Being the most widespread house pests in the world, roaches are present almost in any country, and may appear in your house, as well. Once these little bugs invade home, they are very hard to get rid of. How to get rid of roaches? This article covers the problem in details.
- 1 Main Characteristics and Appearance of Roaches
- 2 The Signs of Cockroach Infestation
- 3 3 Reasons to Kill Roaches as Soon as Possible!
- 4 How Roach Bites Look Like?
- 5 Battle Against Cockroaches: General Rules
- 6 Natural Remedies Against Roaches
- 7 Special Chemical Remedies Against Roaches!
- 8 How to Get Rid of Roaches in Your Car?
- 9 What is not Effective?
- 10 When do You Need Help of Disinfection Services?
- 11 Prophylactics
Main Characteristics and Appearance of Roaches
Although generally there are almost hundred of various roach species, three main types of roaches can be seen inside buildings: American, Asian and German (white) and wood cockroach. If you look at the pictures, you will learn that small cockroaches are brown-banded and German roaches, while American, Oriental and smoky brown are huge cockroach species. Depending of the type, the insects can be 0.07 inches to 3 inches long. These bugs have prolonged, oval body with six legs and two antennae hairs. Do cockroaches fly? Adult species feature wings, but not all use them (only American roaches are able to glide for some time, while German prefer running, and Asian jump).
These home pests usually live in the rooms they can get food and water: in bathroom, kitchen counters and places where food is stored, in the basement, etc. These are mostly nocturnal creatures that hide from humans in discreet corners, under the hardwood flooring, in crevices, inside walls and beneath furniture.
What do cockroaches eat? They are omnivorous: they consume meat, dry foods, sweets, and in the conditions of nutrition shortage can eat toothpaste, glue, furniture and even turn to cannibalism, biting both dead and live species.
How to Distinguish the Roaches from Other Insects?
Not sure whether what type of bugs you are observing? Here are some marks helping to define whether you face cockroach infestation, or some other problem caused by other insects:
- All cockroach types have six legs and smooth back with two wings on them (with only the largest cockroaches flying).
- They prefer searching for food in nighttime, being afraid of people – if you switch the light on, they will run away, unlike some other insects ignoring human presence.
- If you don’t see insects running in your house, but find the bites all around your body, these are more likely to be bed bugs.
- How to differ palmetto bug vs cockroach? The first kind is actually a sub-type of roaches that prefers damp conditions, living in sewers, mulch and woodpiles, e.g. is rarely seen inside buildings.
The Signs of Cockroach Infestation
Most people ignore the first signs of roach invasion, while it is very important to detect insect presence in the very beginning to suppress their spread. Pay attention to the following:
- Roaches may eat practically anything: from usual foods to furniture. So if you find packages or home appliances damaged, it must be some insect.
- A 100% sign of infestation is cockroach feces (many small brown and black dots) found in the places of concentration. As a rule, cockroach droppings are left on the dinnerware, wallpapers and furniture.
- They emit special “damp” smell.
- You find roach eggs in crevices, behind door posts and some other discreet places.
What do Roach Eggs Look Like?
Although female roaches bear eggs until the nymphs are born, you can find shells left in the places of their concentration (nests). They look like small white ovals, being worn in brown capsules of 0.2-1 inch long, being empty. You are most likely to find these very capsules (one can contain up to 30 eggs).
How the Heck did They Get into My House?
Wonder why these parasites have come to your house? In 90% cases, people are responsible for the infestation. Don’t be surprised by finding the German or the brown banded cockroach, if you leave dirty plates and food resides, not keeping up you apartments clean. If you have pet’s bowl standing with food, or don’t put trash away every day, these rich nutrition sources are what attracts cockroaches. Plus, humidity is another favorable factor for the bugs. That is why cockroaches in Florida are almost impossible to get rid of – moisture is always concentrated inside buildings, and the air is hard to dry.
But what if you always support cleanliness in your dwelling, and keep all food properly sealed and closed? If you live in condo, multifamily house or tower-block house, the pests might have come from your neighbors’ flats. That often happens when they are trying to get rid of cockroaches using strong repellents and aggressive chemicals, making insects run away.
3 Reasons to Kill Roaches as Soon as Possible!
First of all, they damage furniture and different home items, leaving feces containing toxins. Secondly, all the cockroaches may bear this or that type of infection: tuberculosis, typhus, salmonellosis, diphtheritis and other serious diseases. Besides, they may cause allergic reactions and are even believed to be the reason of bronchitis in children. Thirdly, these bacteria and viruses can be easily transmitted via cockroach bites. Yes, experiencing lack of food, they become more aggressive and start biting people, especially children. They bite on sensitive skin areas, for instance, around eyes, and you may even see roaches in ears.
How Roach Bites Look Like?
These are small round spots that are most likely to be found in mild skin areas: face, inner side of arms and legs, private zones. Besides, if a wound was infected, it may start rot, and you will notice white substance under the skin and swelling that may grow.
First Aid in Case of Roach Bite!
If you have been beaten by a roach, the wound must be washed by tap water, and then processed by alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or other bactericidal agent. Check the bite constantly – it may start collecting white matter, which is more dangerous for health.
Battle Against Cockroaches: General Rules
Most people don’t know how to get rid of roach infestation until they face the problem at its peak. Here are some basic rules, helping to reduce contamination and make bug population smaller:
- Always keep your house clean: put all dry-goods in metal or plastic containers that can be properly closed. If you are getting rid of roaches, try to store food in the refrigerator, and what cannot be put there must be protected from the bugs.
- Have pets? Put the food out of their bowls before night, washing them properly. Refill the bowls in the morning.
- Don’t leave dirty plates and dinnerware around the house or in the sink – this is one of the most common reasons of insect invasion.
- What people also don’t know is how to get rid of roaches permanently. You must find cockroach nests. Otherwise, they will keep getting back again and again. Just follow their routes: they usually reside in damp, dark places, hiding from light and humans.
- Mop or vacuum clean the floor every day, or at least as often as possible. You must ensure there are no crumbles and pieces of food lying here and there. Of course, if you have children, it is much harder to maintain sanitary conditions, but you should try to make your best to block access to nutrition for the parasites.
- How to get rid of roaches in your house, if it is always humid inside? First of all, open windows and ventilate the rooms at constant basis. Secondly, wipe sinks, bathtub and the floor in the bathroom with paper towels before sleep. Thirdly, check all pipes and tubes for damages – they should not leak, because even minor paddles serve as a great source of water for roaches.
- When you apply cockroach repellent, make sure that pets or children don’t have access to it. Take all safety precautions and always read instructions before using this or that remedy.
- You may put around the house the plants and extracts that emit smell scaring roaches off: mint, lemon, cinnamon, etc.
All in all, the struggle against the parasites is a hard process that requires different methods to be used at once in most cases. To make it more effective, you should both cut the access to water and nutrition, and kill roaches simultaneously to exterminate the tribe and stop its regeneration.
Natural Remedies Against Roaches
If you are allergic to chemicals, or have pets and children in your house, you should know how to get rid of roaches without chemicals. In fact, there are lots of remedies that have been used for centuries and have proved to be very effective. We have gathered the most widespread and useful recipes of organic remedies.
1. Baking Soda and Sugar Solution
One of the oldest and simplest ways is baking soda and sugar solution. Take equal quantities of soda and sugar powder, add some water and mix everything up. Sprinkle it around the places where roaches run and concentrate, and wait. Sweet smell attracts them, and when they eat it, soda combines with roach stomach acid, killing the insect. A suitable solution for the families with pets and children.
2. How to Get Rid of Roaches with Borax?
Mix the acid with water (in equal shares) and sprinkle it in the places where the insects search for food (cupboard shelves). When roaches will touch it and bring to their nests, the chemical will slowly start killing them. For these reasons, you may also apply the mixture right on them. Don’t process the surfaces that you have direct contact with! Borax is a toxic chemical that may expose danger to humans in considerable quantities. For this reasons, store Borax out of the reach of children.
Next time you visit a supermarket, take Listerine. Mix it in equal amount with water and add a drop or two of washing liquid, and spray the remedy right on the insects. While desperately running away, they will be dying. Listerine is believed to be a strong detergent that destroys insects’ bodies slightly, mixing with their ferments.
4. Dried Bay leaves
If you have dried bay leaves, put some at the shelves in the kitchen, and tuck inside pillows. Their smell irritates roaches, making them run. This remedy cannot kill bugs, but keeps them away.
5. Make a Petroleum Jelly Trap
Have a lot of roaches running in your rooms in the nighttime? Make a petroleum jelly trap for the insects! Take a jar, apply some petroleum jelly in the inner rim, and add some fruits or fruit peels with sweet aroma (banana, apples or pears will be ok). Place the jar near the wall. Being attracted by fruit smell, the parasites will come inside the jar, not being able to escape. In the morning, flush the mixture in the toilet, preliminarily adding soap water.
6. Use Garlic Clove, a Table Spoon of Cayenne Pepper and Onion
Make a solution mixing up a liter of water, a garlic clove, a table spoon of cayenne pepper and an onion grounded to paste. Marinade it for about an hour, then add a tablespoon of liquid soap and put in the places where roaches reside. Just in a couple of days you will notice that their population is reducing gradually.
7. Cornstarch with Plaster of Paris
How to get rid of house roaches, if you have a lot of crevices and discreet places you don’t have access to? Make your own pesticide. Mix cornstarch with plaster of Paris, adding a bit of water. Using a syringe, fill all holes and crevices up with this substance, and roaches won’t be able to hide from you, which will force them to leave your house.
Find catnip and make tea from it. Spray the solution around the house, paying particular attention to the places where the bugs are concentrated. Don’t forget to reapply after mopping the floor and washing other surfaces. Roaches hate smell of peppermint and catnip, which makes them flee from your apartments. Mind that it’s not the best solution if you own a cat – it will go mad, feeling its smell.
Special Chemical Remedies Against Roaches!
If home remedies for cockroaches are not strong enough to help you put an end to the infestation, it’s high time to apply something more effective. Luckily, there are lots of remedies that can be bought online. Here is the list of the most useful ones:
- Vendetta Cockroach Gel Bait has abamectin B1 as the active ingredient. Suitable for severe infestations and hard-to-kill roaches. Attracts all types of roaches, both averse and non-averse to baits. Featuring a plunger, the remedy is very easy to apply, and lasts for three years. Tubes also fit into a usual bit gun, which makes them versatile.
- Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder is suitable for killing almost any type of roach: palmetto, German, American, silver bugs, etc. Come with a special applicator for easy using. A secret lure included in the gel attracts all bugs, and the poison kills them within several hours. It is also toxic when dead roaches are eaten by their congener.
- Combat Source Kill Max Roach Killing Gel is another classic roach bait that works almost instantly. Easy to use, quite cheap and effective, this is a perfect remedy in case of moderate roach infestation.
- If you have bugs living not only inside, but outside your house, too, try Ortho Home Defense MAX Insect Killer Spray. It is odorless, quite safe and simple to apply, supposed to be sprayed at the crevices, walls, the floor and other nonporous surfaces where roaches go. Besides, it creates special barrier that keeps bugs away, making cockroach control Not recommended to be used in the houses with pets.
- Hot Shot Mini Ultra Liquid Roach Baits can be applied in any room and place where you see roaches concentrated. Water and food formula attracts both small and adult roaches, it poisons them, but doesn’t kill instantly. They manage to take the gel to the nests, letting other congeners consume it. Besides, the remedy is also effective for female roaches, killing eggs, as well.
- If you have children or pets, safer remedies should be used. Try Eco Defense Organic Home Pest Control Spray – it instantly kills both adult and baby cockroaches, being also effective against other home pests. Having no odor and color, it exterminates the bugs and builds up a barrier preventing their return. Spray may be applied in and around the house, used as often as you need to get rid of the parasites. It doesn’t emit toxic substances, being ideal for severe infestation suppression.
- Face German roach infestation? Invict Gold Cockroach German Roach Control Gel Bait contains imidacloprid that kills insects and is very efficient even in case of bait averse roaches. But note that this remedy is active against white roaches only!
- Harris roach tablets are made of boric acid and are placed behind stove, furniture and other discreet places. A good solution if you have children or pets without access to these places. Tablets emit no smell and toxins, being simple in use and effective for several months after being put.
- If you need a simple and cheap remedy, Raid Ant & Roach Killer with Cylathrin would be a suitable variant. The spray is very simple in use and leaves practically no oily residue. It’s main advantage is efficiency against insects having immunity towards ordinary insecticides. The remedy may be sprayed right on the bugs, killing them instantly. The traces left last up to 30 weeks, being very toxic for the insects.
- Another 100% organic solution is Non-Toxic Pest Repellent Pellets that are effective against many pests and parasites (including snakes, rabbits and scorpions). Diatomaceous earth granules are absolutely safe for pets and children, containing natural-only deterring agents: cedar, mint, cinnamon, citric, lemongrass, clove and rosemary. Can be applied both outdoors and indoors. Plus, the remedy is easy to apply: all you need is to spread them in the house and around it.
How to Get Rid of Roaches in Your Car?
If you live in places with hot climate, you can’t wait until winter for the parasites to die or leave your car. How to kill cockroaches in this case? First, try some natural repellents like mint, cinnamon, borax, clove and citric. If it doesn’t help, apply chemical remedies under the seats, near to the engine and don’t forget to put it in crevices and other discreet places. Try to define where the nest is located – it may be either in the motor, or in the trunk compartment.
Use odorless repellents. Otherwise, remedies will smell awfully when being heated up. It can be dangerous for your health, if you inhale toxic substances. And you don’t want chemicals to affect you while driving, right?
If that doesn’t help, call disinfection services and ask them to exterminate the parasites.
What is not Effective?
If you want the struggle against the insects to be successful, you should be aware of the remedies and methods that haven’t proved their efficiency. Here is the list of the things that actually do not work:
- Ultrasonic devices are believed to emit sound waves deterring the bugs, but bring no effect in 99% cases. Why? They are useless in big houses, because the range of coverage is restricted, and the insects just migrate to another floor. Plus, insects tend to adapt to new conditions, and if they see no direct danger, the sound doesn’t disturb them anymore.
- Don’t use one and the same cockroach killer. If one remedy doesn’t work, try another. The thing is that roaches work out immunity against insecticides, that is why so many of them are so hard to kill. Each species has its own “weak spots”, so you should try remedies with different active ingredients to define which ones will be effective in this or that case.
- Mind that baits are not always effective. Some roach species are too smart to eat them, or just not attracted by the components they have. If you see that parasites ignore the attractants, resolve to other methods and remedies.
When do You Need Help of Disinfection Services?
If you face severe roach infestation that lasts for months and doesn’t seem to reduce even if you try hard to kills the insects, don’t hesitate to call sanitary-epidemiological inspection service. Yes, it costs money, but you will save your time and, which is more important, health. Since roaches reproduce too quickly, you should act even faster to eliminate it.
- Don’t want to see the insects in your house? Just follow simple rules, and the insects will keep away from your dwelling.
- The main and crucial factor is cleanliness of your house. Don’t leave roaches any chance to get access to food and water. Mop and vacuum the floor, wash the dishes and put trash away on daily basis. Make sure there are no crumbles and other leftovers in your house.
- Check pipelines in your house and in the basement for leaking. Even with access to water only, roaches already have welcome conditions for basing their colonies in your sweet home.
- Live in multifamily house and know that your neighbors suffer from roach infestation? Don’t let the bugs migrate to your apartments! Use natural cockroach repellents: put mint, cinnamon or bay leaves around windows, doors and near the walls adjoining the others’ flats.
- If your children go to school, or college where roach infestation takes place, check their bags and clothes for insects presence. This is one of the ways how the insects get inside the house.
With these methods and remedies, you will be able to perform cockroach extermination safely and quickly. Remember that these pests are potentially dangerous, so once you see a bug, you should start the battle against the colony. And, of course, it is always better to prevent a problem than to solve it, so keep your house clean as much as possible.
What did you use for the control of cockroaches?
- Natural Remedies
- Special Remedies
- Disinfection Services
For the control of cockroaches is most effective to use of special disinfection services, but it is not always justified, given the high cost. High efficiency was also shown a special remedies for the control of insects. They can easily buy on Amazon.