Preventing Cockroaches the Safer Way

Had enough of hearing horror stories about cockroach infestations in households? Do you cringe at the thought of hundreds and thousands of those horrendous insects invading your home and building their communities in the dark, hidden places of your home? If you are lucky enough not to have had a cockroach infestation in your home, it would be wise to safeguard your home from such an invasion by preventing those roaches from even considering your home as base. However, if you have encountered problems with those pests in your home, it is never too late to implement preventative measures to ensure that the roaches don’t return to re-establish their empire.

Chemical control and pesticides may be known to be the most effective way of getting rid of cockroaches but they may not be the safest way of dealing with these insects. Before even getting to the stage where pesticides are needed, one may be able to take safer and non-toxic measures to keep those roaches away. Sanitation is the most important preventative measure, especially in the kitchen and toilets. Food scraps or any food evidence like crumbs and grease, especially, would definitely attract cockroaches. Every surface where food is handled ought to be wiped down and kept clean. Cockroaches love water and hair, hence toilets and public pool areas are notorious for housing these creatures.

Besides sanitation procedures, there are other exclusion techniques that would help prevent cockroaches. Caulking or sealing gaps and cracks are definitely important, as roaches are able to crawl in through any openings available to them. Other exclusion techniques could include using gel or sticky barriers that would prevent those six-legged insects from crawling onto furniture or surfaces. There are Teflon aerosols that could be sprayed on walls (leaving a powdery film) that can be rather effective as cockroach barriers.

Another safe alternative for ridding cockroaches is by sprinkling diatomaceous earth in places where cockroaches live, such as surface tops and behind furniture and appliances. This substance does not harm humans, but could kill the insect within 48 hours of contact, as the powder particles cut the roach’s waxy exoskeleton, a slow but sure death. It also dehydrates the insects, hence they might be found scurrying about in frantic search for water.

Catnip may be used as a safe and natural cockroach repellent as its active ingredient nepetalactone is non-toxic to humans and animals (although it might affect the behaviour of cats!). Sachets of catnip may be left in areas where roaches are active. Bay leaves and slices of cucumber are used as repellents too, as well as garlic. However, keep in mind that cockroaches love onions, so make sure not to leave them lying around!

By Laura