How to get rid of cockroaches through a combination of preventative measures such as denying them water, food and access and using professional pest control services.
Winning the battle against these dangerous disease carrying pests
Cockroaches are one of the most formidable pests to fall victim to. They can be responsible for the spreading of various dangerous conditions such as dysentery, typhoid, gastroenteritis whilst also aggravating certain respiratory conditions such as asthma. They can eat almost anything, are seemingly indestructible, and need just a little moisture to survive and breed very quickly.
In short, cockroaches are a pest you’ll want to see the back of fast.
A durable pest
The old chestnut that cockroaches would be the only species to survive a nuclear attack is certainly credible; along with being able to survive on all types of edible material – not just foodstuffs but items such as paper, glue, soap and even each other if necessary – they need just a little moisture and warmth to thrive.
There are many species of cockroach worldwide, although the German or Oriental variety are the most common in the UK.
The word ‘thrive’ is an understatement as, left unchecked, cockroaches can soon make for an overwhelming pest infestation because they breed quickly – the female lays at least 400 eggs per year.
They’re a difficult pest to remove as certain species only appear at night time, and they can hide in extremely small gaps and crevices. A major infestation would undoubtedly require the services of a pest control expert providing specialist cockroach treatments.
Prevention and cure
If you already suspect you have cockroaches then of course it’s too late to actually prevent them, but taking preventative steps will make their environment in your home or business less comfortable and stop a repeat infestation once they’ve been removed.
So what are the basic steps to take?
Foodstuffs – clear up any food debris such as dirty plates and saucepans and even small remnants of food such as a sprinkling of bread crumbs on the kitchen counter.
Seal any food in containers – for example, cereals left in half open boxes should ideally be transferred to a sealed plastic container and any food left in the open should always be covered (although preferably put away).
Rubbish bins – ensure the lids are on rubbish bins and empty them frequently; before throwing away cans and plastic containers, ensure any residue of food or drink is removed as these can attract cockroaches.
Hygiene and cleanliness – clean floors and work surfaces regularly with a suitable cleaning fluid. Vacuum frequently, especially to remove fallen crumbs and food debris lodged in nooks and crannies.
Water supply – cockroaches need water but not necessarily large amounts, so get any dripping taps fixed and avoid letting water gather in sinks and buckets; even condensation on pipes acts as a moisture source for the pests.
Clutter – excess clutter such as piles of old paperwork, newspapers and magazines can act as a haven for the cockroach – especially if there’s even a hint of moisture and warmth present. For example, an under stairs cupboard with a bit of damp full of old paper and a few cardboard boxes could be a very welcome home for them.
Removing clutter makes your home or business less appealing for the pest.
Maintenance steps – cockroaches can and will take advantage to both gain access and thrive once in your home if certain maintenance tasks aren’t performed.
Leaking pipes and blocked drains – even a minor leak can offer cockroaches a ready water supply, so ensure any leaks are attended to. The same applies to blocked drains where there’s a risk of standing water to tempt them.
Preventing entry – denying cockroaches access is a key measure to control an infestation and to prevent more in the future.
Cracks, crevices and small holes in skirting boards, walls and under sinks should be sealed using materials such as expanding foam or gel that will harden up once dry.
If you decide to call in a pest control expert, they’ll often help you identify vulnerable areas in and around your property that may need attention in this way.
Not just kitchens – the kitchen isn’t the only room where cockroaches may be present; other areas where there’s warmth, water and possible food supplies such as laundry rooms, basements and bathrooms can be harbouring these unwanted visitors.
Weapons available for cockroach removal
There are traps, sprays and powders available for cockroach removal should you decide to have a go at removing them yourself.
If you do decide on this course of action, be aware that you could be fighting an ongoing battle to remove an infestation completely bearing in mind how quickly cockroaches breed. A couple of applications of a spray likely won’t be enough even if it looks as if they’ve gone.
Once you’ve been visited by cockroaches, professional pest removal help – coupled with the measures described earlier – is the best way to rid yourself of them completely.