Over the years in the never-ending battle with cockroaches I think I have just about seen it all. However, just when you think you’ve witnessed everything in cockroach combat, Roaches re-invent the wheel and adapt to the environment that they are living in. Case in point, a hundred years ago roaches didn’t have all the wonderful places to hide or harborage in as they do today. Roaches love to hide in all the usual places like cracks and crevices but also love the new high-tech appliances and gadgets that our homes afford today. I have seen them living in (and seen them ruin) VCR’S, DVD players, microwaves, cheap and expensive clock radios, computers, telephones, smoke detectors, clocks on the wall, televisions, stereo systems (including Boom Boxes), anything with micro circuitry that gives them the warm place that roaches love.
Cockroaches are among the most hated insects and can infest even the cleanest of homes. They contaminate food and leave an unpleasant odor (yes I can smell a bad infestation upon entering a room) and they can also transmit diseases. In many years of cockroach combat, I have seen infestations (large or small) that can be eliminated by using any of a variety of pest management tools. Determining which type of roaches you have in your home will give us better information on their natural habitat, how they enter your home, and their preferred foods. Each roach elimination job might require a different method of treatment for controlling just what type you have. “Water Bugs” is a term many folks use to describe German Cockroaches. There are no roach pests that are technically water bugs, but when someone uses that term we usually assume that they have an infestation of German Roaches.
Cockroach Combat: Win The Battle
In order to win at cockroach combat, you have to keep some things in mind. Cockroaches thrive where food and water are available to them, even tiny amounts of crumbs or liquids caught between cracks provide a food source. And yes that nightstand by the bed can be a perfect harborage, especially when you have leftover cookie crumbs and a small amount of milk left over from that bedtime snack. Remember those cheep and or expensive clock radios I mentioned earlier that just might be the harborage area that the roaches are living in. Good sanitation, both indoors and outdoors, effectively limits cockroach populations. Don’t leave unwashed dishes, kitchen utensils and uncovered food out overnight, clean up all spilled liquids and clean areas beneath cabinets, furniture, sinks, stoves and storage bins where tiny particles of food may accumulate. Keep kitchen garbage and excess trash in containers and remove them regularly and store dry pet food away from the kitchen and other foods. If you feed pets indoors, remove the leftover foods immediately (or you may be feeding your cockroach pets). Also clean outdoor garbage cans frequently, along with platforms or slabs on which they are kept.
Prior to a visit by a pest management professional to perform a “Roach Cleanout” as I call them, you may need to remove items from the areas where roaches are known to congregate. This could include removing items from cabinets, closets, and pantry’s, depending on where the roach infestation is harboring. Following these procedures will greatly reduce the time it takes the technician to complete the evaluation and the necessary treatment for your home.
One word of advice in the “Cockroach Combat Instruction Manual” that I can give to you is that if you see one roach, don’t wait to long to take action, put your cockroach combat boots on and get help, soon.
Ray A. Johnson owns Johnson Pest Control, Inc. in Sevierville. He welcomes your pest control and termite questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.