No one enjoys seeing a creepy crawly cockroach go running across the floor of their home. While it might feel like you’ve done something wrong somehow to allow such a thing to happen, don’t worry — the problem is not unique to you! Cockroaches are common and can be found indoors around the globe.
They’re so common, in fact, that there are a multitude of ways to rid you of your cockroach problem if you take action quickly! That’s why we’re filling you in about the best ways to eliminate cockroaches and make sure they don’t return any time soon.
The solution that’s right for you depends on the type of cockroach, the size of the infestation, and your preferred treatment method.
All About Cockroaches
First of all, what is a cockroach? There are nearly 4,000 species of cockroach all over the world. While that number might be quite alarming, there are only a few types that sneak their way into homes occasionally.
While cockroaches are mostly just a nuisance, they can also trigger asthma and allergy problems, so eliminating them from your home quickly can also help avoid a larger health concern.
If you have a cockroach problem, you are likely dealing with one of three kinds most often found in homes: the German cockroach, the American cockroach, or the Australian cockroach.
Just for “fun,” let’s take a look at the specifics of each type. Understanding the differences might help you select a removal strategy and a plan for preventing future infestations.
The German Cockroach
The German cockroach is the most common cockroach that people find in their homes. It prefers to be inside and reproduces much faster than most other species. German cockroaches are especially prevalent in apartments and other shared living spaces.
These bugs are small, light brown, and have two dark stripes running down the middle of their bodies. You’re most likely to find these little guys hanging out in your kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere damp. They’ll also gravitate toward anywhere food is stored or prepared. They love to squeeze into cracks and crevices and typically hide near food, water, and heat sources.
The American Cockroach
The American cockroach is also quite common in living spaces. The primary difference between this roach and the German cockroach, however, is that it prefers to be outdoors — which is good news because it means it’s less likely to seek out your home.
American cockroaches are larger than German cockroaches with a reddish-brown color and light yellow band around their middle. These bugs are more likely to crawl in through pipes, gaps around doors and windows, or vents. They like warmth and humidity, so laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens are their ideal home.
The Australian Cockroach
This species also largely prefers to stay outdoors, but can wander in occasionally. The Australian cockroach is similar in size to the American cockroach, with long wings that allow it to fly short distances. You can tell the two apart by looking for a tan, ring-like pattern on the Australian roach’s back.
Australian cockroaches can enter through holes in exterior walls and spaces where a pipe or wiring enters. They hang out in garden mulch or piles of leaves that are in close proximity to your home. When the temperature drops, they might head inside in search of warmth.
This roach has an appetite for dead and decaying things, so it can leave behind bacteria that can contaminate your surfaces and foods if it gets inside.
Preventing Cockroaches in Your Home
The common thread among all these roaches? They’re attracted to food, warmth, and humidity.
Keeping your space clean and free of food debris can go a long way toward ensuring nothing entices them inside. Ensure holes and gaps around pipes, windows, and doors are properly sealed. If possible, keep mulch, compost, and leaf piles away from the entry points of your home.
Clean under appliances frequently and ensure your garbage is well covered. Cockroaches are attracted to all types of food, including both human and pet food. They can even feed on debris and waste such as cardboard, glue, and soap. Check for leaks in your bathroom and kitchen often so that you don’t accidentally create the perfect, humid environment for cockroaches to thrive in.
As with most pests, the cleaner and more well sealed you keep your home, the less likely they are to invade!
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
But, we know that sometimes prevention is not possible. Sometimes, you’re already in the middle of an infestation! So, what do you do when a whole family of cockroaches has settled down comfortably in your home and you’d like to evict them as soon as possible?
There are a few options — from store bought to home remedies.
- Cockroach baits and traps
Traps and baits are easy to use and can work for up to three months. You simply place the traps throughout your home and they attract the cockroaches as a food source. The cockroach feeds on the bait and then returns to the nest, contaminating other cockroaches and their eggs. This prevents them from breeding any further and becoming a larger infestation.
Baits and traps are a great out of sight, out of mind approach. They do the work with little effort on your part. They can be hidden around your home in cabinets, under appliances, and around piping. They don’t release any harmful chemicals, but be careful not to let your pets ingest them.
- Cockroach bomb
A cockroach bomb requires a bit more work and can be a bit more chemically invasive than other solutions. The bomb releases a chemical cloud that needs a few hours to work. You shouldn’t occupy the space while this process is happening, so you will have to vacate your home during that time and be sure to ventilate the space for at least 30 minutes when you return.
This solution might not be ideal for those with sensitivities, small children, or pets, as the bomb does leave a residue for up to three months. Cockroach bombs are good for a large infestation or one where you can’t identify where the bugs are coming from, but should be used by carefully and completely following any instructions on the packaging.
- Sprays and repellents
Sprays and repellents can be simple and fast acting. Some sprays allow you to kill a cockroach instantly, while others can be sprayed on surfaces to prevent future critters from invading.
Repellents can also be sprayed around entranceways and windows to deter cockroaches from venturing inside.
- Baking soda and sugar
Baking soda is an incredibly versatile product to have on hand for cooking, cleaning, and even pest elimination. A mixture of 50 percent baking soda and 50 percent sugar, honey, or another sweetener can act as an effective roach killer. Leave it in a pot or bowl near the roaches’ suspected hideout. The sugar attracts the roaches and the baking soda kills them. This can be a completely safe solution for those with pets and children.
- Borax and sugar
For a stronger solution, borax can be mixed with sugar to create a natural roach killer. This usually works more quickly than baking soda and is a chemical option that’s fume-free. Though it’s natural, it is still toxic, so keep away from kids and pets.
- Essential oils
There are also a variety of essential oils known to prevent and kill cockroaches. Tea tree oil and peppermint are both known to repel cockroaches and can be mixed with water and sprayed around nests, entryways, or directly on the roaches themselves.
Out of Options?
While these are all great solutions for getting rid of cockroaches in your Brisbane home, we know some infestations can’t be resolved with even your best efforts or home remedies. If you’ve tried everything and still can’t seem to get those pesky roaches to leave, it might be time to call in the cavalry!
If you’re in need of pest control in Brisbane, we are happy to provide you with a free quote and a quick solution to your problem. If you’re out of ideas or simply don’t want to deal with the problem on your own, we totally understand. That’s what we’re here for.