How to get rid of cockroaches

There are thought to be 4,600 identified species of cockroach found across the globe, of which 30 present a nuisance to humans. Here in the UK, we deal with only 3 of these species of cockroach but regardless of the statistics and figures, the thought of cockroaches marauding across the kitchen and our homes is not a welcome one.

The cockroach

All cockroach species have similar habits; they are nocturnal, running away from light (apart from Asian cockroach that runs toward light…) and they have sensory legs that help them find the food and water that is essential to survival. They also leave a trail of ‘chemical’ as they go about this continual hunt for sustenance; this is the attractive aroma that other cockroaches go crazy for, hence their rigorous breeding.

How do you know you have a cockroach ‘problem?

  • An unpleasant musty smell associated with a cockroach infestation is due to the trail of chemical and hormones they leave on surfaces and floors to attract a mate
  • They shed their skin as they grow and you may find the remnants of this on floors, cupboards, behind fridges etc.
  • They also leave droppings – small pellets if no water is available, or dark smeared patches if there is
  • As nocturnal creatures, the best time to catch a glimpse is by switching a light on when it is dark
  • They will favour the edges of a room, or dark places behind furniture etc when they are in your house. They can gain access through plumbing, drains and sewage systems.

How to get rid of cockroaches: prevention

No matter how clean or tidy you are, cockroaches can still invade your home and this is why…

  • They can move quickly from property to property along the smallest cavities and through the smallest of homes
  • They enjoy the warmth of our homes (although more tropical species do find our homes a little too cold…)
  • They will seek out and invariably find food and water, two things they need to survive
  • Even when they can’t find human food, pet food will do as will wallpaper, books, magazines…
  • They can spread disease to humans and need to be dealt with fast – this is one problem that will NOT go away without professional treatment.

But sometimes, all the preventative measures may not be enough and you may find your home under-siege!

How to get rid of German cockroaches

This species of cockroach is the smallest of the species common here in the UK, and present a difficulty in that it will actively seek out human ‘company’; although it will eat just about anything, it favours human food.

  • Recognising them - these small insects are tan or light brown when they reach adulthood, with two dark stripes running from their neck to the end of their body. The young tend to be black. They have wings, but rarely use them preferring to run everywhere instead. At 16mm in length, they are a powerhouse of germs and bacteria that can make you very ill.
  • Bacteria is not the only problem – shedding skin and secreting the hormone to attract other cockroaches, they also quickly make a property smell. But their prolific breeding is the main issue and within days, you could find yourself in the middle of an infestation.

Getting rid of them is important not only to your health but your peace of mind too! Similar to other species, these pesky little creatures will start to dwindle in numbers if they are denied food and water so look for those leaks and seal food in containers etc.
You will need to have professional treatment of the home or apartment, followed by a deep clean and installing various preventative measures to stop them returning!

How to get rid of cockroaches in the house or an apartment

Following the DIY measures above will have some impact but what happens if they keep coming back time and time again, and yet you have taken all the necessary precautions?
The answer may lie close to you… neighbouring properties.
Many people living in flats or apartments find that they have the occasional infestation that keeps returning and it has been found that the source of the infestation lies in neighbouring properties, especially those that have been empty for some time, but there may still be food and water available for the cockroaches in order to sustain life and breeding. 
Knowing that these tiny insects can move freely between properties can mean that they find their way back in to your home. A professional pest controller can identify the source of the outbreak and could work with the landlord/owner/local council of any neighbouring properties to deal with the root cause of the problem.

How to get rid of cockroaches naturally

Some people may have been successful in identifying a cockroach ‘infestation; in its early stages and with various action, may have stopped it.
Prevention is better than cure in all pest control issues and here are a few hints and tips for preventing cockroaches, as well as dealing with an early ‘infestation’;

  • Sticky traps, that trap the cockroaches onto the paper can work if you spot them within a few hours of being in your property (don’t forget to discard them into a bin outside of the property!)
  • Even if you find no more than one or two cockroaches, you simply must clean the area with strong detergents etc. and keep the area clean
  • Check for leaks too and if you find one, get it dealt with as cockroaches need water to survive
  • Keep an eye on the area, as you may see young cockroaches for another two or three weeks after this initial onset

Seeing them for longer? Think you have more? Don’t hesitate – call in a professional pest controller who can identify the species of cockroach, tell you how and where they are gaining access to your property, provide effective, yet safe, treatment in and around your home and provide preventative advice. If the infestation is coming from a neighbouring property, they could help in advocating, on your behalf, to get that property treated too.

Sharing your home with an unwanted pest – insect, rodent, bird or otherwise – is not something that is comfortable or acceptable. Why not call in the SOS Pest Control and save yourself the risk, stress and hassle?

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