Cockroaches are one of those disgusting creatures that send shivers up most of our spines. Everything from the way they move to their awful hairy legs is horrifying, and we never want to see them in our homes. Unfortunately, roaches are very good at finding their way into our houses despite all our best efforts.
Knowing why roaches come inside is a good first step to eliminating them from your home. You can cut off their access to food, water, and shelter and convince them to find someplace else to live. Read on to learn more about roaches and what steps you can take for roach prevention.
What Is a Cockroach?
Cockroaches are insects in the same family as termites. There are about 4,600 different species, but only thirty of them ever interact with humans. Of those thirty, four are widely considered to be pests.
There are four primary species of cockroaches that you may see in your home: German, American, Australian, and Oriental. The American cockroach is the species most of us think of as a typical cockroach; it’s the biggest of the four species. German cockroaches are smaller and cause the most trouble for humans.
Australian cockroaches are a little smaller and flatter than the American cockroach and are yellow at the edges. Asian cockroaches are dark-colored and glossy and cannot fly.
Why Do Cockroaches Come Inside?
Like many pests, cockroaches come inside because of the wealth of resources your home offers to them. There are food and water available as abundantly as they need. What looks to you like a sink of dirty dishes you’ll take care of tomorrow looks to a roach like a feast.
Your house also provides shelter and protection from predators and weather. Cockroaches can squeeze into all sorts of nooks and crannies and can settle down very happily in the walls. To them, your house looks like a free stay at an all-inclusive resort.
Health Risks Associated with Roaches
Aside from the general fact that cockroaches are disgusting, they can also pose a number of health risks. Cockroaches can carry a number of diseases and germs on their shells which they then deposit on anything they cross. This can include salmonella, dysentery, cholera, leprosy, and even the plague.
In addition to being enormous disease vectors, cockroaches carry allergens. This can be especially dangerous for people in your home who have asthma. And just in case you needed more incentive to get rid of them, though it is rare, cockroaches can burrow into human ears and cause pain and hearing loss.
Clean Up Food
The biggest thing you can do to prevent cockroaches from setting up camp in your home is to remove their food source. Make sure you always wipe up spills and crumbs when you’re cooking. Never leave a sink full of dishes overnight; it doesn’t take long for these bugs to find the feast.
Make sure you seal all food away in tightly closed containers and refrigerate as much as you can. Never leave food scraps in a garbage can that doesn’t close tightly, and it’s not a bad idea to take the trash out every night. Do the same with your pet food; cockroaches love kibble, too.
Clean in the Corners
Every few months, it’s a good idea to do a deep clean on your home. Move around the refrigerator, washing machine, and any other pieces of furniture that stay in the same place, and clean under them. Wipe down the sides and backs of these appliances while you have them pulled out.
At least twice a week, vacuum every square inch of your house. Get out the attachments and vacuum in all the little nooks and crannies; roaches are excellent at finding those. Pay special attention to any cracks in your floor.
Use Borax Cleaner
While you’re cleaning, it’s a good idea to make liberal use of borax. Borax gets rid of roaches, so sprinkle it under your appliances before you move them back and into any deep cracks in your floor.
It’s also a good idea to sprinkle some borax into the back of all your cabinets to keep roaches from getting into the food stored there. Squirt some on the bottom of any floating cabinets, and put it anywhere else you think roaches may be lurking. Borax is the single most effective tool you as a homeowner can use in the battle against roaches.
Why Hire a Pest Control Company
When it comes down to it, roaches are hard to get rid of on your own. These pests can squeeze through cracks as thin as a quarter, and it’s hard to find every single gap in your house. It’s a good idea to call in the pros to make sure you don’t allow even a single cockroach into your home.
While you can reduce resources for roaches in your home, you can’t eliminate them entirely. Professional exterminators know where roaches hide out and can spray your home with insecticide. They are also trained to find areas where roaches get in and seal them up, keeping your home safe for good.
Get the Best in Roach Prevention with Viking Pest Control
Even if you don’t realize it, you probably have roaches hiding somewhere in your home. Some 20 to 48 percent of homes without visible cockroaches contain detectable cockroach allergens in dust samples. That means there’s about a 50 percent chance that you have roaches in your home and you don’t even know it.
If you want the best help in roach prevention in your home, reach out to us at Viking Pest. We offer pest control services for everything from ticks to raccoons. Schedule a service call with us today to start clearing your home of pests.