Only two things are true in Houston homes: air conditioning and cockroaches.
One is a gift against adverse moisture, the other is a mistake that fuels a large pest control industry in the area.
Cockroaches are a fact of life in Houston. Most people in Houston will see two types of cockroaches. You have your flying cockroaches, the huge brown variety. That is the American cockroach, also known as the palmetto insect. Yes, these are the ones that make terrifying leaps from the trees in the dark of the night.
The German cockroach is the inhabitant of the interior, spends its time running on the ground, domesticated through the drains and the availability of food in your home.
Both will finally go in search of food and water.
Here's how to deal with the dirtiest and dirtiest creature of all time.
The easy, expensive and often more effective solution is to hire an extermination service. Cockroaches can nest anywhere: the curves of the pipes, the dark cracks and the spaces between appliances and counters, the corners of the garage, whatever, the cockroaches have probably already begun to build a family there. Those places can be hard to reach. Resorting to an exterminator to eradicate them may be worth it.
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When working with an extermination service, make sure the technician explains what chemicals the company uses and how they eliminate errors. It is worth checking if the company also provides other services, such as sealing cracks where cockroaches can penetrate. A good technician will accompany you to your home and explain where the extermination process will take place before performing the service and extracting the payment.
Increasingly, exterminators are offering pest control services that allow pets. Some services may also do maintenance sprays in the future.
However, spraying with chemicals only goes far. The raid will not work well if the chemicals are applied to the areas on which the cockroaches simply slide, instead of where they live, and could create a superbacteria instead of a suffocating error.
"The belief was that if we did that (sprayed), it would penetrate the emptiness of the wall and kill cockroaches on the walls," said Janet Hurley, an integrated pest management specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. "It helped make some of these cockroaches resistant."
Hurley, who is working on a project with a University of Florida researcher on consumer knowledge about pest control options, said there is a wide spectrum of prevention options after spraying Raid on the ground.
To prevent cockroaches from entering a home, pest management experts said that sweeping crumbs regularly and cleaning surfaces will help. By depriving them of food and water, insects will be less inclined to enter. A 2019 study by entomologists at Rutgers University found that the likelihood of having cockroaches in dirtier homes (layers of grease and grime in the kitchen and keeping floors and shelves clear of obstacles around the house) was much higher than in cleaner homes (surprise).
Home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, sell other options for error handling. Boric acid and diatomaceous earth are just two of the powders that can be used to dry (dry) an insect or deactivate its nervous system. Spraying boric acid on the floors where cockroaches crawl causes dust to adhere to the insect, and the cockroach ingests it slowly, according to researchers at the University of Kentucky. A packet of boric acid tablets, crushed and mixed with a little bait for cockroaches like sugar, will attract them. They will inhale the acid that is toxic to their systems and die slowly.
Diatomaceous earth is also excellent for eliminating cockroaches and other bugs. Like boric acid, it clings to a cockroach as they crawl. As more silicon dioxide adheres to the outside of the insect, it dries the body by "absorbing oils and fats," according to the National Pesticide Information Center. There may be many cockroaches on their backs, so take a broom and sweep.
If that's too much work, or if you're sensitive to working with those chemicals, prefabricated traps will do the trick. The bait works best if left in the corners where cockroaches congregate, Hurley said.
Manufacturers recommend spraying diatomaceous earth in moderation. While cockroach brains are small, insects are smart enough to realize that they shouldn't step on a small mound of gleaming dust. And it is important to find where younger cockroaches live that have not reproduced.
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"If you really want to stop a population, you must stop it when they are preteens," Hurley said.
Physical boundaries can also prevent cockroaches from going up drainage pipes and under doors to a house. Pest management companies recommend repairing and sealing small cracks in the house to prevent them from entering for food and cooler temperatures. They can fit in the smallest spaces: some species can pass through half-inch holes. Door sweeps and shower drain covers cost less than $ 10 at Home Depot and Lowe’s.
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Or maybe you can get a different form of natural pest control: a pet. It saddens me to report that my roommate's dog, although a very good child, does not do much for cockroach control in my house. But it is known that other dogs and cats chase the brown spots that cross the floor. Not only would you get a good companion by having a pet, but you could also download a local pet shelter from a stray cat.
Keep in mind that you probably don't want your pets to eat dirty things. They are likely to be disease vectors, not to mention their tongues when they come to lick you happily … how disgusting.