Cockroaches are the most unpleasant and disgusting creatures that can be found in the house. Your first thought when you see roaches in house is how to get rid of roaches forever and ever! The roach infestation can be the scariest thing happening to any house.
The roach infestation is a sign of unsanitary conditions and dirt, and it causes unpleasant impressions of the premises. After all, you must admit that it does not matter how beautiful and clean the kitchen is, the creeping cockroach immediately changes the impression from what you see and signals you on roach problems in the house. But no one is immune to the roach infestation.
How to imply the roach control and prevent their appearance? How to get rid of roaches effective and safe for your household? What can you do in case of roach infestation? To answer these questions, you should know the specifics of roaches lives, what they like, and what they are afraid of.
What are cockroaches?
Cockroaches are the most common insects, numbering more than 5 thousand species of different roaches. Their ability to adapt to any situation allows them to survive under the most inappropriate conditions. Scientists suggest that roaches can survive even a nuclear explosion. This fact makes them invulnerable and leaves us so little chance to get rid of roaches.
Roaches differ in size, color, and types of nutrition. Red cockroaches are the most common species, living in close proximity to humans. Their body is flat, oval in shape, measuring from 4 mm to 1,5 cm.
Interesting facts: Madagascar hissing cockroaches reach 6-8 cm in length. And 16 species of these insects from the Seychelles archipelago are included in the Red Book and are protected by the state.
Cockroaches prefer warm and humid places. They are nocturnal insects. Roaches hide in secluded places during the day. Therefore, you can detect them at night. If you turn on the light, you will see roaches running through the cracks. Cockroaches are very mobile insects. They run fast and sometimes you cannot swat them.
Roaches reproduce by laying eggs. One egg case contains from 15 to 50 individuals. One female may create at least 10 egg cases in her lifetime. It takes 4 months for a cockroach to develop from an egg to an adult. Roaches can live and reproduce up to 30 weeks. During this time, more than 300 individuals can produce offspring. A female carries eggs in a bag at the back. This egg is called an ootheca. It is often taken for an elongated tail. In case of danger, a dying female can throw back, i.e. catapult, her egg case, and the eggs with roaches will remain alive. Such situations may occur, when a cockroach female runs away and throws back her egg case. In case of exposure to poisonous substances, the eggs remain alive and a young generation of roaches develops from them.
These characteristics of cockroaches indicate their fast reproduction and strong survival ability. The roach infestation of any house is possible due to their high reproduction and survival abilities.
10 features that affect the survivability of cockroaches:
- A female can mate with a male only once, and this will be enough to produce offspring without a male for the rest of her life.
- A cockroach can live for a week without its head.
- They spend ¾ of their life at rest.
- Cockroaches run at a speed of 4,8 km/h. This is very fast, considering their small size and short legs.
- Roaches can hold their breath for 40 minutes.
- They can eat once a month (besides, they can eat anything).
- It is difficult to catch a cockroach – it feels the approach of the enemy with the hairs on its legs and changes the direction of movement 25 times per second.
- The theory that cockroaches will survive a nuclear explosion is scientifically confirmed: they have a slow cycle of cell division, and radiation is not dangerous for them. They can withstand radiation, which increases the human lethal dose 16 times.
- Roaches have 2 pairs of wings: the upper leathery elytra protect the body, and the thin wings under them allow cockroaches to fly.
- Red cockroaches are the leaders among all the others: they are the first to start multiplying. They are more careful about their offspring and can destroy the ovipositors of other species.
What harm do roaches cause?
In addition to their unpleasant, frightening and hideous appearance, cockroaches cause tangible harm in the house. So that the question how to get rid of roaches becomes vital.
Roaches damage products, plants, leather goods, and book bindings. They leave their feces in cabinets, doors, and secluded places, where they hide during the day.
In addition, cockroaches can transmit up to 50 species of bacteria, infectious diseases, typhoid fever, dysentery, poliomyelitis, gastroenteritis and intestinal worm eggs. Running about garbage cans, basements, and excrements, they catch infections to their legs. And then roaches can come into contact with your products and dishes.
During molting, cockroaches remove their chitinous scales, which, combined with dust, may lead to allergies and asthma.
To understand how to get rid of cockroaches in apartments you should find a reason why they appeared in your home.
What causes cockroaches to appear in your house?
- Unsanitary conditions in the house or apartment, a lot of cracks and rubbish.
- Free access to food and water. Food remains, dirty dishes, and improper storage of food will attract roaches.
- Poor housing conditions in neighboring apartments will lead to the fact that cockroaches will crawl into your home.
- These insects can be brought with clothes and furniture.
If you eliminate their causes and proceed to get rid of roaches through the collaborative efforts with your neighbors, you can succeed.
In apartment buildings, roaches often live in basements. This is a favorable environment for them: basements are usually warm, damp, dirty, and there is a lot of garbage. Under such conditions, roaches multiply very quickly which leads to roach infestation of premises. Cockroaches may leave basements and invade apartments, using ventilation systems. That is why professional disinsection of basements and simultaneous pest control in all apartments are required. Otherwise, the result cannot be achieved: cockroaches will migrate from one apartment to another as the required measures are taken.
How to get rid of roaches?
Beginning the fight against the roaches, you must take into account that much easier and faster is to get rid of cockroaches in a private house. As for apartment buildings, here getting rid of roaches can turn into a real prolonged war.
To get rid of roaches, you should combine chemical, mechanical, folk and professional methods.
are associated with the use of roach poison substances and insecticides. Roach chemicals effectively destroy these insects but have several disadvantages:
- cockroaches build up a tolerance to any kind of roach killer and become immune to them;
- cockroaches can hide and wait until the poison in a roach killer is inactive;
- roach chemicals make your apartment smell unpleasant;
- poisonous substances of a roach killer can be harmful to human and animal health;
- the use of roach chemicals affects allergy sufferers;
- when using roach chemicals, you should leave the room and then ventilate it.
Gels kind of roach killer represents a large syringe with a poisonous substance (fipronil is most often used) effective in process of getting rid of cockroaches. This roach chemicals product is ready for use. You do not need to dilute it. It is easy to use: apply drops of a roach poison along the skirting boards of the room (at a distance of 10 cm from each other according to the instructions). Gels are active for 7 days. The most effective, widespread and inexpensive roach killer brands are Raptor, Killer, Globol, and Liquidator.
Advion Cockroach gel is a top sale product on Amazon and eBay stores and one of the most effective means to end a cockroach infestation. It targets all the species that can be found in regular homes: American, Australian, German, and even some of the less widespread types, like Oriental and Asian cockroaches. Pests cannot resist its winning formula with Advion secret non-repellent active ingredient.
The name of the non-repellent ingredient is indoxacarb, it enters cockroach organisms as gel food and converts into a new insecticidal molecule through the reaction with unique cockroach enzymes. Thus only cockroaches are targeted with this product and there’so no way you could use it on other insects.
Advion Cockroach Gel proved to be the first bait with the ability of tertiary kill. When one of the cockroaches exposes to the bait, it carries the gel to the next roach, which then carries it to another one. As scientists in Purdue University claim, you can easily control the population of 54 roaches this way. Total control begins in no more than 24 hours after the first use.
Traps are round boxes with several entrances. There is roach killer poison inside it. It attracts cockroaches with its smell. The insects carry this roach poison into their nests, infecting other individuals. The cockroach traps should be put into those places where the insects are known to gather. The best roach traps are active from 2 weeks to 3 months. There are up to 6 traps in one package, and they are quite expensive. The best roach traps are produced by several companies such as Raptor, Combat, and Raid.
Combat provides an excellent trap for a minimum price. There’s an attractive bait hidden in the middle of this trap, so it works pretty much like cockroach gels, except you don’t have to worry about your pets and kids getting into it. If you have a severe infestation, put a couple of bait stations in places that are often visited by roaches, and you will notice the result very soon.
Combat Roach Station works perfectly on both big and small cockroaches. Attracted to the mix of smelly bait gel and Fipronil, they get inside, take some bait an carry it to the nest. The chain reaction of roach killings is guaranteed!
There are 12 stations in a pack which can be placed behind toilets and sinks, under kitchen appliances, and in other most infested places. It will take a few hours for the traps to start working, but they will actively control your house infestation for up to six months.
Houses are cardboard boxes, the walls of which are greased with tanglefoot. Sweet-smelling roach poison attracts these insects. They crawl inside and get stuck. The product is considered to be safe for humans and animals. But nevertheless, you should put roaches trap somewhere your pets cannot get the poison and lick it.
Roach Motel is a roach house classic from Black Flag. Every paper trap has a glue and an attractive ingredient that roach will want to feed on. The one in this ‘motel’ smells of maple syrup, another yummy bonus for your house. Producers also add some pheromones to make the pests come there even faster. There are no pesticide ingredients whatsoever. Roaches glue themselves to the box while they’re looking for food. If you accidentally stuck into it yourself, the glue is removable with the help of vegetable oil and water.
Every trap can catch multiple roaches. When both sides of the trap are full, it can be put into the trash. If the traps stay empty for a couple of days, you’ve chosen the wrong place for it. Replace it somewhere closer to kitchen and bathroom areas, which are known to attract roaches mostly.
Traps of this kind are most efficient when the infestation hasn’t turned into severe one yet. But they are a number one tool to keep your home in order or to make sure there are no roaches left after extermination team visit.
Chalk getting rid of cockroaches toxic agent is active within a month. Skirting boards, cracks, and water access points should be traced with the chalk. This product destroys cockroaches, and it is cheap. The instructions say that the chalk is safe for animals. But nevertheless it should be used carefully if you have pets. The chalk “Hit”, “Titanic”, “Midas” and others are well-known.
Chalk is quite an effective tool in fighting cockroaches, but it’s also the most dangerous one and must never be used nearby food. Most of the pesticide chalks are made in China and are banned in the USA and many European countries. If you still decide to use chalk after our warnings, please be careful.
No matter what chalk you use, they all work more or less the same way. You mark all the cracks in your walls and pipes and any other places you suspect of being cockroach entrance points. It looks like regular chalk marks but contains toxic ingredients that have a prolonged effect and can kill a roach within a couple of days. The toxic impact stays within a month after you put it.
Chalk can significantly reduce cockroach infestation level and is advised for severe cases. Still, if you have pets, try to minimize its use. You may endanger them.
Roach spray is the most common product in the fight against cockroaches. Disinfect with the best roach spray the areas where cockroaches are known to gather in your apartment: skirting boards, cracks, jambs, and window frames. The roach spray is inexpensive, it works quickly and effectively.
The disadvantages of using a roach spray are: a pungent smell. Besides, aerosols are sprayed quickly, and you may inhale toxic substances.
Raid Max spray is made to make the cockroach elimination quick and easy. In addition to its effective formula, it has a special Seek’n’Kill Applicator, a plastic nozzle which helps you to spray the most hard-to-reach places like cracks and crevices where roaches hide.
Raid Max spray effect lasts for six weeks, which means once you’ve worked all the surfaces and entrance points where you have spotted cockroaches, the ones that revisit your place, will be killed very soon. And it takes no more than five minutes for a roach to die from the spray.
This spray contains powerful chemicals that can be harmful to you, and especially for your children and pets. Try not to spray it in the room where you sleep or spend much time in, as it contains poisonous substances. The basic pesticide used in Raid spray is Synthetic Pyrethroids that effect cockroach nervous system and kill it quickly on contact. Though poisonous by nature, it has a pleasant fresh fragrance.
Fogger, i.e. dry fog: an expensive but effective means to get rid of roaches in any premises. The operating principle of the product is based on the transformation of the roach poison into dry fog with very small particles (less than 15 microns). This roach killer active components penetrate into any openings and cracks, where other products cannot percolate. You can use dry fog to get rid of cockroaches in warehouses, workshops, offices, and apartments.
Dry foggers are a part of professional equipment and cost quite a lot, but if you don’t trust exterminator teams and know how to deal with this kind of devices, you can buy one for your home. Burgess 982 electric thermal fogger is one of the best foggers for its price (around $150). Thermal fogging is ideal for killing pests, but it can also be useful for flood and fire recovery and mildew odor elimination. There’s an additional removable heating element for electric spraying which is even more effective.
The working principle here is the transformation of the product you put into Burgess Fogger into a dry fog of microscopic particles (15 microns and less). This way you don’t need to look for the smallest holes that let the cockroaches get to your house, the particles will reach everywhere themselves.
After spraying, it takes up to six hours for the infestation to end. The time depends on the solution you’ve chosen to use: there’s plenty of products formulated especially for thermal fogging. All of them contain propylene glycol oils.
How this roach killer product works
A smoke machine of the required power is used for spraying. Low-power portable equipment, i.e. Burgess Thermo-Fogger, is used for apartments and houses.
First, the particles of roach poison rise up in the air, and then they begin to settle, filling all the cracks and ventilation ducts. The particles of roach killer linger for 3-4 hours.
The advantages of this kind of roach poison are:
- it kills adults, larvae, and ovipositors;
- its microparticles do not leave marks after drying;
- it is active from 40 to 60 days;
- a small amount of the product is used (only 0,25 ml of a smoke-forming base will be needed for disinfecting 1 cubic meter);
- you do not need to move furniture and look into every crack;
- the particles of this roach poison settle even on the ceiling and walls, which cannot be achieved in a different way.
Safety measures in getting rid of roaches:
- you need special equipment (a generator of high-temperature dry fog);
- you cannot use ordinary sprayers (they cannot create dry fog);
- food must be hermetically packed in order to avoid the roach poison;
- take animals and aquariums out of the room;
- close the room for 10 hours;
- use сoveralls, glasses, masks, and rubber gloves during work;
- ensure that the roach poison does not come into contact with the skin, eyes and mouth;
- do not drink, eat or smoke in the room during disinfection.
Important: do not use the same roach chemicals too often. Cockroaches adapt quickly and develop tolerance to poisons.
Mechanical methods to get rid of roaches
Mechanical methods include freezing. In winter, you can take your stuff outdoors for several days. Indoors, this method of getting rid of roaches can be used as an extreme measure, because everything in the house will be frozen along with cockroaches.
Another mechanical method is crushing an insect. But this will solve the problem only if a single roach has been accidentally entered and will not solve the problem of roach infestation.
Folk methods to get rid of roaches
Cockroaches can live without food for a long time, but they cannot survive without water. Having reached water, poisoned cockroaches will recover and remain alive. They find water in flower pots, sinks, toilet bowls, and bathrooms. Leaking pipes or taps are also a source of water for cockroaches. In order to getting rid of roaches, you must deprive them of the ability to freely reach water. In addition to roach chemicals, you can use folk methods that have proved to be effective over the years. There are few such products, because cockroaches are afraid of almost nothing. They can adapt to everything.
- Boric acid is highly poisonous for them and can help you to get rid of roaches. If you sprinkle about 100 grams of boric acid near the water sources, near the skirting boards and around the trash bin, this will be enough to kill the whole clan of cockroaches. Boric acid is the best roach bait of natural origin.
The only drawback of this roach bait is that the smell of boric acid frightens away cockroaches, and they will not eat it. But the fact is that the insects must eat the powder, and this will lead to their complete paralysis.
- A mixture of raw egg yolk and boric acid is a way to attract cockroaches to eating roach poison. Take 50 grams of boric acid for 1 yolk, mix the gruel, roll balls (1 cm in diameter), dry these balls and spread them in the areas where the roaches are known to gather. The egg yolk removes the smell of boric acid, and it is a delicacy for cockroaches.
- To frighten away the insects, add ammonia to the water for washing floors. Cockroaches cannot stand this smell.
Professional disinsection to get rid of roaches.
The most effective way to combat, which will help getting rid of cockroaches for a long time or forever, is disinsection. It is carried out by sanitary and epidemiological stations. It will take no more than 1 hour, but the procedure is expensive. It is performed in case of fighting cockroaches throughout the territory of basements, staircases and apartments.
Preparing for disinsection
- Take away all products and pack them in plastic bags if possible.
- Wipe dry the sink and bath so that the insects do not have access to water.
- Repair all cracks.
- Take out the trash.
- Wash dirty dishes; remove the remnants of food and drinks.
- Close all windows and vents.
During disinfection, you and your pets have to leave your home for 5-6 hours. The roach infestation must be gone till the moment you arrive. After that, the apartment must be ventilated and is ready for living. The disadvantages of this method are:
- If only one apartment is disinfected, cockroaches can come from your neighbors over time. Therefore, it is better to carry out simultaneous disinsection in all apartments throughout the house.
- When choosing an organization, you have to ask for professional certificates so as not to select unfair performers.
- Ensure that a conclusion on disinsection and a guarantee are issued.
Ways to prevent the appearance of cockroaches.
Getting rid of cockroaches is always more difficult and expensive than taking preventive measures. If you have never had cockroaches, you should stay alert because they can appear at any time. The roach infestation may be disastrous, especially if you live in an old apartment building.
First of all, you should take into account that cockroaches do not come out of nowhere. This means they must somehow get into the house. For example, you can bring them with your purchases or with your stuff when you return from the trip. To avoid the roach infestation of your home, follow several simple rules:
- Seal all cracks and crevices, through which cockroaches can penetrate.
- Check door and window seals, as well as the integrity of jambs and frames.
- Do not eat in other rooms except the kitchen. The crumbs will attract cockroaches.
- Wash the dishes immediately after eating – do not leave them in the sink.
- Put pet food in hermetically sealed containers.
- In the evening, take out the garbage. Wash the bin, wipe it dry and cover it tightly with a lid. Even small pieces of food are a good meal for cockroaches.
- When coming home from travels or business trips, check your stuff. Cockroaches could get into your bag in hotels or transport.
- Cut flowers and branches that come in contact with your windows (cockroaches may leave the basement and come to your apartment, walking on the ground and branches).
- Eliminate plumbing leaks – cockroaches need water.
- Remember that hungry and dehydrated cockroaches do not multiply (they can even eat each other). Deprive them of food and water, and they will leave or will not appear in your house at all.
By adhering these simple rules, you can avoid big trouble in the form of red cockroaches. It should be remembered that if you find at least one specimen, you need to take urgent measures and to get rid of roaches detected. Rapid reproduction and the ability to adapt to any conditions may lead to the roach infestation of your home.
Do not forget that using different methods against the roach infestation is better – cockroaches will not develop tolerance.
The best method of roach control is prevention, maintenance of cleanliness and observance of sanitary standards.