Cockroaches are the scourge of the earth. They were here long before us and will be here long after we’re gone. They can adapt to anything but they definitely hate certain things.
Living in roach-infested NYC in some pretty shitty apartments, I’ve battled many roaches. Through trial and error and a lot of research I finally found a way to get rid of them for good. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Know Your Enemy
The early cockroach dates back to the Carboniferous period in the Paleozoic era. We’re talking over 360 million years ago. Before the dinosaurs roamed the earth.
This period looks beautiful and you might be thinking, I’d like to take a time machine back there and have a look around, but keep in mind the living critters of the time were much, much bigger. Giant spiders and dragon flies with wing spans reaching 30 inches long!
Cockroaches are of the order Blattodia, the same order as termites. Their social structures are different – termites live in colonies with a caste system like ants and bees, while cockroaches are more individualized mother fuckers yet they do recognize kin. They tend to live in very large, disgusting groups, sometimes into the millions. Don’t think about that for too long. Like termites, they follow scent trails left by other roaches. This is why constant wipe downs of surfaces, especially kitchen and bathroom, are a must.
Cockroaches forage for food and water at night. They are most active for four hours after lights out. Don’t think leaving your lights on all the time will deter them though, they just adapt and think they are welcome any time. It’s like humans in northern countries where the sun doesn’t set, they don’t know naturally when to sleep.
They breath through their skin (gross) so suffocation by things like dish soap and sprays like Raid will kill them quickly. If you absolutely must leave a dirty dish in the sink, 😡, make sure there’s plenty of foaming dish soap in it.
Make Your Home Undesirable
Roaches are surprisingly persnickety. They hate the scent of lemon. They’re intolerant to sound. During quarantine, I’ve noticed a significant decrease in roach activity in the hallways and lobby of my building. Why? Corona virus? Could that be the one good thing? No, it’s most likely because we’re all home and stomping around. This info will come in handy later.
It’s imperative to wipe down your kitchen counter tops, stove top and table top with a lemon scented cleanser, or fill a spray bottle with water and put a few droplets of lemon oil (until you can smell it). Bathroom sink and top of the toilet too. Roaches are thirsty bitches and thrive in a moist environment. “Moist” 😬
Before bed, sweep your floors, make sure there are no crumbs lying around. Roaches will find them and tell all their friends about your all you can eat buffet. I like to swiffer with a lemon scented pad or mop with water and lemon oil. I have to limit the amount of oil in my water because my cats aren’t the biggest fans of lemon either.
Limit paper clutter. Roaches live to not only munch on cardboard but they will even set up shop in a cardboard box especially if it’s in the back of a closet and filled with paper. If you must keep cardboard boxes, I’d recommend investing in some space saving plastic bags. The type you put clothes in to store in your luggage, or the biggest size ziplock bag you can find.
Clean your pets food bowls and pour out their water overnight. Unless your pet is diabetic, this is not a terrible thing to do to them. You should be changing your pets water a couple of times a day any way to avoid bacterial growth and worse, a roach holding onto the side of your pets bowl lapping up the water. I’ve seen it….. I’ve seen it.
Limit access to trash. Roaches will forage. Avoid this by using a tightly sealed trash can. I use a diaper bin. They’re designed to keep the smell in so they’re pretty tight.
Find the Nest
In the beginning of quarantine, I found a specific roach. I named it so I could actually go to sleep at night, Carl T. Roach. He would hang out sucking on my kitchen sponge at night, then run for his life when I came into the kitchen turning the light on. Quick tip, dry your sponge before bed by microwaving it for two minutes.
I spent about two nights trying to catch him but failed miserably. I might have made a mistake naming him because I found that I was hesitant to smash him, so I decided to stalk and poison him instead.
Carl ran to the same spot behind my kitchen counter each time I turned the light on. I sprinkled DIATOMACEOUS DUST lightly, avoiding clumps, with a plastic spoon into the space between my kitchen counter and the wall. Diatomaceous dust will kill a whole group. Even if I didn’t reach the nest, if Carl were to crawl up again, he’d pick up the dust, and track it back to the others. They’d all end up ingesting it and die.
Get an Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
As mentioned earlier, roaches don’t like noise or movement. I got an ultrasonic pulsating device. You plug it in, 6 inches above the floor, and it emits a vibration and sound that insects and mice will run from. In the first few days you use it, you may notice an increase in activity. That’s because they’re all like “WTF!?” Kind of like we all were in the beginning of the pandemic. This is a good time to track them and find the nest.
To sum up…
1. Wipe all surfaces in kitchen and bathroom sink with a lemon scented cleaner every night before bed.
2. Limit paper clutter.
3. Sweep floors before bed.
4. Use a tightly sealed trash can.
5. Sprinkle diatomaceous dust lightly in cracks and crevasses where you see roaches.
6. Get a sonic pulsating device.
Good luck! 🍀🍀🍀