It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare: the cockroach. It’s not just that they’re an unwelcome sight. Cockroaches can spread 33 different types of illness causing bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella. Cockroaches can also spread parasitic worms and human pathogens and cause you to have allergy and asthma symptoms. Understandably, you won’t want these insects anywhere near your domicile. So how can you prevent these common pests from entering your home? Here are some tips.
How Cockroaches Get Inside
Before you can prevent a cockroach infestation, you need to make sure you don’t already have one. Cockroaches can live, eat, breed, and enter your home without you ever knowing. They find their way in through small holes and cracks in your structure, through openings around doors and windows, through pipes and drains, and even in come into your home in grocery bags, backpacks, or suitcases.
Why You Don’t See Cockroaches
Cockroaches mostly come out at night, so you’re less likely to see them in your home during the day. They are also notorious for hiding from you. They like to seek shelter in cracks, holes, or crevices. They also like to hide under the fridge, under sinks, or even inside cabinets and drawers. That’s because cockroaches like to hang out near food and water or even dark places.
Signs You Have Cockroaches
If cockroaches are hiding in your home, you may know that you have an infestation if you happen to see one scurry by. Cockroaches are anywhere from one half inch to three inches long. They are red or brown in color, have flat and oval-shaped bodies, and have long antennae. They move quickly and can sometimes jump or fly. If you see one in plain sight, it’s a good indicator that there are more hiding somewhere. You may see droppings, similar to mice droppings. You may also find eggs in basements, laundry rooms, or kitchens.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
If you don’t want to try cockroach removal yourself, call a commercial exterminator. Otherwise, you will need to inspect your home to find hiding places. Look in places with food or warm areas where cockroaches could easily get to water. You can try putting down glue traps to find them, as well. Once you find the roaches, you can use gel bait, bait traps, glue traps, or boric acid. These products can be dangerous to children and pets, so be sure to follow the directions closely. You may want to call a cockroach exterminator if you are worried about the toxicity or if you continue to see cockroaches. A cockroach exterminator may be better able to find and eliminate the problem.
Prevent Future Infestations
To prevent cockroach infestations, there are several things that you can do. Keeping your home clean, especially the kitchen, can prevent infestations. Food should be in sealed containers, dishes should be done promptly, and spills must be cleaned up right away. Put pet food and water away at night and take out the trash on a consistent basis. It’s also best not to eat in more than one area of your home because you will have fewer crumbs and messes to attract roaches. If you’ve had an infestation before, be sure to thoroughly clean where the roaches were hiding. Smells from previous tenants can attract new ones. You should also make sure to caulk or seal any cracks, holes, crevices, or openings around doors and windows.
If you find that you’ve done everything you can to prevent infestations, but they still occur, call a cockroach exterminator. Commercial exterminators will have the knowledge and tools to make your home safe again.