Roach Revenge

a dead roach on the floor

Cockroaches have been with us for millions of years, a vast array of species that has covered the earth. Although they are naturally a sub-tropic creature, the have permeated every known culture and corner of the globe, excluding the frozen extremes of the polar icecaps. These insects literally live everywhere.

Everyone must agree that few things are more disturbing than switching on a light or opening a cupboard to find little brown/grey insects scurrying about, boldly making themselves at home. As you all know, because they breed rampantly, there's always more where those came from. Because they don't pay any rent, and bring nothing positive into the home, these unwanted houseguests must be dealt with immediately and severely.

The common cockroach we find in our homes is a nocturnal creature for the most part. He prefers areas that are warm and wet, which offer him a food source. Such environments aren't hard to find, as the roach has a varied diet: he can thrive on the starch in bookbinding’s, the glue on the back of wall paper, hair and shed skin, grease and of course the plethora of human food stocks. It seems there's no end to the cockroach's food and water sources; roaches can even thrive on the muddy soil of over-watered plants.

Along with his varied menu, the cockroach is an adaptable boarder. He will nest inside cracks in your plaster, openings around your plumbing, or any warm damp protected crevice. Because many of us are apartment dwellers, it becomes even harder to get rid of these pests; when one apartment gets cleaned out, they just move down the hall. These insects are great travelers. Besides the species that can fly, they are able to move about both inside and outdoors. They have the ability to flatten their bodies and slip into clothing, furniture, and house wares without being detected, easily moving to restaurants, hospitals, and other apartments. So, getting rid of these prolific pests is not a simple task.

Step 1- Cutting Off Food Supply

The first necessary strategy is cutting off their food supply. Despite their omnivorous diet, we can make it hard for them to feed. Vacuum and sweep often - the floor can hold a whole buffet for the cockroach. Wash dishes in soap and hot water, and dry well, leaving no grease residue for the tiny gourmands. Seal all open food containers and bags; use canisters or plastic ware to make sure there's no openings. Cover and seal up pet dishes and storage containers, cockroaches make terrible pets. Clean crumbs from counter, table and toaster; those can offer a whole luncheon for a pack of roaches.

Step 2- Disinfect The Water

The next step is to stop access to their water supply. Pour some Lysol or similar disinfecting cleanser into your toilet at night, making the water undrinkable. Make sure there are no plumbing leaks under your sink, no dripping taps, no washing puddles, no wet rags, and plug the sink holes. We've now dried out the little devils.

Step 3- Poisoning the Pests

Thirdly, we come to an obvious tactic: poison the pests. A simple spraying of Raid or other commercial preparation will not suffice. Cockroaches are said to have lived through the atomic bomb blasts of Hiroshima; it's no great genetic feat for them do develop an immunity to most store-bought bug sprays. However, one of the surest killers of cockroaches is boric acid; this substance is available on the market with no problems. But, let me interject here, if you live in a city that has a Chinatown neighborhood, many of the convenience stores carry little boxes of what looks like white chalk.

It's an easy-to-use preparation of predominantly boric acid. It's formed into a chalk-like stick so that you can draw a line around the entire perimeter of your home: around the floor boards, around every corner, every nook and cranny, leaving no exceptions. This substance gets picked up in the insect’s feet and destroys them neurologically, within a day or two. It's very effective, but you still need to worry about cupboard space, or any other hiding holes.

There is another product called Demon WP, so all the hiding places should be dusted with this substance, or boric acid. You can then drop a few "Roach Motels" to use as a monitor to discover your success ratio; you may find pockets of roaches in areas you never expected. Remember these creatures are wily; you may need to repeat the poison procedure.

Step 4- Caulking

The final stage of extermination is to block off access to your home. Use door sweeps under all doors, fill cracks and holes with caulking or fresh plaster; spaces around pipes and plumbing should be filled with copper wool or caulking. For dark hidden areas you may want to use a commercial foam spray that is quick and very durable, if a bit messy. Also seal all cracks around window frames and vents, remember any entrance is friendly to these pests.The supplies required to make your home roach-free are relatively inexpensive. The poisons and sprays along with caulking etc are easily below $40. That's a lot cheaper than calling a professional exterminator.

Following these simple instructions will almost surely work, but as I mentioned, the roach travels easily so he may move downstairs during your extermination process. If you are an apartment dweller, you should contact the other residents of your building, and mount a combined attack, so the bothersome beasts have nowhere to go. If this is done thoroughly, the pests will have to look for a new residence. You have killed the beast from within.