Researchers recently found that there is a species of cockroach that survived by eating dinosaur waste
. Other research shows that there is an evolutionary ancestor to the cockroach that crawled the earth millions of years before the dinosaurs
showed up. It's no wonder that we believe they will live forever and survive the nuclear apocalypse/holocaust situation people think is coming. If they've lived through all of the rest of evolution, surely they'll outlive us, right?
While we marvel at how survival-capable cockroaches seem to be, that does not mean we welcome their presence in our homes. In fact, catching a glimpse of even a single cockroach is enough to send most people into fumigation frenzy. Luckily you don't necessarily have to go that route. In fact, there are several things that you can do to keep those bugs from setting up camp in the first place. Here are just a few of them.
Hiring a roach control expert
is something that helps you both get rid of the cockroaches you have already and prevent new pests from invading. Regular spraying (with environmentally responsible sprays and products of course) can keep your house completely roach free.
If the problem is particularly bad (for example, if there is work being done on nearby buildings or constructions sites), you'll want to hire an extermination expert to really go to town on your home and its foundation. It might take a while for them to be able to fit you in, though; so, while you wait, here are a few things you can do.
Clean It Up
Cockroaches are attracted to warm and dry places that they can burrow into. Piles of newspapers, mail or magazines are a perfect roach hut. Clutter also provides a desirable shelter and, depending upon where it is located, a source of food. Scrub your house from top to bottom. Get rid of the piles of clutter. Put everything away. Invest in some air-tight sealable containers for food and cooking ingredients. It won't get rid of them completely but it will discourage new roaches from invading when they find that there are very few places to hide.
Most exterminators will recommend mixing some borax with sugar and sprinkling it around. The sugar attracts the roaches. The Borax acts as a toxin and dehydrates the roach's exoskeleton. Borax is a fairly harmless product but if you're worried about your kids' and pets' exposure to it, limit the sprinkling of it to your upper cabinets and in higher places.
Note: Do NOT use this mixture near anything that has to do with food (food prep spaces, pantries, dishes).
Cockroaches do not like fabric softener. You can test this out by laying a sheet out and watching how a cockroach reacts when an encounter takes place. If the problem in your house is really bad, you can get in some "target practice" by filling a spray bottle with a couple parts of liquid natural/organic fabric softener and water. Spray the roaches when you see them. Enjoy their immediate demise.
Catnip is also a natural roach repellant. Sprinkle it around under your sink and in your cabinets and close to your doors. You might even consider sprinkling it around outside. The great thing about catnip is that it is harmless for pets and your kids so you don't have to worry about vigilantly watching every leaf in the house.
Remember, if the cockroach population grows to problematic proportions, the best thing to do is to hire a professional
to help you get rid of them. In the in-between though, using these natural and environmentally responsible roach repelling methods can help out quite a lot.