It is thought that roaches would be the only survivors in the event of a nuclear holocaust. How true this notion is… nobody knows – and hopefully, no one will. The takeaway from this belief, however, is that these critters are survivors. It is this hardiness that makes them challenging to get rid of when they invade your home.
Other than the annoyance of having these pests around, cockroaches can also cause a number of serious problems when they invade your house. They are:
- Contamination of food and surfaces which creates a health risk.
- Damage to property.
- They produce tropomyosin – an allergen that could affect some individuals.
- The bugs will taint surfaces and other items with a bad odour.
- Their presence could attract other pests such as lizards.
In addition to their hardiness, cockroaches also breed very quickly which means an infestation can balloon out of control within no time. It is, therefore, crucial to take action as soon as an infestation has been identified.
Signs of a cockroach infestation
Some of the signs you should look out for to catch a cockroach infestation before it gets out of hand include:
- The insect itself (dead or alive). Cockroaches are nocturnal, which makes them pretty hard to come by during the day. You can, however, catch a glimpse of them scampering away when you switch on the lights at night – especially in the kitchen. Dead cockroaches also mean you have an infestation in your hands.
- Egg cases. Cockroaches lay eggs in brownish egg cases as a means of reproduction. You will find these lying around if you have an infestation.
- Offensive odour. Roaches, especially when gathered in large numbers, produce an offensive odour that will taint surfaces, food and other items.
- Droppings. Roach droppings resemble ground black pepper or coarse coffee grains. They can also appear as raised smears on surfaces.
How to prevent a cockroach infestation
There’re several measures you can take to prevent a cockroach infestation. These include:
- Maintaining a clean house. Dirty dishes and floors provide food crumbs for roaches to feed on. Clean your dishes and vacuum regularly to deny these pests food.
- Cover entry points. Cover holes in your walls and install door sweeps to keep cockroaches out.
- Cover your rubbish. Your rubbish bins should be tightly covered, especially the ones used for kitchen waste.
- Repair leaks. Fix your leaky plumbing to deny these pests drinking water.
- Store your food properly. Keep your food in covered secure containers.
How to control cockroaches
If roaches have already colonised your home, you can use these control methods to get rid of them:
- A good broad-spectrum insecticide will work well to kill the cockroaches in your home. Make sure to reapply several times over a couple of weeks to ensure that all the insects are killed as well as the newly hatched nymphs. An automatic insecticide dispenser can help reduce the work as it will release the pesticide at set intervals without needing your intervention.
- If you would rather not use an insecticide, there are cockroach traps that capture cockroaches using an adhesive for chemical-free control. These need to be deployed in high cockroach activity areas and replaced as soon as they fill up.