You might be the kind of person that has everything in your house in order. Your house is always guest-ready because you vacuum the carpets and mop the floors daily. Some of your friends have commended you several times on how clean your home looks.
So, imagine the horror of discovering that you have some unwanted guests visiting as well – roaches! The question that comes to mind is, ‘why do I have roaches in my clean house?’ It doesn’t make sense, right? After all, those pesky insects are synonymous with filth and dirt.
What Causes Roaches in a Clean House?
As clean as your house may be, there are a few factors that can cause an infestation. Some roaches come in from their outside habitat to look for food or shelter during extreme weather conditions. Also, having open food items in your pantry, like sugar and breakfast cereal, is like a dinner invitation to roaches. They also love grease, so splatters on your stove attract them.
Roaches love moist areas too, especially under kitchen sinks and bathrooms, so if you have leaking pipes, they’ll show up. Even if you’ve sorted out all moisture and food issues, remember that roaches don’t only feed on food items. They also enjoy paper, cardboard, leather, feces, soap, and wallpaper glue. Sometimes roaches hitchhike on guest’s property or grocery bags.
How Do I Get Rid of Roaches Permanently?
Getting rid of roaches permanently is a long shot. They get into almost everything, produce hundreds of eggs, multiply rapidly, and can survive without food for up to a month. Using bait, traps, sprays, and extermination plays a role in getting rid of these pesky crawlers, but these methods won’t keep them out for good.
The best you can do is reduce the possibility of an infestation by taking away everything they survive on – food and water. Your home will become less appealing to them. Keep your dry foods securely sealed in an airtight container, clean under your fridge, clear crumbs and spills promptly, empty your trash regularly and clean all counters and work surfaces.
What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Roaches in an Apartment?
Boric acid is a popular and effective way to get rid of roaches fast. Boric acid is not an actual acid but a powder combination of boron and water. In the stomach of insects, it’s a poison. When they ingest it, the acid kills the digestive and nervous system, killing it. If they walk through the acid, it absorbs their exoskeletons.
You can also create a bait with the acid, combining it with flour and sugar into a dough. When they take the food to their nest, the other roaches will eat it and die. For it to work effectively, you must use the right quantity as directed. The downside to using Boric acid is that it can be toxic to yourself, children, and pets so you must be careful. If you have pets and babies, it’s best to avoid using the acid.
Is One Roach a Sign of Infestation?
If you don’t know the nature of cockroaches, you may assume that the sight of a lone roach scurrying from one corner to another is not such a bad thing. It’s just one cockroach, right? All you have to do is squash it with your slipper and you’re good. Well, not exactly. Cockroaches naturally exist in large family groups due to their high reproduction rate.
Female cockroaches can lay up to 30 eggs 10 times each year. When you see one roach, it’s a possible sign of a nest somewhere in the house. The only reasons a roach would be on its own is that the nest is overcrowded (meaning there’s an infestation) or that the food sources are depleted and it’s looking for more food.
What Do Roaches Hate?
Roaches hate loud noises like the sound of you clapping and stomping which scares them. Roaches also hate bright light whether it’s artificial or natural light. They are naturally nocturnal and mostly active at night. That’s why you’ll hardly see them during the day. When you switch on a light in the middle of the night, you’ll see them scurrying away to hide.
Roaches also hate strong smells like bleach, essential oils, cinnamon, and garlic. These smells throw them off their food trail. Extreme temperatures make cockroaches very uncomfortable. They can’t stand it when it’s too cold (below 45 degrees Fahrenheit) or too hot (above 115 degrees Fahrenheit). These extremes halt their activity and can also kill them.
What Smells Keep Roaches Away?
Cockroaches follow their noses and antennae to food and water sources. Any strong smell that interrupts the process throws them off and they’ll find another route. Household bleach is a disinfecting agent with a strong smell that repels cockroaches. Most people use it to disinfect bathtubs, sinks, kitchen countertops, tiles, refrigerators, floors, and steel appliances.
When the roaches smell bleach, they will just scurry off. It’s a great repellant although it doesn’t remove an infestation. Roaches also stay away from potent essential oils like tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint oils. Citronella oil is also effective and the great thing is that you won’t have to worry about your pet ingesting it as it’s non-toxic. Garlic also has a strong odor that cockroaches can’t stand.
Will Roaches Leave a Cold House?
Roaches are cold-blooded creatures that are unable to regulate their body temperature. Depending on how cold the house is, most roach species will not be able to survive especially if the temperature is extremely low. They will be forced to leave for a warmer environment, especially if the temperature change is sudden and not gradual.
If the temperature change is gradual, oriental species may adapt and survive although their activity will reduce. If you’re looking to kick roaches out, reduce the temperature quickly and suddenly – surprise them. They are unable to breed at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and can die in temperatures between zero and 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
What To Do if You See a Roach?
Screaming while running away or squashing it with a slipper might be your impulsive reaction. However, the first course of action for any apartment occupant should be informing your property manager or landlord. That lone roach could be a sign of a much bigger problem within the complex. Depending on the terms of your lease, management may be responsible for dealing with this issue.
The earlier you report it, the better. The next step would be to clean those hidden places in your apartment that you don’t clean daily, where roaches can hide. For example, under your refrigerator and dishwasher. Also, ensure that you take out your trash more regularly. Seal any cracks in the walls and fix all leakages in your drainage system.
How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Roaches in an Apartment?
There’s no saying exactly how long it will take to get rid of roaches in an apartment. This is dependent on what method you’re using, how bad the infestation is, and the species of roaches you’re dealing with. It could go from a couple of days to several weeks or even months to get rid of the roaches. Boric acid kills roaches that have come in contact within 72 hours. So, it may take a month for the rest to die.
If you’re using gel baits, it will take between 1 and 3 days for the roaches to die and it’s after a few weeks that you’ll notice a reduction in the infestation. Even with professional exterminators, if the infestation is severe, they may need a couple of follow-up visits over the next couple of months to get the job done. The common German species is becoming resistant to various insecticides, so that means it will take more time.
How Do You Get Rid of Roaches Overnight?
You can get rid of cockroaches over a couple of days or weeks, but doing it overnight is not a guarantee especially if you have an infestation. The best way to do it would be to use professional extermination services. Due to their experience, they know the best chemicals to use and those hidden spots where roaches lay their eggs.
Before the pros come in though, do your best to eliminate potential hiding places and clear out all the clutter in your home. Make sure that your drainage system is clear and functioning well so that there’s no water spilling out to create a breeding pool. Also, seal any cracks in the walls, floor, and ceiling. This way, when the exterminators do their job, it’s more effective.
Will Keeping Lights On Keep Roaches Away?
Roaches are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are more active in the dark. Keeping lights on might keep most of them out of sight but not permanently. Sometimes roaches will adapt to their surroundings and move around with the lights on, especially along the edges of walls to stay safe from predators.
If you keep your lights on and still see roaches moving around, it means their food source is depleted. This forces them out of their dark hiding places to look for food. Other times, they are looking for a more moist environment as they can survive for only a week without water. So, keeping the lights on will only keep them away to a certain extent. They’ll only be hiding, they won’t leave your house.
Is it Common for Apartments to Have Roaches?
Although roaches can exist anywhere there are people, it’s a common problem in apartments. Most apartment complexes will have pest control services that come in every one or two months. You can’t control how clean your next-door neighbor’s home is. Maybe they don’t take out their trash regularly or wipe their countertops.
If they sprayed insecticide, the roaches would all scurry out of their apartment into yours. The larger and older the apartment building, the more likely it is to have roaches. The extent of the infestation depends on the general maintenance of the complex both inside and outside, dampness of the basement, how well the sewer pipes and water pipes are sealed, the sanitary habits of the occupants, and so on.
What Kills Roaches and Their Eggs?
Killing all the adult roaches in your home may seem like a victory but if you don’t kill their eggs too, they’ll hatch and you’ll be dealing with another infestation. Some species have their eggs stored inside them. In this case, squashing the roach or using insecticide will kill both the roaches and their eggs.
Other roach species produce their eggs in a protective case called oothecae. The most effective way to kill them is by covering the casing in Boric acid which kills all the nymphs that will hatch. You can also spray it with an insect growth regulator which aborts the eggs.
How Do You Get Rid of Roaches Without an Exterminator?
You may decide not to use an exterminator to get rid of the roaches. Whether it’s because you’re cutting costs or avoiding toxic chemicals, it’s possible to do this yourself with diatomaceous earth. This fine, abrasive powder sticks to the roaches’ skin and absorbs all its moisture, dehydrating it to death.
Another effective method is using baking soda. This powder is highly alkaline and works best when combined with a tasty treat like bread to bait the roaches. When they eat the bait, the baking soda and stomach acid react by creating gas that bursts their stomach and kills the roach.
As you may have noticed, it’s not strange to see roaches in a clean home. Sometimes, the state of the apartment building (drainage and basement) or your neighbor’s sanitation habits may cause an infestation that will lead to roaches in your apartment.
Hold the landlord or management accountable to regular extermination as discussed in your agreement while you do what’s within your power to stop them from building a home in your apartment. These crawly pests are some of the most unpleasant insects to live with.
Not only are they irritating and filthy, but they also carry various health risks like asthma, dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, and others. Even with a clean house, it’s imperative to put in the extra effort to prevent an infestation in your house.