Cockroaches are disgusting, and if you see even just one or two of them in your home, you need to do something immediately. Not only does thinking about them crawling nearby make a person cringe, but they also bring in disease elements and cause allergies. They move from the most unsanitary places to homes, and even meddle with (and eat) human feces.(2)
Ew. They need to go. Now.
According to pestkill.org cockroaches have a hand in spreading 33 different kinds of bacteria, seven different kinds of human pathogens, E.coli and the salmonella bacterium, along with six types of parasitic worms (4). Except, it is not just their hands that cause this spread, but their entire bodies, which are filled with such bacteria and pathogens.
These are disease causing agents. Even just one or two are a concern, as they too can spread illness at a quick rate(4). Information from the World Health Organization has alarming news as well.
According to the World Health Organization, cockroaches do, and in some cases might, cause diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, plague, typhoid fever, viruses, and even leprosy! Cockroach presence can cause asthma attacks, gastrointestinal problems, salmonella, urinary tract infections, sepsis, and typhoid as well. Cockroaches’ feces and even dead cockroach bodies can cause allergies in people. These appear small and cylinder-shaped, in either black or brown.(2, 3, 4)
What’s insane is that in areas where proper cleaning and sanitizing are a problem, allergens from cockroach poop can stay present on surfaces (even if you remove the poop) for up to five years! It’s important to clean properly and sanitize these areas, as well as our homes on a whole.(4)
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches, Free of Chemicals?
Chemical solutions we may find in stores contain chemicals that are harmful. Thanks to evolutionary systems, cockroaches can become immune to many chemical cockroach killing systems(6). Plus, cockroaches will likely avoid bait devices and regimes (6). Humans have been trying to get rid of cockroaches for so long, they’ve caught on by now.
These pests have been pesky for so long that we’ve come to know stuff about these critters which we can use to our advantage. Cockroaches gravitate towards warmth, moisture, and food. That’s why you’ll likely find their headquarters near water or some food source. Stopping their access to water and food can help drive them away and make a home less appealing to such critters.(2, 6)
The key to avoiding cockroaches and maintaining a cockroach-free home is proper cleaning and sanitizing. However, certain other factors can add challenges to this. For example, you’re more likely to find cockroaches in apartments as they can move from one unit to another, and through walls easily. We will be sharing some cleaning tips to keep in mind, and a solution free from harmful chemicals! (2)
This recipe (which is even acknowledged by pest control companies) uses boric acid powder, which is pretty safe to keep around humans and pets, but terrible news for cockroaches. Boric acid will damage the skeleton of the cockroach, dehydrate it, and works like a poison. You will see it begin to work within 24-72 hours. The process as a whole will probably take 3-4 weeks. (1,6)
Warning: borax is toxic to animals if ingested, do not use this method if you have pets or proceed with caution.
Raw Egg Yolk
30-50 grams of Boric Acid Powder (or borax or boric powder acid)
You also need some latex gloves
What to Do
Mix the egg yolk and boric acid powder (or alternative) together well.
Put your handy gloves on.
Make small round balls out of the mixture while maintaining 1 cm diameters.
In an hour, you will probably find them completely dry. Now they are ready to use.
In order for these to work most effectively, it is important to take certain other measures too.
I am including key tips from goodgeek.info in our procedure. First, we have to make sure the cockroaches don’t have access to any food particles. We need to clean our spaces of any food particles.(6)
After this, we need to take care of our water pipes and other areas with water. We want to make sure there isn’t any water standing around that cockroaches may feel drawn too, nor that our pipes are leaking. We also want to make sure the pipes have proper insulation so that moisture doesn’t condense on them.(6)
Where to Place the Borax Balls
We want to think practically and creatively when placing the borax balls. We want to put them close to the surface where the cockroaches will see them and go to taste them(1).There are points that will be helpful to keep in mind when choosing where to place them.
Where are the cockroach headquarters in the place? One tip from pestsoff.com is to sneak up on them at night(5). First, for a couple of hours, be sure to keep all lights off in the area (ideally floor) where the cockroaches seem to like going. Next quietly go to the area, quickly turn the lights on, and observe.
Where do you find them? By this point, they must be moving rapidly. Exactly where are they going? This will give you an idea of the areas it will be most effective placing the borax balls. Also, when they are in large groups they give off a very weird and offputting smell. This smell can also give you clues.(5)
As mentioned before, they like being near food and water. You will likely find them within 5 feet of these sources(6). You want to put these balls around the cracks and crevices in and around walls, doors, and furniture. Check around appliances like the stove and fridge; they feel safe going there.(2)
Other places to check up at include basements, cupboards, electronics, drains and sewer systems. Another area that you use every day where the cockroaches can hide is the bathroom! Yes, the bathroom.(2)
It’s important to seal cracks and crevices on walls and cupboards with silicon. Sometimes cockroaches can travel into our homes through the items we bring in our clothing. When bringing in any such items, including groceries and laundry, we want to make sure they don’t contain cockroaches or other pests. That can save a lot of time and energy in the long run.(6,2)
How to Disinfect Walls
When cleaning surfaces cockroaches have contaminated, such as walls, we want to disinfect properly. One way is to make a mixture of baking soda and soapy water. I suggest wearing latex gloves and doing this through dipping a microfiber cloth into the mixture and wiping the walls. Don’t drench the walls, as this could ruin your wall and its paint. We also want to make sure we keep cleaning the cloth so that we don’t spread contaminants. Then do another wipe on the walls using a different, clean, and wet microfiber cloth.(4)
Off We Go
With patience and persistence, you can clear your space of the pesky pests. You want to do this as soon as you see any cockroaches, in order to protect your home as well as the health and wellbeing of yourself and your family. You can do it! Take back the kitchen!
WHO (n.d.). Chapter 5: Cockroaches. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/resources/vector288to301.pdf
Rupavate, S. (2014, February 10). 7 ways cockroaches are bad for your health (and 8 ways to get rid of them!). Retrieved August 15, 2016, from The Health Site, http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/tips-to-prevent-cockroach-infestation-diseases-and-control-sh214/
Pestkill. (2016, August 11). Roach Poop: How to identify roach Feces and protect the house from a good amount of droppings. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from Pestkill, http://pestkill.org/insect/roaches/poop/
PestsOff.com. (2014, May 17). Retrieved August 15, 2016, from How to Get Rid of Cockroaches – What Really Works, http://pestsoff.com/how-to-get-rid-of-cockroaches/boric-acid-roaches-mistakes/
admin. (2012, June 17). GoodGeek.Info. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from GoodGeek, http://goodgeek.info/2012/06/17/boric-acid-the-best-natural-cockroach-killer/