Did you know that cockroaches carry more than 30 species of bacteria in their gut and cuticle alone? That these microorganisms they ferry about include E. coli and Salmonella?
As if that’s not enough, these arthropods also give some types of viruses and parasites a ride to wherever! That wherever, unfortunately, can be your home.
And if you live in Memphis, TN, your house can be part of the 15% of homes with a roach infestation. That high rate puts the otherwise beautiful city in the top 10 U.S. cities with the worst roach infestation.
The good news is, proper roach control methods can help you keep these critters away from your home.
Ready to protect your loved ones from the diseases cockroaches can bring? Then let’s get this guide on how to get rid of roaches started!
Effective Roach Control Starts with Identifying High-Infestation Areas
Pest identification is important since many pests leave similar symptoms. Take roaches and rodents, for instance. Their droppings look alike, although those of larger roaches’ have ridged sides.
Both pests also leave foul smells, eat your food, and leave disgusting smear marks on surfaces. What’s more, cockroaches, rats, and mice are also active at night. They may come out in the day, but if they do, that means you already have a serious infestation problem.
That said, it’s best to first identify what types of Memphis pests you’re likely dealing with. You also need to establish which areas of your home they’re hiding and proliferating in.
For roaches, start your inspection (and identification) in dark and moist areas. These include the kitchen and bathrooms. Pay particular attention to the spots behind or under the fridge, sink, cabinets, and stove.
You should also check behind and under the microwave and dishwasher. Kitchen floor drains are also common hiding and breeding places for roaches. Check the laundry room and basement too, as these also have a moist environment.
Be on the lookout for adult and juvenile cockroaches, feces, and their eggs. The eggs are actually inside small, brown capsules, called “ootheca”. Each ootheca can contain hundreds of eggs, although the number drops as roaches get older.
Once you’re sure you have a roach problem, then you can start laying out the roach traps! Here are five of the best strategies to rid your home of these disease-carrying pests.
1. Take Away Their Sources of Food and Water
A key step on how to kill roaches is to clean your home and remove the pests’ food sources. In fact, this is crucial in preventing pest damage in your home. After all, exposed food attracts other unwanted guests, such as ants, flies, and rodents.
Besides, keeping your home clean and sanitary also helps boost indoor air quality. Remember, people in the U.S., on average, spend as much as 90% of their time indoors. As such, cleaning your home not only staves off pests, but also helps prevent indoor air pollution.
Here are a few strategies that can help you get rid of cockroaches’ food sources.
Never Let Used Dishes Stay in the Sink Overnight
For the longest time, people thought that roaches didn’t have a sense of smell. Researchers found otherwise, and that these pests do use their “noses” to find food. They also found that roaches leave chemical trails which they use for their next meals.
If the sink is always filled with dirty dishes, roaches can live off the leftovers on them. The same goes true for any food spills on surfaces and appliances.
That said, be sure to clear the sink and clean your countertops and appliances before heading to bed.
Store Food in Sealed Containers
Loosely-closed food bags, boxes, and jars are no feat for cockroaches. It’s best to use tight-sealing metal or glass jars for food you usually keep in the pantry or cabinets. These include oil (roaches love grease), sugar, and starch (like bread).
If Possible, Eat Only in the Dining Room
Food crumbs and spills are easier to clean if you limit eating in the dining room. If you can’t keep dining activities in this room though, then sweep and vacuum your home more often.
2. 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 1.5 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.
3. Bait and Kill
Studies like this one have found that gel baits are more effective than sprays. Plus, they’re safer, as spraying can contaminate other areas of your home.
Roach baits work by mixing a food attractant with insecticide toxic to roaches. After the pests eat the bait, they crawl away and die. Along the way, these poisoned insects spread the insecticide to other roaches.
That said, the more “exposed” roaches, the faster the insecticide spreads. This then causes a domino effect that extends to even the non-exposed pests.
Your bait stations should be set up in the high traffic areas you discovered in step 1. These include under or behind the fridge, cabinets, sink, and stove. In the bathroom, set the baits behind and under the fixtures.
You should also place some baits near the cracks on wood furnishings and shelves. Set some beside drains and plumbing work too.
4. Interrupt their Life Cycle with IGRs
As effective as baits are in killing adult cockroaches, they may not get rid of the eggs. Some of the oothecae can survive, and if they hatch, restart the infestation cycle.
To help reduce the odds of another infestation, you may use insect growth regulators (IGRs). These are also insecticides, but instead of killing, they disrupt the life cycle of pests. Think of them as insect birth control, which keeps the roaches from becoming adults.
If they can’t reach adulthood, then they’re unlikely to reproduce and multiply. You’d still need to kill them, but at least, you can worry less about another huge infestation. Plus, IGRs can be a good addition to your flea and mosquito prevention and control tactics.
As with any insecticide, you should still be careful when using IGRs. Note that most of these products are low in toxicity to both humans and dogs though.
5. Enlist Professional Cockroach Control Services
The fastest and best way to get rid of roaches (and other pests) is to hire a professional pest control service. Yes, they can take care of your other bug issues, such as termites, fleas, rodents, wasps, and spiders!
How do professional services differ from DIY methods though? Let’s take a closer look.
The Right Elimination Method for the Right Pest
One of the biggest reasons to hire a pro is their extensive training and experience. They know that each type of pest calls for a different extraction and elimination method. They also know the exact dosage to use and when and where to apply it.
Green and Safe Pest Elimination
Furthermore, the most reliable pest control services use environmentally-friendly products. They use green or organic methods to eliminate pests from your home or business. This is a better option for green homeowners or if a family member is allergic to insecticides.
Coverage for Your Entire Home
There’s also the complete coverage for all possible pest entry points in your home. Their tools and equipment also allow them to reach areas that your DIY methods missed. This makes their approach not only more efficient but also quicker to take effect.
Moreover, licensed pest control experts will locate all pest hiding and breeding places. Although you can do this on your own, a DIY method will take much longer. And the longer it takes you to eradicate them all, the worse the problem will get.
Especially since female American roaches don’t need a mate to reproduce. All it takes is 15 virgin female roaches to maintain four generations that can live up to three years.
Bring Creepy Crawlies in Your Home Under Control Now
There you have it, all the tried and tested roach control methods that you should use ASAP! The sooner you get started on eradicating these pests, the sooner you can make your home safer again. Plus, you can worry less about encountering flying American cockroaches.
Ready to get rid of cockroaches the quickest way possible? If so, then please don’t hesitate to connect with us! We’ll be happy to hear from you, and if you’re interested, we’ll give you a free estimate for your pest control needs.