Written by Anza Goodbar (last updated February 17, 2012)
Roaches are outdoor insects that will move inside if they find conditions are favorable. Food and water without the threat of predators can cause a colony of roaches to thrive. Once you have an infestation, it is difficult to rid yourself of these pests. The best way to prevent a colony from moving in is by not making food readily available.
Keep the kitchen clean. Roaches are drawn to grease so keep the area around the stove clean on a regular basis. Clean up all spills and crumbs immediately. Do not leave dirty dishes lying around or piled in the sink. Store all foods in air tight containers made of plastic or glass. Never leave food, even pet foot, just sitting out on the counter.
Keep trash and compost stored away from the home. Remove trash from your home regularly; do not allow it to pile up.
Cockroaches are attracted to water. Fix any leaky faucets and prevent any standing water. If you live in a humid climate, consider using a dehumidifier.
Keep your yard free from debris. All wood piles should be stored away from your home. In the fall, rake up leaves and dispose of them immediately. Keep your trees and bushes trimmed. Eliminate as many possible routes indoors as possible.
Block entrances into your home by using caulking and weather stripping around windows, baseboards, door frames. Fill in any cracks or crevices. Roaches do not need a big opening to find access into your home.
Keep in mind roaches hate the light, so most of their activity will occur at night. If you think you have an infestation, wait until dark, sit with the lights out. When you turn the lights on, watch to see where they run to find out where they are hiding.
Boric acid can be highly effective against roaches. Boric acid is much less toxic than most insecticides and is intended for indoor use. Follow directions as even small doses can be lethal to small children and pets.
Roach bait can also be an effective way to rid your home of these pests. It is a mixture of poison and roach food. It is normally sold in a plastic container that is childproof, however, do not leave it anywhere a child may get a hold of it.
Roach motels have a sticky surface that glues their legs inside so they can't escape. These need to be checked and removed regularly.
If these methods are not effective in ridding your home of roaches, all a professional to come and take care of the problem. A regular treatment of more potent chemicals may be needed to get rid of the problem once and for all. However, keep in mind it is imperative to keep your home free of enticements to invite them inside.
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