Cockroaches are known to be the most ancient insects to walk the planet, and they also happen to be the most stubborn to kill off. Cockroaches carry serious illnesses such as dysentery, typhoid, poliomyelitis and gastroenteritis as they can live on just about anything; including fermenting products, septic dressings, hair, leather, wallpaper, faeces and rotting food. And, they often breed in unhygienic areas.
Many of the substances that cockroaches feed on are already contaminated, as this creepy crawly insect moves from one location to another. Not only can people get sick from the bacteria with which cockroaches contaminate our living areas, but some people are actually allergic to cockroach faeces; inhaling it as small particles of dust, or ingesting it along with food (Planet Cockroach, 2012). Cockroach droppings can cause eczema and asthma, and the health risks are particularly high in homes containing children, the elderly or those fighting other illnesses.As a cockroach infestation in your home poses various health risks, it is important to establish the source of your cockroach problem and to ensure you take the appropriate steps to start getting rid of cockroaches in your home.
Tips on how to get rid of cockroaches
1. The first step is to find out if you indeed have a cockroach problem. Look out for the signs of a cockroach infestation, such as droppings, cast skins, egg cases, coupled with an unpleasant odour in dark, undisturbed areas like cupboards, kitchenettes, or under refrigerators.
2. Find out where cockroaches are coming from. Cockroaches are nocturnal; meaning they are active during night time in search of food. You might need to do a little sleuthing to find the source of your cockroach infestation. Generally, cockroaches hide in cracks and crevices around your house and also enter through drains or vents, preferring warm, humid areas such as kitchens as their prime infestation spot.
3. Sealing cracks, skirting boards and any other entry points cockroaches can use to gain access will assist in getting rid of cockroaches, and will help prevent cockroaches from entering your home.
4. The most effective way to exercise cockroach control is to prevent them from accessing food and water. Be sure to store food in containers or in sealed plastic bags and clean food debris from under fridges or cookers and make sure to not leave liquids standing over night in kitchen sinks or buckets.
5. Clean all waste food and spillages immediately and keep refuse or compost in sealed bins. German Cockroaches tend to favour kitchens and can be attracted to crumbs in your home. Be sure to disinfect kitchen surfaces as cockroaches are attracted to dirt and grime.
6. Kill cockroaches with DIY cockroach control methods. Try placing cockroach poison in areas where you have spotted the cockroach infestation. It is also worthwhile to get rid of cockroaches by mixing together natural home remedies, such as boric acid which acts as a poison that they carry back to their nests and feed to nymphs (the life cycle stage before they develop into adults). Make sure to not leave any poison in areas where pets or children eat or play. Bay leaves can also be used as a natural cockroach repellent, but does not kill them.
7. Put in place cockroach traps in your home to get rid of cockroaches. Cockroach traps entice cockroaches in and then entrap them with an adhesive. Get a few of these, and place them wherever cockroach activities are highest.
Although there are many things you can try to get rid of cockroaches in your home, if your cockroach problem is left untreated, it can quickly escalate and spread to neighboring properties. Even though DIY cockroach control products address the immediate issue, cockroach infestations are likely to re-occur, especially when surviving cockroach eggs hatch after one or two months.
It is important to seek the help of a qualified pest control technician to get rid of cockroaches in the long term, as well as to ensure that the insecticides that the cockroach control experts use are environment-friendly and safe for your home and family.