Read and Learn More About PestsWhat Are Natural Roach Repellents for the House
We all have to deal with annoying mosquitoes and other bugs with essential oils or insect repellents like DEET, but cockroaches are a different story. Cockroaches are among the least tolerable pests around and picking up a bottle of bug spray won’t work.
Indeed, they are quite repulsive to most people and their mere presence in the kitchen area of our homes can rouse screams of disgust! So, we don’t want them around, but what can we do if they’ve decided to settle into our homes? Is it difficult to get rid of them?
These are common questions to a common problem. With over 3,500 known species throughout the world, many species infest households, restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels. This is because cockroaches love what we eat (preferring carbohydrates to fat or protein).
The adult house-infesting cockroach is a medium- to large-sized insect (between 1/2–2 inches long) of light reddish brown to black coloring. They have a flat-looking shape, thin spindly legs, and long antennae.
Roaches love warm and moist areas and appear at night to scavenge and eat. They react to sudden light exposure by scattering and hiding. The young nymph roaches are tiny versions of the adult.
Reasons Why We Should Eliminate Roaches
In addition to being repulsive intruders, we strongly associate the presence of cockroaches in our homes as unsanitary. Being in our kitchens and around our food is revolting, but are cockroaches really harmful and threatening to humans?
As a matter of fact, yes. Cockroaches consume human food products and contaminate them with their saliva and excrement. They are also accountable for carrying bacteria, which causes food poisoning and can be a major contributor to the cause of allergies indoors. Here are some important reasons why cockroaches are unsafe in the home:
They Can Cause Allergies And Asthma
If you are experiencing a cockroach infestation in your home, they can be affecting your breathing. The by-products of a roach infestation include their eggs, outer shell particles, feces and saliva which become airborne. These become dust particles and contaminate the air we breathe.
In fact, many people are allergic to the roach contaminates in the air and when breathed in cause reactions in varying degrees. Those who have asthma are quite sensitive to this type of airborne dust thus creating breathing difficulties.
Pests are often associated with carrying bacteria and spreading disease. This holds true for cockroaches. They can carry several various kinds of bacteria on their bodies because they are scavengers and get into various places that harbor decay and bacteria.
They then carry around these bacteria and bring it into your kitchen, eating, and living areas. Although it’s not common for people to get a disease directly from a cockroach, the more of them there are the more they can significantly contaminate your living areas with bacteria. This is a significant risk when you have a roach infestation.
Why Go Natural?
One of the harmful side effects of a cockroach infestation is the chemical exposure to you and your family. In an effort to rid themselves of roaches, many people will apply and use strong chemicals to eliminate them. These toxic substances come with warnings (not to inhale or come into contact with it) to protect people from the hazardous side effects.
However, in applying the sprays and application of these products in our home (mainly kitchen area) we can expose ourselves, especially little children and pets who are in close contact and proximity to the corners and floor areas of applied substances.
What Are Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Cockroaches Repellents
By using strong insecticides, you’ll certainly see an immediate reduction or elimination of cockroaches in your home. However, they do pose a risk to your family because of their toxicity. Taking a natural approach to ridding your home of roaches can take more time and effort on your part but it works. What are natural roach repellents for the house? Read on below to find out what you can do.
Keep The Kitchen Clean
If you’re a roach you are hardwired to seek out food and food remnants. That means the kitchen will be the most likely place to find roach infestation. Trash cans and a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes is heaven for the typical cockroach. At nightfall, the roaches will come out and have a feast—if you leave it out for them.
So, do yourself a favor and make sure the trash is taken out before bed and the dishes are washed and put away. Cleaning up goes for all other rooms in the house where dirty dishes may be left out overnight. If you have teenagers, make sure no empty plates with the remnants of a snack or late-night sandwich is left sitting out.
The last thing you want is to have roaches visiting your bedroom while you sleep! This straightforward routine of tidying up the kitchen (or anywhere else in the home) by removing dirty dishes and trash will help reduce the roach population in your home.
They Love Cardboard
Cardboard boxes are a prime location for roaches to congregate and breed baby roaches. Enough said—reducing the number of cardboard boxes is a way to reduce roach activity. Get rid of cardboard boxes by using sealable plastic containers, glass jars or metal containers instead to store your pantry and food items.
Seal Up Those Cracks
How in the world did those roaches get in your house in the first place? They can come into your home as hitchhikers via items you bring homes such as grocery bags, shipping materials, or even used appliances. But they can wander in from outside as well.
If you live in an apartment building, they may have come from a neighbor with an infestation problem. Alternatively, if you live in a house they could have come in from outside. To reduce the risk of intruding roaches, you can do a thorough check of the items you bring in.
Also, you can reduce the number of access points in your home by sealing up cracks in your walls and floorboards or around entry doors. A caulking gun can do the trick (not expensive or difficult to do yourself). Place some fine screen over windows and vents as well to reduce their entry access.
Fix Up Water Leaks
Cockroaches love moisture and water from leaky pipes. Water is more important to them than food and you’ll often find them under your sink area and in or around your dishwasher. Wipe up regularly around the dishwasher or sink area if you have spills or standing water, avoid overwatering your plants and fix those leaks!
Natural Traps And Bait
The good old glue trap isn’t pretty but it works. It’s best to place glue traps along your baseboards near your kitchen and living areas, in your bathrooms, behind your refrigerator, stove and especially dishwasher as well around water pipes.
Another natural bug repellent is boric acid and sugar powder (inexpensive and easy to do). Mix up the boric acid ingredient with sugar (3:1 ratio boric acid to sugar) and dust it in cockroach-infested areas, such as behind the refrigerator, dishwasher and stove, under the sink area, and in the cracks and edges of the pantry area and cabinets.
The sugar acts as a lure to the roaches and the boric acid kills them. Also, don’t overdo it with the dusting. You don’t want it airborne or scattering around too much. Boric acid is non-toxic to us humans or pets but it can cause some irritation so try to keep it away from the places we touch regularly (i.e. countertops).
An effective option is to spray cockroaches with soapy water (easy and non-harmful to humans). One of the strongest natural ingredient bug sprays is concentrated citrus spray (make it yourself or purchase).
The natural oils of citrus fruits are very effective and non-toxic or harmful to pets and humans. You can spray them directly or even apply to areas such as garbage cans, baseboards and anywhere they move about. Typically used for cleaning purposes, natural citrus sprays can be used as a natural bug repellent.
Plus, you get a nice orange smell instead of the chemical ones that make you want to cough. Many natural insect repellents can be made from essential oils, such as tea tree oil, cedar oil, lemon, neem oil, and oil of lemon; however, a citronella is the most effective on cockroaches.
If You See One — Get It
Don’t underestimate this most obvious natural pest control method. When you see a cockroach—if you can muster the courage—squash it (with a loud eewwww).
If You Need Help, Don’t Be Shy To Ask The Experts.
If you’ve got a cockroach problem and need help getting rid of them, naturally, it’s possible. Many pest control experts have natural insecticide product options. One of them is diatomaceous earth, a soft sedimentary rock that is applied in fine powder form. It effectively kills insects without the use of chemicals and is not harmful to you or your family.