We’ve all seen them at one time or another: Those nasty brown-black roaches skittering around in the kitchen or bathroom.
If you find that you are seeing a roach every now and then, know that there are several more that you don’t see. If you have a heavy infestation, you may need to call in a professional exterminator to deal with it. When dealing with a few roaches, though, there are a few low-cost simple – and nontoxic – ways to get rid of them yourself.
Outside your home, keep debris away from the foundation. Firewood stacked against the side of a house is an amusement park for roaches. Seal up cracks around windows, doors, and other openings.
One of the first defenses against roaches in your house is to declutter. Roaches seem to love clutter – especially paper clutter. Stacked newspapers and cardboard boxes are a magnet for roaches – add moisture to that and you’re in for trouble.
Take the decluttering one step further and get things up off the floor. This will eliminate one hiding place for roaches.
Since roaches love wet, damp places – clean out the cabinets under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Check for leaky pipes and damp items. If you find a leak, fix it and clean up the mess it’s made.
In the kitchen – and the rest of the house – food scraps will attract roaches quickly. Empty trash cans regularly and don’t leave food sitting out on countertops or tables. Especially don’t leave food on the floor. Wipe up spills immediately. Wash dirty dishes and put them away on a daily basis.
In addition to regular cleaning to keep the roaches at bay, you may need to employ your own methods for decimating the population.
You can make your own roach baits by mixing a paste made of molasses or syrup and yeast granules. Drops of this mixture can by placed on jar lids along the walls under cabinets or on countertops. Basically, the roaches eat this concoction and it causes a gas buildup in their bodies. They can’t eliminate the gas, so they die.
It really does work, but not overnight. It might take a few days or even a few weeks of these baits to see a drastic reduction in the roach population.
Boric acid is an effective poison for roaches and is safe for people and pets to be around (just be careful not to breathe in the powder). Sprinkle the powder along roach trails (usually against a wall) to kill the beasties. Boric acid is the same as the yeast baits – it doesn’t work overnight, but it does work. You can find boric acid at pharmacies, health food stores or in the pest control department of your local home center.
For an especially potent roach whammy, try mixing a little boric acid with the molasses-yeast bait.
Another effective roach trap is made by smearing petroleum jelly along the inner rim of a jar. Drop in some apple, potato or banana peels then leave it sitting out overnight. The roaches can climb in – but they can’t climb out, thanks to the petroleum jelly. The next morning, empty the jar of roaches into a bucket of soapy water to kill them.
Ridding your home of roaches is an ongoing battle – you won’t be able to kill every last one of them. Using some of these tips, though, can help you drastically reduce the roach population in your home.