Our home is a place of peace, a place we go to, to unwind, relax and release our stress. The last thing we want is to walk home to an insect infestation, especially if those insects are cockroaches. There is something about those pests that makes them so widely hated. Even seeing a single one of these rodents makes us feel disgusting, so imagine what a full-scale invasion will do to our health. The culprits for a home infestation are usually either German, Oriental or American Roaches.
Having a home infested with cockroaches isn’t ideal due to the health and hygiene risks that come with it. Additionally, it just doesn’t feel nice having roaches all over the house. So, getting rid of them for good is our utmost priority. The question though is, how can this be done? Spending the money and calling an exterminator/pest control to eliminate them is one option. Another option is to use natural remedies that are cheap to buy and readily available at your home.
As we saw earlier, there are three species of cockroaches that usually infect our home. Today, we will focus our attention on German Roaches and see effective ways to remove them from our home forever. However, before we can do this, it is good to know a few details about these cockroaches.
How to Identify a German Cockroach
German Roaches can be identified by their color – which is usually brown. The brown on these roaches can sometimes be so brown that they appear to be black. A key identification mark these roaches carry are the two dark parallel lines that run along its head. The baby German Roaches are darker in color.
How did they find their way into your home?
Cockroaches are nocturnal and love damp and dark places. These conditions can be found literally anywhere you go. They can be found in the shop where you buy groceries or at the movies, they could also be in the alley you pass to get home. All it takes is for one roach to find its way into one of your belongings. The next thing you know, your home is infested with an army of cockroaches.
They are usually found in the kitchen or if you live in an apartment, then there are plenty of damp and dark places there. A female German roach can carry about 30 – 40 eggs and can get pregnant about four to six times in her lifetime, her lifespan being 100 days. That brings us to our next point, which is the life cycle of a German Roach.
The Life Cycle Of German Roaches
German Roaches have a three-stage life cycle: egg, nymph, and adult. Their population grows rapidly and a female German roach and produce upto 400 eggs in her lifespan. Their eggs are enclosed within a casing called ootheca. Each ootheca can carry upto 35 eggs and is 7 mm long and 2 mm wide. They are brown in color and can protect the eggs from harsh conditions. The hatched nymphs do not have wings and cannot reproduce. They molt nearly 6 to 7 times in their lifespan and hit adulthood with their last molting. Adult German Roaches have wings but very rarely fly.
Is there any fear of getting bitten by German Roaches?
German Roaches aren’t known for biting humans, however, since they are omnivores –eating both meat and plants – this possibility cannot be ruled out. If there is food available, then biting or eating human flesh isn’t something they prefer, however, if the food is limited, then they may come for you. German cockroach bites can irritate the skin and cause swelling. They come with various disease and can spread this around your home and on your food. Due to this reason, it is imperative that we know how to get rid of or kill German Roaches. Therefore, let’s consider some great natural ways to get rid of German Roaches.
Get Some Boric Acid
Boric Acid is very effective when it comes to killing cockroaches. Once digested, it poisons the roach and completely destroys its stomach lining, leading to starvation. Just make sure to keep the boric acid away from your children and pets as it can be toxic for them. To get the little roaches to eat the boric acid, mix it with a food substance that will interest them. You can mix it with sugar, honey, onion juice etc, but ensure that boric acid is more in quantity. The suitable ratio will be 3 parts of boric acid and 1 part of another food item. You can also make a paste by adding some water or juice. After this, leave the solution in the infested area and soon enough, you will be ridding your home of the roaches.
Let them Eat Nothing
Cutting off their food supply is very important because without food and water cockroaches die within a week. Of course, it is very difficult to completely rid them of it, but limiting food can help other methods to work better. The ways you can limit food and water are – 1. Storing them in airtight containers, 2. Storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, 3. Wash dishes used for food immediately, 4. Keep your closet and other shelves closed when you aren’t using them, 5. Cover up the garbage cans, 6. Keep the kitchen clean at all times and lastly, 7. Make sure that there are no food particles lying around in your home.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is a death sentence for any bug that decides to eat it, but is not harmful to humans or pets. So, if you have children then rest assured, this will not harm them if they mistakenly put some in their mouth. They way diatomaceous earth works is fascinating. Present within the diatomaceous earth are fossilized bodies of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. These organisms are made up of silica that punctures the cockroaches’ bodies, leave them dehydrated, which eventually leads to their death. Additionally, German Roaches can’t build up tolerance to it, which means your roaches problem will be solved swiftly.
Trap the Cockroaches
Getting a trap for cockroaches is a really effective way of getting rid of them. The trap works ever so subtly, inviting the roaches inside it only to never let them out. All you have to do is place food inside the trap and eventually, you get the pests. Disposal of the trap is also simple as you just have to throw out the whole trap and then replace it with a new one. Just place these traps in the areas where you’ve seen cockroaches the most.
Keep your Home Clean
This is possibly the most important step in the fight to get rid of cockroaches. An unclean house unclean will always attract cockroaches because they thrive in such an environment. With ample food and water, very soon, you might have to deal with a full-scale infestation. To avoid this, firstly keep your kitchen and floor dry and clean. Don’t let any food particles remain and try your best to clean these areas properly. These cockroaches love a damp environment so fix any leaking taps and try to keep your home dry. Humid environments attract these pests so try buying a dehumidifier in your home. Avoid keeping doors and windows open all the time and remove any mess from closets, storerooms and other places where cockroaches might be found breeding.
Close the Gaps
Small German roaches can fit through cracks as small as 17.9 mm. Cockroaches are fond of small spaces because, apart from being nocturnal, they are also thigmotropic. This basically means that they like the feeling of contact on their bodies. So, they will fit into a small crack the first chance they get. Therefore, to win the fight against the roaches, find ways to close any and all entries into your home. Seal off these cracks and prevent cockroaches from entering your home. Don’t forget to seal off the drains and the bathtub with a stopper and keep these areas dry. This will take time but it is time well spent and something you will not regret.
Listerine Only for Dental Health?
Interestingly, using Listerine to get rid of cockroaches is effective. This is due to all the essential oils that it contains, like menthol, thymol, and eucalyptol. These oils act as great insect killers and unlike other insect repellents, are even fragrant. The way to use Listerine most effectively and for fast results is by mixing about four ounces of Listerine in about a gallon of water. Put this in a container using which spray the solution on areas where cockroaches are mainly found. Additionally, it wouldn’t hurt to spray some on a roach directly.
Use a Vacuum Cleaner
This is for people who have a hard time seeing dead cockroaches. Vacuuming the roaches is simple, effective and it gets the job done. If you’re going to use a vacuum cleaner then make sure you put some cornstarch in its bag. This is because you don’t want cockroaches to be alive in the bag. Cornstarch suffocates these pests and kills them. Vacuuming works best to clear up the ootheca and roaches that are in their nymph stage. Additionally, you get specially designed vacuums for these type of insects that do a great job in clearing out the infestation.
For centuries now, catnip has proven to be great in getting rid of roaches. The Nepetalactone in them is the reason why cockroaches hate this so much. Spraying catnip in the areas where cockroaches are mostly found is sure to drive them away and catnip leaves can be used to make this spray. Using a handful of leaves and 2 cups of water, let the leaves boil for about ten minutes and keep in the refrigerator. You can then put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it around your home.
Hire a Predator
This option may be a bit unorthodox but it surely gets the job done. Cockroaches are consumed by many natural predators and these can be used to our advantage. These predators include toads, frogs, beetle, geckos and iguanas. Out of all these predators, geckos are the ones that are most preferred mainly due to the fact that they are very affordable and easy to maintain. The best part about geckos is that they stay out of sight. They are nocturnal creatures as well, so, while you sleep, your pet gecko will get the job done. However, like we said earlier, this is an unorthodox method that many may not go for but it isn’t something we would keep out of the list. This is because this method is definitely effective.
These methods will surely prove to be effective in the battle against German Roaches but as they say, information is power. So, here’s a little more information on how these cockroaches work. Knowing this information will help you deal with them better.
They are Groupies
Cockroaches may not be social but they prefer living in groups and make decisions accordingly. They fit into enclosures based on the space available and hence infest various areas of your home. Basically, they’re “widening” out to make the best use of available space. Now you know why you can’t leave any cracks in your home unattended.
Baby Roaches are Equally Dangerous
Roaches are best-taken care of when they are nymphs. Both baby and adult roaches carry disease that can spread throughout your home. So, if you don’t want a fullscale invasion you need to get rid of the roaches when they are small. If you see baby roaches, then you should know that there is a nest nearby. Use any of the above-mentioned methods to take care of your roach problem and be quick at it.
How Long Does the Baby Period Last?
With cockroaches, it takes about 40 to 100 days for them to become fully grown adults. That is the amount of time you have to get rid of them. They undergo many molting periods and the change from each molt is known as an instar. 6 to 7 instars will see the babies become adults. German roach populations can grow very quickly and it is important to take care of them at a very early stage. Their growth mainly depends on the environment around them, so any change in the environment can be potentially dangerous for them. Which is why cleaning the house and keeping it dry helps to get rid of cockroach infestations.
Dealing with a German Roach infestation isn’t an easy task. Which is why it is better to take preventive measure even before an infestation happens. If you are returning from someplace you suspect might have roaches, then you need to check your belongings before you enter your home. It doesn’t take an army of roaches to start an infestation, apparently, even a single female can produce eggs without a male. So, take care of what you bring into your home. With this, you are now equipped with the knowledge and means to get rid of cockroaches, so go get them.