Even the cleanest of homes can have cockroaches in residence because they can simply walk or fly in from elsewhere. They can also catch a lift in a bag or box containing food or already be resident in an item of furniture or an appliance that you buy second hand. Most people will feel uneasy when they turn on the light in the kitchen in the middle of the night and see a cockroach scuttling away. They will usually rush for a can of pesticide. |
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners that practicing good sanitation is the first critical step toward preventing a cockroach infestation.
Cockroaches create habitats in damp and dirty places and any area that is close to a source of food. American cockroaches, in particular, prefer living in food-storage areas, basements, steam tunnels and sewers, and favor fermented foods.
Cockroach control is a five-step IPM, or integrated pest management, process that includes prevention, good sanitation, inspection, application and follow-up maintenance. In addition, the NPMA recommends the following simple steps to help keep cockroaches out:
- Seal cracks and holes around the outside of the home, including utility pipes.
- Properly ventilate basements and crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup.
- Keep garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms — especially under appliances and sinks — as these areas are particularly attractive to cockroaches.
"Practicing good sanitation is a crucial first step when it comes to preventing a cockroach infestation," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, NPMA. "These pests are known to spend 75 percent of their time near food sources, so homeowners must take the necessary steps to make their homes clean and inhospitable for these disease-carrying pests."
Avoid using a pesticide with these natural remedies instead
Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled in hidden areas such a cabinet tops and behind appliances. Harmless to people, the tiny particles cut the waxy exo-skeleton, killing the insect within 48 hours. For a week or so after the treatment, the dehydrating insects will search more actively for water so you might see more of them just for that period before they die.
Catnip is a natural repellent to cockroaches. Small sachets of catnip can be left in areas of cockroach activity or catnip can be simmered in a small amount of water to make a "catnip tea" which can be used as a spray to apply around baseboards and behind counters. This natural repellent should only be used in homes without cats unless you want them partying the night away!
Keep a spray bottle of soapy water on hand. Spraying roaches directly with soapy water will kill them or use an large empty coffee can in which you place a couple of pieces of bread that have been soaked thoroughly with beer. Place these in appropriate areas as traps. Another method is to place some boric acid on top of kitchen cupboards only (as it is toxic by mouth to children and pets). Cockroaches will then take the boric acid to their nests, eliminating them all.
- If you suspect a cockroach infestation in your home, contact a pest control professional
Refer to main page Cockroach Control Auckland for best assistance on the job.
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