When you see roaches in your home, your first instinct can be to grab an insecticide bottle or call an exterminator. However, not only will you be exposing your family to harmful substances, but they may also be ineffective. According to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, German cockroaches, the most common roach species found worldwide, are becoming more difficult to eradicate. These disease-carrying insects are gaining resistance to a variety of insecticides, rendering chemical killing virtually impossible.
Cockroaches are resourceful insects that can infiltrate your home through a variety of means, including:
- Crawling inside the building through small gaps and cracks.
- Using sacks, backpacks, suitcases, and other containers as a means of transportation.
- Identifying gaps between doors and walls.
- Passing through pipes and other gaps in shared walls to get from one apartment to the next.
Cockroaches are also excellent concealers. A cockroach can hide in a variety of places in the house. You may have a better chance of finding places in your home that a cockroach prefers if you recognize a cockroach’s ideal atmosphere and feeding habits. Cockroaches like to hide in small crevices and cracks.
Look behind refrigerators, under sinks, and in dark drawers or cabinets for hidden objects. They go out at night to search for food, consuming a wide range of foods and non-food products. This enables them to thrive in even the cleanest of environments.
Since cockroaches are approaching invincibility, researchers recommend using a combination of chemical treatments and other strategies to combat roaches, such as traps and better sanitation. Alternatively, you can avoid using chemicals altogether and rely solely on natural methods.
It can take a long time to get rid of roaches naturally. However, naturally removing them will help prevent the issue from recurring. So, how do you go about doing it? Here are seven natural ways to get rid of roaches.
7. Clean, and Clean More
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure when it comes to most household pests. What exactly do I mean? Since cockroaches are attracted to food residue, especially grease, you must make sure your home is spotless. That means wiping down the counters every night, never leaving dirty dishes in the sink, cleaning the stovetop, and sweeping the floors before bed. This might sound like a lot to do every day, but if you do it regularly, a 15-minute cleanup at the end of each night should be enough to get rid of most residues (unless you have a group — or kids — in which case cleanup will take a little longer).
6. Repair any cracks or holes
That means between the countertop and the wall in your pantry, as well as in the baseboards. Roaches (and other insects) can enter your home through even the tiniest of openings, so it’s important to keep them out. This can take some time, but it’ll be worth it in the end, particularly if you live in an apartment and have neighbors who don’t keep up with you on cleanliness. To complete the task, you’ll need a tube of caulk and a caulking gun.
5. Repair any water leaks
Moisture and water leaks in pipes attract roaches. That’s why you’ll frequently see them scurrying about under your sink. Some cockroaches will go without food for months, but only days without water. Fix also the tiniest leaks to cut off their water supply. Don’t let water sit in your sink for long periods of time, and don’t overwater indoor plants.
4. Make Cockroach Bait from Scratch
Combine three parts boric acid and one part powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. The roaches are attracted to the sugar, but they are killed by the boric acid. While boric acid is not harmful to humans or animals, it can irritate them, so keep it away from counters and places where little fingers and noses can access it. Sprinkle it in gaps around the edges of cabinets and pantries, as well as under and behind the refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher.
3. Seek the Support of Experts
If you have a large infestation of roaches and want to get rid of them naturally, contact a natural pest control company. In the walls of my building, my pest control company uses a material called diatomaceous earth (inserted through the holes around the wall outlets). Diatomaceous earth is a porous sedimentary rock that can be crushed into a fine powder very quickly. It’s used in multiple products (including some medications and skin care products), but it’s most commonly used as a mechanical insecticide since it kills insects without using chemicals. Look for a pest control company that uses the substance in your area; it’s safe for you and your family and, best of all, it works.
2. Maintain as much cool as possible in your room
In New York City, the American cockroach is one of the most popular cockroaches. According to Live Science, as the weather warms up in the summer, many of these cold-blooded insects warm up as well. They become more involved, even spreading their wings and flying. (I shiver.) “They use their muscles more with more sun,” Louis Sorkin, a resident bug expert at the American Museum of Natural History, told NYC blog DNAInfo.com. Although you can’t regulate the weather, keeping your apartment or home as cool as possible will keep cockroaches on the ground at the very least.
1. Use Kindness to Destroy It…
If you have a cockroach in your house and don’t want to use toxic insecticides, try treating it with a soap and water solution. (By the way, I have this stuff on hand to clean my countertops.) Roaches, like most insects, breathe through their clothing, so the soap effectively suffocates them. You should, of course, simply step on it!