Fastest Ways to Get Rid of Roaches in Apartments
Cockroaches are the most common type of pests that live in apartments all over the world, and no-doubt, they are the most repulsive creatures to look. They are pests that live in the filthiest conditions and don’t die easily while multiplying in large numbers. They are quite an embarrassing problem. A full-blown cockroach infestation is a dreadful situation to be in- as they contaminate food, kitchen utensils, and other household items, leaving behind an unpleasant odour.
Cockroaches move freely from filth to food, from the toilets to kitchens. It is possible they can transfer pathogenic microbes that cause food-borne illnesses. It is a common problem for people to get allergic reactions when exposed to cockroach excrement and shed skin. Cockroach allergens may irritate the eyes, nose, and skin. It causes sneezing and, in some people, may trigger asthma attacks. Asthma is a life-threatening bronchial inflammation (asthma) characterized by recurrent cough, wheezing, and breathing difficulty. Children are most affected by cockroach-infested areas, especially in densely populated areas.
Fighting cockroach infestation is an ongoing process. It never really stops. There is no way you can completely get rid of them forever. If there is a home, there is a potential cockroach. It is that common. They are the pests that can survive even the bad weather conditions.
Signs of Cockroaches in an Apartment
Apartments are usually a large number of homes- built one on top of the other. That means more people living at a close range leading to large-scale generation of food waste and garbage, making it an ideal place for cockroaches to grow and multiply. They can always move from one house to another if they face threats in one place.
If one of the neighbouring apartment dwellers uses baits and insecticides the roaches will easily move into your apartment. The infestation may clear up for a bit when using traps and baits but they will return once you stop. Getting rid of cockroaches in apartments is a team effort and all the residents need to come together to solve this problem.
Egg casings- One of the biggest signs that there is an infestation is if you find cockroach egg casings in and around the apartment. The females lay eggs known as the ootheca. These are usually laid in cold and dark places, and somewhere safe. If you happen to spot these easily and in broad daylight, there may be a big infestation. The cockroach eggs are oval in shape and brown in colour with ridges on them. They are torn open when they hatch by the nymphs.
Exoskeletons- Growth in cockroaches is marked by the shedding of the exoskeleton. It is done to make room for a bigger body. It is known as molting. The young cockroaches molt an average of 6 times until they become an adult. Spotting an exoskeleton in the apartment is a sure sign of infestation. It is thin and brown same as the colour of a roach.
Faeces- A sure sign of an infestation is finding cockroach faecal matter in the drawers or cupboards or just about anywhere. They defecate everywhere they move around. You know you are facing an infestation when you spot cockroach droppings.
Smell- Cockroaches have a distinctive smell. Especially if they are present in large numbers. They are said to constantly release pheromones that are emitted for communication during mating and when they die. That musky odour is a sure giveaway that they are present.
Common places- Look for signs of cockroach infestation in common places that are damp and dark. Specifically check the kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathroom cabinets, kitchen drawers, pipes, shower drains, behind water heaters, behind the air conditioners. Usually finding a single one only means there are more.
How to get rid of Roaches in your Apartment
Prevention- Good housekeeping and maintaining cleanliness is the key to preventing cockroaches from entering your home in the first place. Doing the dishes and clearing all leftovers and disposing of garbage effectively keep these repulsive pests at bay. You may also use natural repellents mixed with water to clean up surfaces from time to time. These repellents don’t just chase roaches away but disinfect the surfaces as well.
Insecticide- An insecticide treatment is usually necessary to eliminate infestations. Cockroaches only come out in the dark, they hate light and movement. Their colour comes to their favour as they can quickly hide in dark places and you will find it hard to spot them and kill them. Places that are hard to see and reach are where they hide. That dark nook and corner of the space beneath the kitchen drawer is home for them. Areas of food, warmth, and moisture are perfect breeding places. Before spraying insecticide randomly, inspect with a flashlight, inside the sink cabinets, below the baseboards,
Sprays- Some people can be allergic to the smell of sprays. They are also loaded with chemicals and not too safe to be used liberally. Be sure to buy spray containers that have a long stick-like nozzle and use the spray in concentration on the areas cockroaches tend to reside. Spray around the faecal droppings as well. Do not use the lethal spray on kitchen countertops as the roaches do not spend too much time traversing these spots plus it may get diffused into the food and air around and contaminate your food.
DDT powders and Dusts- Insecticides that come in the form of powders may be used to ward off insects. The most common of them all is boric acid and Diatomaceous earth. Boric acid is effective on roaches. They succumb to it if they crawl over surfaces treated with boric. Do not leave a puddle of powder or in mounds. Cockroaches will avoid them as they can’t crawl through them.
Powder dusted evenly along the surfaces greatly works. It catches roaches unaware and kills them after a while even after they have passed the area. Boric acid is great to get rid of German cockroaches. What to include in your areas for coverage with boric acid? – behind refrigerators, underneath the stove, near the opening for sinks and pipes. Remember to wipe off the powder with a wet cloth from the stove area. Application is best done overnight.
Baits- Roach baits are one of the most full-proof ways to get rid of roaches. It is also the main method of extermination used by pest control companies. The baits are a poison that is mixed with an edible substance that attracts cockroaches. It causes the death of the cockroach by slow poisoning and they crawl out of their hide-outs and die. The best thing about using baits is that the other roaches in the house may come in contact with the remains and excrement of the poisoned cockroach and succumb as well. This is effective as the poison is not targeted only to a single one but all the roaches that come in contact with it. The bait comes with a syringe, which is used to apply the mixture carefully in form of dots. It stays put for a long time, it being a sticky substance.
To make sure the baits work, ensure their proper placement. You may use the syringe baits to de-bug ovens, toasters, and dishwashers too. Small pea-size placement at frequent intervals around the place where you think the roaches have infested is ideal. Avoid globs of messy bait, as roaches are not attracted to these. Do not reduce the efficacy of the bait mixture by splashing water on them. Reapply if necessary. The bait can be applied with the syringe into cracks, crevices, gaps and spaces. Baits can reach anywhere. Cockroach baits are odourless and do not require you to displace the food containers around the kitchen or empty the cabinets. They are also not a hazard to pets and children.
What Causes Roaches in an Apartment?
Roaches need a place to hide and breed. They generally can’t live in the rain or snow outside buildings. Homes are ideal places as they give them ample space to hide with a steady supply of food. They live in filthy conditions and pipes; sinks and sewages are bound to attract them. Apartments house so many people in a single tower that they move easily and freely from one home to another carrying plenty of contaminants. Pipelines that run-in apartments are ideal places for roaches to live.
Having undisposed cardboard boxes, newspapers, unwashed laundry, and unkempt surroundings attract cockroaches. Storing unwanted things that should be ideally disposed of off offers a lot of space for roaches to hide and multiply.
Food & Grime
Kitchens that are dirty and greasy and homes that are not maintained and cleaned regularly are cockroach havens. Kitchens need to be maintained. They require regular cleaning, in fact, immediate clean-up after chores or cooking. Do not leave your used dishes to dry out with having leftovers and food in them. The floor needs mopping regularly and stovetops wiped with disinfectant cleaners. The food crumbs that pets, kids, and adults leave around must be cleared immediately to avoid an infestation. Food should be sealed in airtight containers and stored away in the fridge.
Roaches move from one house to another quickly. If the neighbours are careless about their cleaning and have habits that help breeding them in large numbers, they will enter your home as they move about foraging for food. That is why pest control is a team effort for apartment dwellers. Each resident has to take personal responsibility for their cleanliness and use methods to control an infestation.
Every living thing needs food, water and shelter to survive. No doubt- having dark places combined with water sources gives cockroaches an opportunity to multiply. Leaky pipes and faucets need to be fixed. Do not let stagnant water sit under the sink for long periods. Try not to leave the bathroom floor wet or leave damp clothes in the bathrooms as roaches bite on clothes and leave tiny holes in them. They love dampness.
Taking trash daily and regularly helps in controlling cockroach infestation. Also, keep the bins secured with a lid and wash them regularly so that the leftover food wastes stuck to the bin does not invite roaches. Trash like dry waste also need to be cleared out regularly as food remains in milk cartons, yogurt cups, and biscuit crumbs attract cockroaches. They love both clutter and food together.
5 Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches
- Try natural remedies- If you believe that eco-friendly insecticides are the way to go, invest in a good quality peppermint oil and apply it around the kitchen or mix it with water to spray on greasy surfaces as a disinfectant. You may also use baking soda with sugar and water and keep the solution in a shallow dish in the roach-infested areas. This will kill the roaches. These methods do not spread allergies and are not harmful to children and pets.
- Seal all cracks and holes- All the holes and cracks in your home need to be sealed with caulk. Shutting the windows and doors by night-time when the roaches tend to forage the most will prevent them from entering your home. Line the gaps beneath the doors with door sweeps. It closes the large gaps and prevents infestation.
- Keeping garden beds and potted plants away from the walls of your home will help. Roaches are attracted to damp and rotten mulch; they are sure to enter your home if the garden beds are placed touching the walls of your house.
- Getting rid of cardboard boxes helps. It’s a commonly known fact that roaches are attracted to cardboard, paper, and wooden surfaces. It’s a breeding ground for them. They release pheromones during mating are dispersed better via such materials and surfaces. Recycle or dispose cardboards regularly. Storing them attracts rodents and pests.
- Keeping the house clean is the best method to keep roaches away. Even if that doesn’t work you may need to call pest control to resolve the issue.