Tips to Protect Your Home From Cockroaches
As we move into the sweltering heat of the summer, most of us try to seek the refreshing cool of the air conditioned indoors. The same goes for pests; in particular, the American cockroach. American cockroaches are generally more active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher. What do you need to know about American cockroaches and how can you keep these unsightly pests out of your home? Check out this helpful information and our 9 steps to preventing cockroaches from taking over your home.
How can you prevent these unwanted pests from entering your home? Follow these 9 tips for cockroach prevention:
- Keep it clean. Good sanitation is the number one way to prevent cockroaches.
- Focus on the kitchen. Don’t leave food out overnight. Wash dirty dishes daily. Wipe up crumbs and spilled food, even in cabinets and pantries. Clean kitchen counters with disinfectant spray every night. Don’t forget the appliances. Roaches love to feast on grease and spilled food on, in, under, and behind your appliances, including your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave, toaster, and under the kitchen sink.
- Limit where you eat. Restrict food consumption to one room. This not only makes cleanup easier for you, it limit crumbs and spills that you might not notice in other rooms that provides another food source for roaches.
- Store all food in sealed containers. Roaches can fit inside the openings of typical cardboard packages that food comes in. This also applies to pet food. Pet food should be kept in a sealed container, preferably on the back porch so as to not attract roaches into the house. Pet food bowls and containers should also be emptied every night.
- Empty the trash. Make sure your trash can has a tight fitting lid and empty the trash each night. Make sure your outside trash cans are clean and kept away from the home.
- Roaches feed at night. Vacuuming the kitchen floor nightly eliminates the food supply for roaches. Vacuum the other rooms in your house every 2 to 3 days, as well. This helps to get rid of roach feces, body parts, and egg sacs. These contain pheromones that attract other roaches into your home.
- Get rid of entry points. Seal around utility pipes and crawl spaces. Make sure windows and doors are secure and have weather-stripping if necessary. Seal all cracks and crevices.
- Remove anything roaches can use for shelter, such as cardboard and paper.
- Call a pest control professional. If you suspect a roach infestation, contact an exterminator. Treatment plans can vary depending on the type of roaches you have. A pest control professional can do a thorough evaluation and set you up with a comprehensive treatment plan.
Eliminate Water Sources
While it is nearly impossible to eliminate all water sources, even greatly limiting available sources will cause negative stress on a roach population. Fewer water sources to go around means that many roaches will die.
- Fix leaky faucets and pipes.
- Repair sweating pipes.
- Before bed, stop up sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms and dry them completely with a paper towel.
- Dry out the bathtub and shower completely and stop up the drain before bed.
- Place wet dish rags and sponges in an airtight plastic storage bag overnight, or place them directly in the washing machine.
- Pet water dishes should be placed outside overnight or be dried completely and refilled in the morning.
- Wet toothbrushes should be dried as best they can and sealed in plastic bags.
Tell us what cockroaches are and some facts about them.
- Dirty cockroaches
- I heard they survived the nuclear explosion
- They like to eat what humans eat 🙂
- They can live up to a month without food, so there is no point in starving them because they clean their equipment at night.
- They can live up to one week without his head.
Take Preventive Measures
Before you begin packing up your belongings, check your house for common cockroach entry points. Be on the lookout for cracks and crevices near doorways and windows that can allow the insects to enter your home. Use caulk or another sealant to close these gaps and prevent new roaches from finding their way inside your house.
Use the Right Packing Materials
Cockroaches are notorious for hiding in cardboard boxes. They can easily maneuver their bodies between the corrugation and crevices inside the cardboard. If possible, use another type of container, such as a plastic tub, to pack your belongings. These come with lids that allow them to be securely sealed, and they don’t provide areas for roaches to hide. If you have to use – or reuse – cardboard boxes, shake them out and inspect them before you place items inside, especially if you got the boxes from an outside source, such as a grocery or liquor store.
Wash Your Clothes and Linens
While it isn’t terribly common for roaches to be found in clothes and linens, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Before you move, wash these items in warm water to remove any insects or eggs that may be present. Like your other belongings, they should be packed in sealed plastic containers. You may even consider placing them inside vacuum-sealed plastic bags. If you are moving furniture or other upholstered/fabric items like curtains, you may want to vacuum them as well.
Check Your Mattress
Again, it’s uncommon for roaches to be found on mattresses, but they can hide in or near furniture, including your bed. When you remove your mattress and dismantle your bed to move, check everything for signs of roaches and remove or sanitize items as necessary.
Clean Your Kitchen Items
Kitchens are one of the most common places roaches are found in the home. For these insects, it’s like paradise. It has moisture, dark cabinets and plentiful sources of food in the form of crumbs and even garbage. When you pack, take out your pots and pans and wash everything thoroughly. Keep in mind that kitchen appliances, like toasters, microwaves and toaster ovens, may also attract roaches. If possible, place these in plastic bags and pack them separately.
Seal Cracks and Other Possible Roach Entry Points
You’ve likely heard the saying “harder to kill than a cockroach” or “as persistent as a roach”. In fact, you may have even said this yourself after trying to stomp one only for it to “revive” and skitter away.
There’s a scientific reason for this, and it’s the fact that they can flatten their bodies. That’s why they can squeeze in cracks and gaps as small as three millimeters.
As such, blocking these cracks and crevices with caulk can help kill them off. Start with the gaps under the doors and windows that lead to outside.
You should also close holes where wires pass through your walls and floors with foam or copper mesh. Be sure to insulate and cover openings of plumbing pipes too