Finding cockroaches in your home can be frustrating, but by being systematic, you can get rid of them for good if you understand how they work. It might not be true that cockroaches could survive a nuclear war; but scientists won’t exactly disagree with that theory either. So if your home does become invaded, you need to take a diligent and thorough approach to getting rid of cockroaches.
How Cockroaches Work
The most common cockroach is the German cockroach. They can live up to 2 years in the adult stage. Adult females can produce an egg case about every 1-2 weeks. German cockroaches can remain alive for approximately 2 weeks with no food or water and for 42 days if only water is available.
Seal all Means of Entry
Since cockroaches can enter your home through any crack that is one sixteenth of an inch, it seems almost futile to try to keep them out, especially if you live in a multi unit dwelling like an apartment building. Here is where you have to be diligent.
Seal gaps around plumbing, wall outlets, light fixtures and switch plates to keep roaches away from food and moisture supplies. Keep doors and windows shut and screened. Make sure that water is run through all drain traps periodically. Place fiberglass window screens over vent pipes on the roof. Scan groceries or other items coming in the house that may have been around cockroach infested areas.
Clean your House of All Food
Cockroaches can survive on tiny amounts of food such as crumbs and grease. To get rid of their food supply, your home has to be spotless. If you have a family with pets, you know how almost impossible it is to get every speck of food cleaned up all of the time. However, even some basic clean-up will help alleviate the problem.
The most important time to clean the kitchen is at night. Since cockroaches don’t like light, they hunt at night. Make sure that the trash is taken out and the pet’s food and water dishes are put in the refrigerator.
Do a final run on the garbage disposal and empty the sink strainers. Run the dishwasher, wipe down all appliances and make sure all containers of food are sealed. Rotating food in cupboards once a week will alert you to spilled foods and disrupt the cockroaches’ population if they have decided to take harborage in one of your cabinets. Harborage is the term for places where cockroaches decide to breed. This means cleaning out spare closets, cleaning the garage and vacuuming family rooms often.
Only Use Pesticides as Last Resort
The first thing that people think about using to fight cockroaches is pesticides, but they are the least effective way to get rid of roaches. This is because they only work to kill the roaches that you can see.
However, if you do want to be more pro-active, you can set homemade roach traps. To do this, take a glass jar and coat the inside with Vaseline. The best bait to put in the jar for cockroaches is bread soaked in beer. Wrap the jar in a paper towel so the cockroaches can crawl up the side and get to the bait. Set the trap under the sink or in another place where you find cockroaches. Take the jar out three days layer, seal the lid and throw it out. Repeat as necessary.