First of all, roaches serve an important function, out of doors they break down organic waste. So your goal should not be to destroy them altogether, just to control them and keep them out of your home. Because roaches can carry disease causing organisms and can trigger allergic reactions, control is important for your health.
Most roaches look more or less like the one pictured above. They have six legs, two antennae and are generally brown in color. They can be distinguished from crickets by the rear set of legs. A cricket’s rear legs are similar to a grasshopper’s. They fold backward enabling the cricket to hop. The legs stand taller than the body. Roaches are usually active at night and avoid the light. They live in dark crevices and prefer damp or moist locations.
Control comes down to prevention and elimination. If you only use elimination steps, you will likely have an unending battle with roaches. You must first take steps to prevent roach infestation along with elimination steps.
How To Prevent Roach Infestations
Roaches live just fine outdoors. However, inside they can find food, water, shelter and avoid predators. So as long as conditions are favorable, roaches will proliferate indoors. The key to prevention is sealing roaches out, removing food and eliminating shelter.
- Store food in tightly sealed containers or in the refrigerator
- Wipe down counters and sweep floors every night
- Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher overnight
- Clean out trash cans and use trash bags to line the can and avoid leaving food remnants behind
- Take out all garbage nightly
- Seal cracks in walls, along baseboards and anywhere roaches might enter or hide. Use caulk to seal only after cleaning and vacuuming first.
- Install weatherstripping in windows and doors to seal out roaches
- Fix leaks and dry out areas under sinks and anywhere that roaches might inhabit
- Clean up clutter to eliminate hiding places for roaches
How To Eliminate Roaches in Your Home
Avoid the use of toxic sprays. Use of sticky traps is an effective method to eliminate roaches. Place the traps along the walls as roaches tend to follow edges. Traps which use a roach pheromone are more effective at attracting roaches. Once you determine the places of greatest activity, concentrate your traps there. Because traps attract roaches, they should be used only in tandem with prevention steps.
If you must use toxic compounds to eliminate roaches, choose less toxic controls such as diatomaceous earth (DE) and boric acid. Be sure to read and follow all instructions for any compounds used.