Roaches are one of the most adaptable and resilient pests that can infest your home. Roaches are known to carry diseases, spread bacteria, trigger allergies and asthma, and contaminate food. These pests can pose a serious health hazard to you and your family.
The two most common species of cockroaches in Alabama are German cockroaches and American cockroaches. German roaches are smaller and dark brown in color while American roaches are much larger and much darker in color. Both species are active year-round and both are nocturnal. All cockroach species are extremely persistent and multiply quickly making them difficult to control and eliminate.
The first step in keeping them away is to figure out what attracts cockroaches in the first place. Roaches will come into your home for 4 main reasons: food, water, warmth, and shelter. They are often attracted to:
- Dirty dishes
- Excess moisture
- Pet food
- Leftover food in empty cans or containers
- Pet food
Knowing what attracts roaches to your home allows you to eliminate these things and help prevent a roach infestation. Here are some cockroach prevention tips you can use around your home.
- Clean up. Roaches are attracted to dirt and filth as a food source and clutter as a place to hide. Wash and put dishes away after meals. Clean up spills and crumbs immediately. Take out the garbage before you go to bed. Clean grease from your stove and appliances. Store food in sealed containers. Sweep, mop, and vacuum regularly. Don’t leave pet food out overnight. Declutter your home as much as possible.
- Declutter. Clutter provides roaches with both a food source and a place to hide. Dust regularly, making sure to move items that typically sit in one place. Roaches also love cardboard and newspaper. Clear out these items from your home when possible. Try to use plastic storage containers rather than cardboard boxes for storage, as well.
- Dry up moisture. Roaches also come indoors in search of water. In fact, American cockroaches are often found in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms because of the availability of water sources in those rooms. Regularly inspect these areas for leaks and plumbing issues and repair them immediately.
- Use traps and bait stations. Roach traps use a scent or other bait to attract roaches to them and then traps them in a sticky substance. Chemical baits disguise insecticides as food. The roaches then eat them, return to their nest, and die. Other roaches will then eat them and continue spreading the bait. Traps can take up to 2 weeks to work. Both should be placed near garbage cans, under sinks, under cabinets, or anywhere else you see heavy roach activity.
- Use liquid concentrate. Liquid concentrate is available to purchase in most stores. The concentrate is diluted and then can be applied in cracks and crevices where roaches hide.
- DIY boric acid. You can make your own cockroach bait using equal parts boric acid, sugar, and flour. Form this into a dough ball and set them around your home anywhere roaches can feed on it. The flour and sugar in the mixture will attract the cockroaches to it and the boric acid will kill them. Use caution when using boric acid – it is EXTREMELY toxic to both pets and small children so don’t try this method if you have pets or children at home.
Even with these prevention and control methods, roaches are extremely versatile and resilient and can be very difficult to get rid of. If you suspect you have a cockroach infestation, contact a pest control company who can thoroughly inspect your home and provide you with the best roach control options for your situation.