Ever had a problem with cockroaches in your home? I have, and it’s not fun.
Back in college (which feels like 1000 years ago at this point) I lived with another guy in an old duplex we shared with another couple of guys (parties were great!) that had bullet holes in the back door. And yes, you could still see through them to the outside… good times.
But anyway, we had a serious roach problem in that place in that if you either came home when it was dark and/or got up in the middle of the night and turned on the kitchen light, a flurry of activity would take place on the floor as about a billion roaches scattered for the comfort of darkness under the appliances or behind the walls. It was thoroughly disgusting and we tried everything we could to get rid of them – to no avail. We found out later that the guys next door had rotting food left out, water leaks under the cabinets, and several other problems which only encourage roaches to stay, so by the time we moved out we still had the extra roommates living in our kitchen which we never wanted in the first place.
In the spirit of thinking back about those crazy days, and knowing that people still have trouble with roaches in their house, I figured a post about getting rid of cockroaches could come in handy for some.
Did you know that cockroaches have remained literally unchanged for more than 300 million years now? I didn’t – but it just shows you how resilient they really are. They hung around with dinosaurs just the same as they are hanging around with us humans! Thus, they can be difficult to kill or get rid of at your house, but there are certainly different ways that you can try to get them to leave for good.
The first thing you want to do is to try to figure out where they are coming from. Cracks in your foundation, holes in the drywall or behind appliances, drains that don’t have mechanisms to block critters from the outside from coming in – these are the types of things you should be checking for. Cockroaches will use almost any entrance into your home to look for water and/or food, so you need to make sure that the only entrances are the doors and windows that the humans use! One you find out the where, if you can, you may want to try a few of these ideas:
- Coffee grounds. These can do a good job of repelling roaches, but it will not kill or keep them away for good.
- Bay leaves. Cockroaches hate the taste of bay leaves, so crumble some up and sprinkle them near any openings.
- Spray soapy water on them. Not sure how well this works, but I did read somewhere that roaches breathe through their skin and this can stop them from breathing… at least for a while. Dispose of them before they “wake up” again.
- Make your own roach food that you can feed them. Combine boric acid and sugar together, and put it around the house (be VERY careful though if you have kids, you don’t want them eating it!) where you think the roaches are coming in. The sugar should attract them and the boric acid should kill them. Hopefully.
- Buy some cockroach traps. Pretty self-explanatory, but you won’t catch or deter all of them this way.
- Pick up cockroach spray. Spray it everywhere they could be hanging out, inside and outside of your house.
However, even better than trying to kill a horde of cockroaches is to keep them from entering your house in the first place. It can be difficult if you live in an area prone to a thriving world of roaches, but there are some steps you can take to try to stop them from getting in your house:
- Stop any and all water leaks. Roaches can go a very long time without food, but not more than a day without water. Stop offering them a free drinking fountain.
- Keep your house clean of all clutter and messiness. I know, this is hard for some people, but clutter and dirt gives cockroaches a place to hide and hang out until you go to bed.
- Move all firewood or anything else stored next to your house, away from your house. Don’t provide free housing for the cockroaches while they try to figure out a way inside.
- Don’t leave any open food laying around. Cockroaches love a free meal.
Cockroaches are a major nuisance and can even carry diseases that your family could get from them. And above all that, they are pretty gross creatures which are unnerving to watch scattering for cover when switching on a light in your house. If you are having problems at your place, hopefully some of these tips will help you get rid of the cockroaches forever!
(photo credit: Spider.Dog)
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