to cockroaches as possible. Take the following steps:

  • Clean counters and tables with soapy water.
  • Do not leave food out overnight.
  • Remove pet food and water overnight.
  • Repair leaky faucets and pipes to remove sources of water.
  • Store food in refrigerators or insect-proof containers.
  • Take out the garbage every day.
  • Vacuum cracks and crevices to remove food particles and egg cases.
  • Wash dirty dishes immediately.

Cracks and holes in walls allow cockroaches to enter homes. Any such holes should be sealed with caulk. Newspapers, corrugated cardboard and clutter offers shelter to roaches, so declutter the house as much as possible.

A vacuum may not kill cockroaches, but helps remove bugs and egg cases from crevices. Be sure to dispose of vacuum bags immediately after sucking up cockroaches. A HEPA filter in the vacuum helps prevent cockroach allergens from becoming airborne.

If roaches invade a small item, such as a toaster or clock, place the item in a plastic bag, seal it tightly, and leave it in a freezer for five days. Clean the item carefully afterwards, and dispose of the plastic bag immediately.

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