Cockroaches are everyone's worst nightmare. These unsightly bugs are more than just a disgusting annoyance, they are also a health concern. Cockroaches are known to carry diseases that they pick up on their legs as they take their journey to get into your home, and even can cause allergic reactions in some people just by residing in your home. So take the appropriate steps to keep these dangerous pests out of your home.
Like most bugs, cockroaches, are attracted to your home because of food, water, and shelter. In order to effectively seal up your home and deny them entrance. you must tackle each of the things that attracts them.
Food is the biggest attractant of cockroaches. They will eat anything they can get to, so be sure to tidy up.
A few general tips:
Wipe down your counters,
Sweep and mop your floors
Don't leave dirty dishes lying around
Make sure all your food is put away
Any crumbs of food left lying around will be found by cockroaches. Dirty dishes in the sink can be a double threat as it generally has food and water for the cockroaches to enjoy, so make sure to keep your sink clean.
You may not think of it right away, but pet food can be a forgotten culprit. It may not be appealing to you, but it still is to cockroaches. So if you have pets, don't leave their bowls out overnight. Be sure to clean up any leftover food in the bowls, or food that spilled around it. Pet food often comes in a large bag, that is not often easily resealable. If this is the case, buy a large container that can effectively seal the food, so it doesn't attract cockroaches.
Your trash is another problem area. If your trash is harboring food scraps or rotten food for a long time, be sure to take it out. If not properly sealed, your trash can be the source of many strong odors that will attract unwanted guests.
Cleaning up food is a good first step, but not good enough to completely deter cockroaches and keep them out. Cockroaches can survive for 3 months without eating, so they could potentially stick around even after you've taken steps to clean.
Cockroaches thrive in dark, damp, or wet places. Consider any places you may have a source of water for cockroaches as a problem area. This can even include your pet's water bowl. Like the pet food, pick up your pet's water bowl and get rid of the water before you go to bed.
Leaky pipes and other areas with moisture overexposure should also be dealt with. Check your pipes, if you have any leaks, seal them up immediately. Check your basement and garage as well, as those are often the perfect environment for cockroaches: dark, moist, with lots of places to hide and not inhabited by humans. Try using a dehumidifier in these sections of your house to get rid of some moisture.
Look for openings around air conditioning units as well. These units tend to produce a lot of moisture.
The most effective way to stop cockroaches from entering your home, is to make it impossible for them to get inside. Cockroaches can fit through cracks that are even 1/16 of an inch wide. Seal up any cracks, holes, or other openings to your home to prevent easy access to your personal space. Use caulk and weather stripping to effectively seal your home. If there are any gaps under your door, cracks in your window, or breaks in your screens, get them fixed immediately.
Quick tip for finding cracks in your home: turn the lights off and look for light coming in from the outside. This is a clear indication of a problem area that needs to be addressed. Also feel your walls for drafts, this could mean air is getting in from places it shouldn't be.
Vents are a problem area we don't often think about. The tube system in your vents is a convenient way for cockroaches to travel throughout your home. Move any furniture or decorations that are near vents, so cockroaches are not encouraged to exit the vents on crawl onto your belongings inside your home. Consider adding fine mesh screens to your vents.
For more information on cockroaches and how to keep your home free of them, check out our guide, How to Protect Your Home from Cockroaches.