How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
Few things are more frustrating than a roach infestation. These persistent pests will make themselves at home in your kitchen, bathroom, and other living spaces as they search for food. Unfortunately, they multiply fast – intensifying the problem. If you’re tired of sharing your home with these cringe-worthy critters, then let's figure out how to get rid of roaches for you!! But before we can do that, here's everything you need to know about getting rid of cockroaches in Florida.
Most Common Cockroaches in the US
There are a few different species of roaches that are present here in Florida, with the most common being the German cockroach and the American cockroach. German roaches are dark brown and usually 1/2” – 5/8” in size, while American roaches are darker and bigger at 1-1/2” to 2”. Both types of roaches are active year-round, using coming out predominantly at night to find food and water. Roaches are nocturnal creatures and usually spend their days hiding away in dark, protected spots around your home.
What Attracts Cockroaches to Your Home
No matter the type of pest - whether it’s roaches, ants, termites, or rodents - they’re all most likely searching for food and water sources which they can easily find in your home. Roaches, in particular, are drawn to warm, humid climates like Florida and are usually attracted to:
- Dirty dishes in the sink
- Crumbs on the floors or counters
- Leftover food in empty cans or containers
- Pet food on the floor
- Excess moisture
How Roaches Enter Your Home
Roaches are attracted to your home for a variety of reasons (listed above), but attraction is only the first part. They have to actually be able to get INTO your home to wreak havoc. The most common way these sly pests enter your home include:
- Cracks and crevices
- Holes in vents and pipes
- Hitching a ride onto items
- And more
1. Thoroughly Clean Your Home
This may seem like a given, but roaches are attracted to dirt and filth because they’re always on the lookout for new sources of food. The easiest way to keep roaches out of your home is by keeping it clean. Make sure to do the following:
Wash dishes and put away after meals
Clean crumbs and spills immediately
Take out the garbage before going to bed
Remove grease from stove top
Seal food in containers
Mop on a regular basis
2. Store-Bought Traps
One effective method of eliminating roaches is the type of trap found in supermarkets or home improvement stores. The device uses a scent or other bait to attract roaches. When they investigate the bait, roaches become caught in a sticky substance, effectively trapped inside. It can take up to two weeks to see results, so traps should be checked periodically.
3. Store-Bought Baits
Another common way to get rid of roaches includes utilizing store-bought baits. Chemical baits disguise insecticide as a food source. Roaches ingest the insecticide and return to their nests, where they die. Other roaches eat them, spreading the poison to the rest of the nest. Place chemical baits near garbage cans and underneath sinks and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms.
4. Liquid Concentrates
Another product available in stores is a liquid concentrate designed to deter roaches. Once diluted, the liquid can be sprayed into cracks and crevices and other areas where roaches like to hide. You can also mop the floor and wipe counters with the solution!
5. Boric Acid
Boric acid is one of the best home remedies for roaches if you are keen on taking the DIY approach. Mix equal amounts of boric acid, flour, and sugar to make a dough. Set balls of dough around the home where cockroaches can feed on it. The flour and sugar will attract the roaches while the boric acid will kill them. Simply place the dough where you know roaches are normal present, or under your refrigerator, stove, and the backs of cabinets and drawers. The boric acid will kill the roaches that will then become food for other roaches. While this is extremely effective at killing roaches, boric acid can be extremely dangerous for pets. If you have a furry friend around your house, do not try this at home.
Pro Tip: Call a Licensed Exterminator
The truth of the matter is roaches are persistent creatures – even following all of these DIY tips, you may still have an infestation. If you have given these tried-and-tested tricks a try and it hasn’t helped, you probably need a professional pest control exterminator to treat your home.
An Important Note: DIY solutions are not guaranteed to work, especially against pests like cockroaches that can breed and multiply quickly. If you're serious about getting rid of a roach infestation fast, it is always best to work with a trained and licensed exterminator.
There are lots of methods used to ward off roaches, and we will discuss a few of the most successful strategies many people use to make their houses less hospitable for these cringe-worthy bugs.
1. Nix Newspapers & Cardboard Boxes
Roaches adore cardboard boxes and newspapers. If these items are lying around your home, you’re inviting roaches in the vicinity into your home. Roaches love to breed in these items, so it is best to clear all newspapers and cardboard boxes out of your home.
2. Clear Out the Clutter
One of the best strategies for roach control is to make sure your home is kept in tip-top shape, especially when it comes to items that are just lying around. Keeping your house free of clutter means there are less places for roaches to hide out during the day. With no cover for their midday scurrying, these bugs will have to work harder to hide their presence.
3. Seal Cracks & Install Door Sweeps
Roaches gain entry to homes by crawling in under doors and cracks in your home’s foundation. You may not even notice the easy access areas as they can be hard to see, but a professional should be able to identify entry points for you. Problem areas include:
- Around windows and doors
- Along the foundation or roof
- Attic and crawl space vents
- Around holes used for electric, gas, and plumbing lines
We recommend you inspect these problem areas at least once a year and if you do notice cracks and holes, make sure to seal them. You can use caulk to seal small ones, while steel wool and foam are best to fill larger gaps, especially around pipes. For bigger openings around chimneys or attic vents, you can use a fine wire mesh to create a barrier.
4. Regularly Inspect and Fix Any Plumbing Issues or Leaks
Moisture is a huge attractant for bugs – just like humans, they need water in order to survive. Oftentimes homeowners have leaks or water problems that attract bugs and they don’t even know. If you do notice leaks or plumbing issues, get them fixed as soon as possible. It's not a bad idea to regularly inspect the faucets, sinks, refrigerators, and appliances in your home to make sure they aren't leaking or producing excess moisture.
5. Don't Feed the Roaches
If you leave treats like uneaten dog or cat food lying around, you are bound to attract a bug or two. We recommend using a dog food dispenser and/or removing any food your pet doesn’t eat right away from the floor so that roaches don't have easy access to food sources.
Pro Tip: Get Professional Pest Control
Because roaches are such a problem pest here in Florida, prevention can only get you so far. The truth of the matter is, most homeowners are going to deal with a roach infestation in their home at some point. While there are many things you can do to make your home an inhospitable environment for bugs, nothing prevents a pest infestation like employing professional pest control.
Pest Control as Low as $31/Month
Here at Anti-Pesto Bug Killers, we offer the highest-rated pest control in the greater Tampa Bay area. Our pest control programs start as low as $31/month and can protect your home from a variety of pests all year long - including roaches! If you are tired of sharing your home with roaches, our experts can help you.
This blog was written by Howard Bright, Owner of Anti-Pesto Bug Killers.