Cockroaches are one of the most common, and hard to control, pests that pest control companies face.
Most of us cringe with an equal measure of disgust and fear when we see a roach run across the kitchen floor but with a little knowledge and prevention, we don’t have to go through that trauma! It all starts with keeping your home as clean as possible on a regular basis and knowing what roaches look for in a new home.
Know Your Competition
Cockroaches are resilient and tough to deal with once they take up residence, but their needs for feeling right at home are pretty basic. They only need four things actually. Food, water, warmth and shelter.
Pretty basic stuff, but all too often, pretty easy to find right in your own home. So your best defense begins with making your home as uninhabitable as possible to wandering cockroaches.
Please Don’t Feed the Roaches!
While they prefer high energy foods when available, cockroaches will eat just about anything if it comes down to their survival. From crumbs on the kitchen floor to open packages and containers in cabinets, there are a lot of possible food sources in the average home. So you need to make it as hard as possible for roaches to find a meal with a few basic measures.
Keep your kitchen and dining room floors swept and mopped on a regular basis. Wipe down counters, dining tables, ranges and microwaves to remove any food crumbs or residues after every meal. Make sure packages and containers of food are sealed and in cabinets whenever possible. It’s a lot easier to just leave Fido’s food bowl on the floor full of food than to put it away each day, but that is like sending an invitation to any cockroach in the neighborhood.
Create Your Own Mini-Drought
Cockroaches can survive over a month without food, but not without water. They are small and don’t need much water to quench their thirst, so you have to really pay attention when keeping your home dry. A spilled glass there, a little drip here, there are a lot of ways water can be available to these pests so let’s get that drought started.
Again, keeping counters, floors and other areas clean and dry on a routine basis is a good first step. Get that leaky faucet fixed and make sure the area under the sink is dry and there are no leaks. Don’t leave glasses of water or other liquid sitting on the counter or table overnight. And don’t forget Fido…just like that food bowl, the water bowl should be taken up nightly and replaced the next morning.
Turn Down the Heat
Warm and cozy. That’s just how roaches like it. You can’t just keep the thermostat at 62 degrees all the time, but you can take steps to keep these pests away from some typically warm areas. Think of computers, televisions and other electronics that are usually plugged in and warm most of the time.
While it may not be practical to unplug everything each night, you can use chemicals and natural methods around these items to deter roaches.
Don’t forget the most basic sources of warmth in your home, light bulbs. Keeping that light on over the stove each night may make you feel more secure, but it is like a light house for roaches and is just right for keeping them warm and toasty. Turn off lamps and other sources of light each night and keep things cool, and uninviting, for these pests.
Cracks and crevices are everywhere in the typical home and are perfect for cockroaches. They like their homes to be dark and nice and cozy. From baseboards and molding to electrical fixtures and pipes, there are a lot of areas that roaches will find suitable if you let them. Caulk and silicone are great methods of closing these areas off keeping cockroaches out.
Do a walkthrough of your home and think “dark and cozy”? That’s what these pests are looking for.
That stack of newspapers or boxes, that laundry room cabinet full of stuff, are just what the doctor ordered. Get rid of cockroaches or tidy them up and put up that “No Vacancy” sign as soon as possible.