In order to successfully exterminate roaches from your home, you must have a complete knowledge about the matter. Cockroaches have been among us for 300 million years, so they adapted to most of the methods humans have used to kill them. They adapt even nowadays, meaning that the same method, in two or more infestations won’t be successful! That’s why we are here to help you. In the content that follows, you will be introduced to all the information, specifics, mistakes and methods you will need in order to complete exterminate cockroaches from your home.
Roaches 101: Knowing What You are Trying to Kill
How to get rid of roaches is the most common question on the planet nowadays. Sadly, there is no simple answer. Before moving to the methods, you should know some basic things about the cockroaches, which can help you choose or create a successful method for killing them.
Roaches are a huge threat to human health. Their droppings, skin and even their contact have been linked to increasing of the asthma symptoms, allergies, and even more dangerous diseases. The biggest issue with the cockroaches is the fact their bodies are extremely resistant to almost everything. It is known that they can actually survive a nuclear attack and that their body will continue to work up to 7 days without the head, although they won’t be able to see where they are going. Interesting: Roaches will clean themselves in a case of physical contact with humans. It is believed that they don’t ‘’like’’ this kind of contact.
The number of roaches present in a home will vary between a few of them and few thousands! Nevertheless, the ultimate method for killing them is the same. Most of you may believe that killing roaches that are seen is the right way to go, but it is a common mistake, nothing more. Killing roaches that are seen will just slow down the infestation, nothing more. The main goal should be the nest. It is the ‘’base’’ of roaches and it is usually well-hidden. The most common locations, according to exterminators are floors, walls, and garages.
Why Roaches Infest Your Homes
Roaches require higher temperatures to be fully functional. For example, if the temperature is very high they can even spread their wings and fly away, due to the fact with higher temperature, they can use a higher number of muscles in the body.
They prefer living in homes where people live because there, food, shelter, and water are easy to obtain. During the colder months, homes are the safest way to them, and they know it! All of this means that they can be seen in kitchens and bathrooms the most, but if notice food or water, roaches will spread to the rest of a home! After that, you must learn how to get rid of roaches.
Different Species of Roaches
If you want to know the best way to kill roaches you will have to know the species you are dealing with. There are more than 3.000 (some believe more than 4.000) known species of roaches, which truly sounds scary. A good thing is that only 4-5 species are known for home infestation and they are the most common ones you will have to kill. Important: Before using any method, please try to determine the species of roaches you have in your home. Most of them can be eliminated with conventional methods, but some of them will require a specific approach. To inspect them, all you need is a quick visual analyze.
Homeowners who are unable to determine the types of roaches that infested the home should call the licensed pest exterminator to help you determine the species. Just in case, the most frequent species found in homes are:
1. Periplaneta Americana or American Cockroach
This specie is the most common in the entire territory of the United States, therefore their name. They are also the largest specie found in homes. Although big, they are easy to exterminate and it is simple to determine their specie. The biggest characteristic is a yellow pattern in the shape of number 8 on the head. The primary color is red/brown. Periplaneta Americana is active only when the temperature is above 70 degrees and they don’t prefer lower temperatures, but they can survive only if the conditions are suitable.
2. Blattella Germanica or German Roaches
Blattella germanica is better known as German cockroach and it is also present in the United States, despite the name that suggests a specific location. The size is much smaller and the appearance is different compared to America cockroaches. The color is light brown and on the back two stripes are usually noticed. They prefer warm and humid places, but still will be mostly present in the kitchen and bathrooms. Important: Exterminating these roaches is extremely important, due to the health complications the specie has been linked to!
3. Brown Banded Cockroach
Brown banded cockroaches are also common in the United States. They are a smaller species of the insects in question, known for bands on their back. The biggest characteristic is the two spikes at the rear end of them. Males have much bigger wings than females. This species is commonly found in higher areas, on ceilings, attics, high cabinets and etc. Their eggs are commonly found in furniture or below it.
4. Oriental Cockroaches
Oriental Cockroaches come from the drains, so they are also known as ‘’water bugs’’. They are associated with a strong smell and known for being the dirtiest cockroach species of them all. The color is black and this specie is native to northern parts of the United States.
Natural and Safe Cockroach Repellents
All homeowners who want to know how to get rid of roaches should consider natural repellants. These are substances known for spreading a specific scent usually unbearable for the cockroaches. As the result, they will leave the room and eventually your home. A natural roach repellent is always a better choice than toxin-based chemicals that may be harmful to you, your pets or your children. Luckily, there are a high number of natural repellents that are effective in situations with all 4 cockroach species mentioned above.
- Mint essential oil is one of the best-known natural repellents for the cockroaches. All you will have to do is to mix 20-30 drops of the oil with water and fill a spray bottle. Spritz the mixture across the kitchen, kitchen cabinets and all areas where cockroaches may appear. This procedure should be repeated once a week or after each cleaning.
- Bay leaves have been confirmed to work as a repellant. Place them in areas where you saw cockroaches and the job is Make sure to replace the leaves once they get dry.
- Tea tree essential oil, in the mixture with cucumber, is an effective method as well. Just rub the oil on shelves, cabinets, and places where you keep your food. At the same time, place cucumber ends in all corners of the room. Roaches hate cucumber and they will always try to avoid it.
- Diatomaceous dirt is a different type of repellent. It should be placed in the cracks of the floor and eliminate the possibility cockroaches will come out from the holes.
- Beer and vegetable oil is one of the most effective killer-repellents. Basically, you need old beer in a bottle. Add vegetable oil (one tablespoon) and mix it. Leave the bottle in the infected area and wait. Cockroaches love the scent of the old beer because it is similar to the pheromones they use to communicate (to reveal new food sources and call the others). Thanks to it, this method is very effective with all species. Once the bottle is full with roaches, just replace it.
- Peppermint essential oil has been tested against roaches and it actually works, but not with all of the species. In any case, you can try it.
- Nepetalactone essential oil or catnip is very effective in repelling the insects, especially roaches. They cannot stand the scent, so they will leave your home once forever.
- Lemon can be used as a repellent. Add the lemon juice to a bucket of water and mop the floor. Roaches cannot walk nor come close to the surface covered with lemon juice.
The best fact with all of these repellents is their safety to the environment. They can even be used combined without any side effects nor related issues. In addition, it is a wise decision to try them all, over a shorter period of time, in order to avoid the risk of roaches adapts to the repellents.
Home Remedies That Can Exterminate Roaches From Your Home
Home remedies mentioned below will kill roaches without causing any issues to the human or pet health. All of them have been tested and their actions are confirmed. Home remedies for roaches are widely available, they are affordable and you already have some of them in your home, you just didn’t know that they can be used for this application. Now you will know how to get rid of roaches in a safe way.
- Ammonia mixed with water (in larger amounts) can be flushed down the drain pipes. It will kill the roaches and also their nests. This method is especially effective against oriental cockroaches.
- Petroleum trap should be used as an addition to other methods here. In essence, all you have to do is to put some food in a jar and apply petroleum on the edge. Leave it close to the infestation and wait for the cockroaches to be trapped.
- Bleach solution is a very powerful home remedy. It will kill and drown all cockroaches from the sink and drain pipes, but it can be also used for eliminating nests of these pests from hard to reach places.
- Borax can be used as a home remedy and it is very helpful because it kills infected roaches but also those that come in contact with them. It works by damaging the exoskeleton of a roach. It is commonly known as the best roach killer that is safe to humans.
- Soap and water can be used as an effective way to kill all the roaches very easily. Keep in mind that this isn’t the quickest method because it clogs the pores of the roaches, so they cannot breathe. This is extremely safe and affordable remedy.
- Boric acid is dangerous to roaches because it also damages their exoskeleton. However, roaches won’t come near the acid! In order to trap them, add sugar and cornstarch to the boric acid. You should be prepared to clean a lot of dead cockroaches on the following day.
- The coffee trap is an effective Coffee should be mixed with water and poured into a jar. A cockroach will be attracted by the caffeine, but it won’t be able to get out of the jar. Even if manages to get out, the solution will clog the pores, so it won’t be able to breathe.
- Silica gel may be a bit more complicated to find, but it is important to mention that this method is the best one when it comes to eliminating roaches that are well-hidden in the cracks of the walls or floors. Just use the gel to seal the cracks and you are done. It will affect and later kill all roaches that come in contact with it.
- Baking soda, paired with sugar also kills roaches. It isn’t very quick solution, but it is effective in infestations of all, common roaches species.
- Ice cream can be one of roach traps that don’t require almost any preparation. All you have to do is to place it near the nest and wait. Once they get in, they won’t be able to get out.
In order to make all of these home remedies more effective, there are a few things to consider. For instance, always place or use them in a right place. Food is the main concern of roaches, so it can be used as a certain bait. Check dark and moister places in your home on a regular basis, just to make sure there are no roaches. If early detected, they are much easier to exterminate. All home remedies are made to help you kill the roaches and their nests. Until you eliminate a nest, the infestation will last.
Killing Roach Eggs and Baby Roaches
While all of the mentioned repellents and methods can be used to annihilate baby cockroach, which looks exactly the same as adults, but just smaller, eggs require a different method. A female cockroach can carry an oothecae, with it and lay it down only when the eggs will hatch, or it can leave it in a safe location. In any case, one oothecae contain a lot of cockroach eggs.
For example, America cockroach will develop between 6 and 90 oothecae over time, each one with 15 eggs that need up to 38 days to hatch. That’s why they are the fastest reproducing specie! Oriental may produce up to 18 oothecae, each one with 16 eggs and they require 600 days to reach adulthood. German cockroaches carry an oothecae with 50 eggs and they reach full maturity in 103 days.
As such, finding and eliminating all the eggs is crucial in order to prevent their population increase. Make sure you know where to look for these eggs. They are the most common in kitchens, cellars or anywhere where food isn’t a problem. A single oothecae will be up to 10mm long and it is usually brown or reddish, so it is easy to identify them. Once you have found them, you can do only one of 2 things:
- Vacuum the eggs and burn them. Never just release them!
- Use borax acid to kill the eggs. This is the most effective method if you want to how to get rid of roaches that will soon hatch!
It is important to say that eggs that survive, won’t become immune to the used method, meaning that you can still use it for adult cockroaches.
Tips That Will Help You Prevent Cockroach Infestation
There are a few tips that can help you prevent a new or a repeated investigation. Basically, cockroaches come to a home because of poor general hygiene of the household. That’s why regular cleaning is mandatory to prevent severe roach-related complications.
- Always keep the food in sealed containers. This actually can be used after you have noticed roaches in your home. They will usually disappear if they notice that food is out of their reach.
- Make sure garbage bags are closed and there are no food crumbs on the floor.
- After cooking, remove all the crumbs as well and always wash the dishes. Roaches can eat oil and leftovers without a problem.
- Make sure all the cabinets in the kitchen are always dry. Roaches prefer wet and moisture places, but they don’t like dry ones!
- Be careful if you use garbage bags or garbage cans of another person. If they are infected with the eggs, it is likely that roaches will spread in your home as well.
These tips must be used if you live in an apartment where roaches are a common issue! We will also recommend you to use mentioned repellents as well.
Now you have a complete knowledge on how to get rid of roaches. We tested and included only methods that actually work, so you don’t waste your time on experimenting and trying to make a method effective. All of them are effective against the most common species of roaches. If a method doesn’t work, it is possible that roaches in your home are immune to it! It is unclear how and why some cockroaches develop immunity to a chemical or a method, but it is believed that it has relations with the exposure of the pests to that particular ingredient. If this happens, just use another method and it will work. The main thing to remember is that you will need time, up to a week in order to eliminate all of them. We will also repeat that eliminating adult roaches, their eggs and nests is equally important.