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How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Updated: May 25

Of all the unwelcome pests we have to deal with, probably nothing is quite as unpleasant as roaches. If you have them, you want to get rid of the roaches - and fast.

Switch on a light in a kitchen, in a basement, in an office and watch them scuttle away. And this isn’t confined to urban dwellings either. Cockroaches can be found virtually anywhere: homes, stores, hospitals, detention facilities, dorm rooms, churches can all suffer from roach infestation. The list is endless.

However, the biggest problem with roaches ‒ apart from having them in the first place ‒ is getting rid of them. Once they invade a space they’re notoriously difficult to get rid of.

It doesn’t help that cockroaches are as tough and resilient as they are. Whether or not they can actually survive a nuclear blast (which some say they can) they breed very quickly and can live on almost any kind of food. In fact, they’ll eat each other if they have to, which shows you how powerful their survival instincts are.  

Health Threats of Roaches

But roaches aren’t just an unsightly nuisance ‒ munching on your food, damaging wallpaper, dirtying books etc. ‒ they also pose a public health threat.  They are known to be carriers of diseases such as salmonella, dysentery and gastroenteritis and can easily spread pathogens by tainting food, sullying appliances, and soiling surfaces in the home or the office. There have even been suggestions that roach droppings are linked to increases in eczema and asthma.

How Do You Know if You Have Roaches?

As any city dweller will tell you (correctly, as it turns out) that roaches are usually more active at night. During the day they will hide wherever they are safest‒ in cracks and crevices, in walls, under stoves, etc.

There over more 3,500 different species of cockroaches worldwide. However, here is the US we generally encounter only four: the American, the brown-banded, the German, and the Oriental.

While these commonly encountered pests have their individual preferences vis a vis food, places to live, etc. they can be spotted fairly easily if you know what signs to look for.

Signs of a Roach Infestation

  • Unpleasant odors: A significant roach infestation emits a lingering and noxious smell that can soil any items they contact.

  • Roach droppings: Provide they have sufficient water available, roaches produce brown/black cylindrical excreta, about 2mm long.

  • Smear marks: Again, if water is available, roaches generate brown and irregularly shaped smear marks, found most often on horizontal surfaces and at wall-floor junctions.

  • Shed skin: Like snakes, roaches have to shed skin in order to grow. This they do 5-8 times before they mature. These ‘shells’ are usually found close to their customary hiding places.

How to Get Rid of Roaches in 5 Easy Steps

Here are five steps that will show you how to get rid of roaches without an exterminator:

  1. Deny Them Food - Simply put, roaches are scavengers, and they’re pretty good at it too. Of course, they do rather well around humans because we tend to leave food lying around. Think dirty crockery in the sink, bread crumbs on the kitchen counter, pet food on the floor, etc. In an urban environment, roaches rely heavily on the food humans leave behind. Plus, roaches and humans share a liking for sugar, carbohydrates, and, of course, protein. So, one of the most effective ways to get rid of roaches is to remove their food sources.

  2. Remove Clutter from Your Home or Office - You know the truism that if you see one roach more are sure to follow? Well, that happens to be true, unfortunately. It has been established that roaches let their roach buddies know when they’ve found a safe habitat by releasing a pheromone in their droppings. By systematically removing clutter ‒‒such as old newspapers and magazines, dirty laundry in hampers, or cardboard boxes stacked in the basement ‒will limit the disruption of roach droppings. In short, removing clutter gives roaches fewer places to hide. Bottom line: a good decluttering  will make your home or office much less attractive to roaches on the lookout for a new home.

  3. Clean Your House or Office Thoroughly - Once you’ve removed the mess, it's time for some deep cleaning! Leave nothing untouched.  That means you must dust shelves, moldings and baseboards; vacuum the floors, in corners, under tables, then mop systematically. The same holds for sofas, blinds and carpets. One of the best ways to prevent future reduce roach infestation is to keep your home or office clean‒all the time!  Make sure, for instance, that work surfaces are clean (no food or crumbs!),that sinks are empty, and that waste bins are either empty or have covers. Oh yes, and if you’re trying to keep roaches out of offices and workplaces, try to discourage employees from eating at their desks. It helps keep things clean.

  4. Use Sterifab - After you’ve cleaned and decluttered your house or office your next step should be to apply a pesticide like Sterifab. It’s the best roach killer out there, and using it will ensure that you have completely eliminated any remaining roaches. When it comes to eliminating roaches Sterifab will meet all your needs because it's both extremely effective and easy to use.

How to Prevent Roaches from Coming Back

Be aware that keeping roaches out of your home or office is a never-ending affair. However, there are a few things you can do to help the process. Roaches love damp and moist areas, so you can generally find them ‘hanging out’ near pipes and drains.

Check those areas regularly checking and make sure you repairing damaged pipes and clear blocked drains. That will help keep them at bay. Also, you can keep roaches out completely if you seal off any cracks and crevices at those places that provide an easy way in, such as:  

  • Walls

  • Skirting boards

  • Electrical sockets

  • Under kitchen sinks and bathroom cabinets

The Anti-Roach Checklist

Keep the following anti-roach steps in mind:

  • Deny them access to water

  • Clean your house or office (thoroughly) as often as you can

  • Hide food from view

  • Mop floors routinely

  • Take out the trash regularly

  • Move yard debris away from the outside of the house

  • Seal the house to keep roaches from entering.

Oh yes, and use Sterifab regularly!

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