Cockroaches are both an unsightly annoyance and a health hazard for you and your family. It is important to have a plan for preventing these pests that are known for spreading disease through saliva and droppings. Here are three essential cockroach control tips every homeowner should know.
Remove Food and Water Sources
Roaches are drawn to homes in search of food, water, and shelter. It isn't difficult to eliminate roaches' food and water sources in your home if you take a few extra sanitation steps each day. The most important place to be extra vigilant is in your kitchen. Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight, and wipe down counters, stove tops, and other surfaces where food crumbs and stains tend to build up. You should also sweep and mop your kitchen floor daily, including spaces behind and between appliances that are often neglected.
Bathroom leaks are a common source of water for roaches. Because some leaks can go unnoticed until significant water damage develops, it is a good idea to check faucets and pipes regularly and repair them as soon as possible. Roaches will also drink from standing water in bathtubs, showers, and sinks, so you should dry them out completely after each use.
Roach-Proof Your Home's Exterior
The best way to prevent roach infestations is to discourage roaches from entering your home in the first place. Create a gap of a few inches between your home's exterior and materials such as mulch, firewood piles, and yard debris. Roaches do not like to walk across dry concrete or soil, so this will create a roach-deterring zone around your home that can be further augmented by spraying the gap with insecticide.
You should also attempt to eliminate possible roach entry points on your home's exterior. Look for any visible cracks around doors and windows, and use a caulking gun to seal them. Sometimes there may be smaller cracks that aren't easily visible, but you can locate them from inside your home. First, shut all windows and doors and turn off exhaust fans and your HVAC system. Hold a burning incense stick near window and door frames, as well as wiring and plumbing entry points. If the smoke from the incense stick wavers from air flow, apply caulk to the crack outside.
Seal off Indoor Cracks Where Roaches May Hide
Once roaches make their way into a home, they spend most of their time hiding in cracks and crevices and usually wait until nightfall to forage for food and water. If you remove or block off these hiding spaces, you may be able to avoid an infestation simply by making your home less hospitable to roaches.
While many roaches will spend their days in cracks around windows and doors that they may have entered from, there are several other possible hiding spaces for roaches in your home. Clean out your cabinets thoroughly and flatten any lining paper that the bugs could take shelter under. Trash bags should be taken out as soon as they are full and stored in sealable trash cans while indoors to prevent roaches from accessing them. Roaches are also drawn to newspaper and cardboard by the scent of the glue used in these materials, so you should keep these materials in sealed plastic containers or throw them out when they are no longer needed.
Keeping roaches out of your home is much easier than eliminating an existing infestation. If you have followed these steps to keep roaches away and are still finding them in your home, you should consider contacting a professional to perform a thorough roach extermination for your home.