The stigma attached to them makes them the nemesis of all apartment dwellers. Seeing them inside an apartment can make people think you don’t take care of your home.
While this isn’t true at all, cockroaches are quick, sneaky, adaptable and very difficult to get rid of, which is why it’s important to address the issue immediately after spotting this unwelcome house guest.
So, what’s the best way to get rid of them and keep them out for good?
Eliminate the roaches
These are a few of the most common methods to get rid of cockroaches, and while they all work, you’ll most likely end up needing a combination of them in order to be totally roach-free.
Often the safest and most effective, baits work over an extended period of time, killing roaches directly or by using an unlucky few to carry the poison back to their buddies. Both gels and bait traps are typically available ready to go in small containers which can be purchased at your neighborhood hardware store, drug store or supermarket.
Bait in containers should be placed near areas where you’ve already seen roaches, where food and moisture are most readily available and changed regularly every three to six months.
Gels should be applied to cracks and small areas. If you want to take an organic approach to baits, check out this homemade recipe.
2. Pesticide dusts
Dusts come in three different types – silica, diatomaceous earth and boric acid. The first two damage and desiccate a roach’s exoskeleton while the boric acid is toxic when ingested.
Pesticide dust should be placed where roaches hide like in cabinets, behind appliances or around cracks in kitchens and bathrooms and reapplied every three to four months.
Traps are for the brave souls who don’t mind dealing with the disposal of live roaches. They can be purchased from the store or made at home. Sticky traps will stop a roach in its tracks and can usually be found at local hardware or drug stores.
If you’d like to go the homemade route, put a slightly moist piece of bread and some slices of raw potato in an open jar. Then, line the inside walls of the jar with petroleum jelly and set in an area you’ve seen cockroaches. They’ll come in for the food but won’t be able to climb back out. To dispose of the roaches you catch, fill the jar with soapy water and screw on a lid.
There’s also always the option to hire an exterminator to come in and handle the problem. Of course, that can get pricey and there’s no 100 percent guarantee the roaches won’t return since they’re likely hiding out somewhere else in your apartment building.
How to prevent roaches from returning
Once you get rid of your insect invaders, it’s time to make sure they don’t come back. This can be a challenge living in an apartment building, so the first thing to do is notify your property manager so they can address the issue throughout your building.
Next, you need to remove the attractants from your apartment. Keep things dry, avoid clutter (including piles of laundry) and store food in plastic containers with tight seals. Sweep up crumbs and clean spills quickly. Make sure garbage is in tightly-sealed containers that are regularly taken out. Inspect your apartment for small cracks in doors, windows and walls and seal them up as well.
Oddly enough, roaches are also attracted to bar soap and house plants, so stop tempting them by replacing bar soap with liquid soap where you can. Smearing petroleum jelly on the outside of plant containers does enough to remove the temptation there since they won’t be able to actually get to the plant.
As resilient as cockroaches are, they can be dealt with quickly and easily following these simple strategies. But remember, cockroaches aren’t the only pests that can invade your apartment.
Now that you know how to keep the roaches away, get some tips on making your home rodent-free, too – just in case.