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Mom Was Right. To Get Rid of Roaches You Gotta Clean

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

Roaches. I hate them. You hate them. Everyone hates them.

And with good reason. It turns out that everything having to do with cockroaches ̶ including their droppings, their saliva, even their decomposing bodies ̶ contain a range of proteins that known to elicit allergies of various kinds and increase the acuteness of asthma symptoms. And children, unfortunately, are particularly prone.

More seriously, cockroaches are also able to transmit diseases, including the bacteria that trigger food poisoning. In fact, these unsightly and unwelcome pests have been proven to spread over 30 different kinds of bacteria, as well as parasitic worms and a number of other kinds of human pathogens. There have even been suggestions that roach droppings are linked to increases in eczema!

The Real Reason Roaches Show Up

You may not want to hear this, but the main reason you have roaches is that you aren’t observing some basic sanitation do’s and don’ts. In other words, if your house ain't clean, you won't be able to get rid of the cockroaches.

But don’t take our word for it! According to the results of a recent collaborative study between Rutgers University-New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Housing and Redevelopment Authority ̶ led by Changlu Wang, professor of entomology at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences ̶ the best way to “Keep these pests from invading, follow the common-sense rules

of cleanliness.”

“With cockroaches, the best way to keep them away is to keep the kitchen clean,” says Dr. Wang.“ Don’t leave food around; wash the dishes often; reduce the clutter in your kitchen as much as possible.” Of course this makes sense, but sanitation efforts should go far beyond clean dishes and clutter-free kitchens.

The Basics of Anti-Roach Sanitation

To get rid of roaches ̶ and this applies to homes, offices, dorm rooms, and anywhere that food can be consumed ̶ the first step in any sanitation program is to remove all sources of food and water from the cockroach’s environment. Unfortunately, while this objective is rarely accomplished, that should not stop you from removing as many food and water sources as possible.

The fact is that while good sanitation methods alone rarely prevent cockroach infestation, employing scrupulous levels of cleanliness will go a long way toward controlling the problem. (It will also help you get rid of mites, ants and other pests.) It’s also worth pointing out that if you haven’t removed dirt, grease and moisture to the fullest extent possible, you’re not going to succeed as a roach killer. Actually, their presence can in fact interfere with, or greatly lessen, the effective