Cockroaches top the list of creepy things None He wants at home. After all, they are big, they are fast, and trying to kill them with their foot always results in a loud "crunch."
"There is a big gross factor," says Scott O'Neal, PhD, an urban entomology researcher at the University of Nebraska. "There's always a lot of fear, especially if you're not someone who knows a lot about insects or, worse, you grew up fearing them."
The good news: Although it is certainly not something you want in your home, it does not carry the same disease risks as insects that feed on blood, such as mosquitoes or ticks, says O & # 39; Neal.
But depending on the type of cockroach you are dealing with, how large the infestation is and where they live in your home, getting rid of them may require much of work. Part of that is because a particular cockroach, called a German cockroach, which is the most common type of cockroach in the United States, has become resistant to many insecticides in the market.
"We've been spraying German cockroaches with every insecticide known to man since the 1940s, and even before that," says Dini Miller, PhD, professor of urban entomology at Virginia Tech and specialist in urban pest management for the state of Virginia. "We have killed all the cockroaches that our aerosols can kill, and we have selected those that are genetically resistant to insecticides."
What that means is that while you can kill some or even most German cockroaches with an insecticide application, you are unlikely to get all of them with only one fight, since some of them have become mutants that can withstand most of what you throw at them. But don't panic: that doesn't mean you'll be stuck living with them forever. This is what you should know to get rid of cockroaches forever, no matter what type you are dealing with.
Backup: How can I find out what kind of cockroach I have in my house?
Smoked Brown Cockroach
Suburban Independent Houses
If you live in a private home, it is extremely unlikely that you have an infestation of the German cockroach, says Coby Schal, PhD, who runs the Schal Laboratory at North Carolina State University, which focuses on the study of cockroaches.
In that case, you are you are more likely to have what is called a smoked brown cockroach, which is a very large cockroach that lives outdoors and is almost black. “When the outdoors becomes a bit unpleasant for the cockroach, like dry or cold, this cockroach tends to enter the house not because it likes to be in the house, but because it is looking for moisture, food and a warm environment," he he says: Usually, this guy will make his way through things like firewood that is brought to the house in the winter.
Smoked brown cockroaches will not establish an infestation in your home because, like a housefly that hits your windows to get out, don't really want to be there in the first place. Nor does it have the same resistance to insecticides as the German cockroach, so getting rid of it will be much easier.
Now, suppose you live in a city in a ground floor apartment and you see a cockroach scattering in your bathroom. In that case, it is you're probably dealing with an American cockroach, which is the largest cockroach in North America approximately 2 inches with a bright and reddish exterior. They are usually found in sewer systems. "So, in many cities, I think of them as floating on a cockroach mat because there is a large sewer network under us, and that sewer network is usually occupied with millions of these cockroaches," says Schal.
Especially in the summer, American cockroaches will tend to leave the sewer system to escape the heat and look for food, which means that could finish in your apartment But luckily for you, like smoked brown cockroaches, American cockroaches do not have the same resistance as German cockroaches to insecticides, so killing them will be a bit more painless.
Apartments and homes in the city center
Finally, if you live in a city and have ruled out having an infestation of American cockroaches, you are probably dealing with a German cockroach infestation. German cockroaches are much smaller, only about ¾ of an inch, and are best identified by the "racing stripes" they have in their pronotum, which is the plaque behind their head, says Schal.
The German cockroach is also what is called a "forced partner" with humans, which means that it only lives where humans are (what luck!). "So it has evolved to completely abandon its natural habitat, whatever it is, and is strictly associated with humans and human-made structures," says Schal. German cockroaches can be found virtually anywhere, but they are most commonly found in urban and low-income settings.
How to get rid and kill cockroaches safely
1. Prevent them from entering your home first.
To start, it is best to keep cockroaches away. "If you don't provide an environment in which you can establish yourself, you are unlikely to get them," says O'Neal.
That means that if you want to avoid cockroaches completely, be sure to regularly clean areas such as your garage, basement and attic where you could have old cardboard boxes, books, clothes or other things. These types of environments are perfect for cockroaches, who like to feel protected and safe.
You also can manage your environment by not providing a source of food for cockroaches. That means not keeping food or dirty dishes, and having trash and recycling containers that are well contained. (Also, denying food sources will help kill potential invaders already in your home.) Finally, place sweeps under the doors so that cockroaches do not have an easy way to enter.
2. Avoid using spray insecticides.
Now, suppose you do all this (or maybe you spent a month too long without vacuuming, it happens to all of us), and discover a cockroach lurking in the crack next to your refrigerator. That indicates that it is time to bring insecticides.
But one very important thing to keep in mind here is this: Do no use insecticide sprays in your home. "Everyone has been told since they were children that the way to kill insects is with a spray," says Miller. "But we have different methods to kill them that we really need to use because we have sprayed ourselves in this mutant genetic situation."
The same goes for insect bombs, called "total-release nebulizers," which have actually proved completely ineffective against cockroaches, says Schal. In addition, the use of aerosols or insect bombs is really a great danger to you and your family. "People often use them badly because they deploy many of these units per home, and that can cause fires, explosions, all kinds of unpleasant results," says Schal.
3. Take out the bait.
Instead, opt for a safer and much more effective option: baits, which are gel formulations that come in 30 mm syringe tubes. Ultimately, he will use that bait to create what Miller calls "bait tacos."
Max Roach killing gel for indoor and outdoor use
To make bait tacos, buy wax paper (Miller opts for the Cut-Rite version that you can find at your local supermarket (or Amazon) that is typically used for baking) and cut it into 2-inch squares. From there, fold it down diagonally (in a small mini "cue") and place a gel bait line on the diagonal line. "The type of waxed paper protects the bait from all pesticide residues that have been applied in these apartments every month for the past 100 years," says Miller. "And cockroaches really like it."
The reason it is beneficial to use waxed paper to protect the bait is because you no You want cockroaches in your home to get sick from a previous pesticide or insecticide spray and don't have the desire to eat your bait.
Finally, once you have finished making your "tacos", place the bait in places where you have seen cockroaches (think: inside the drawers, behind the refrigerator or in other cracks and crevices in your home).
⚠️ Only use cockroach bait in areas inaccessible to children and pets.
If it is an American or smoked brown cockroach, this approach should be the trick by itself. "With literally $ 5 or a maximum of $ 10, you can eliminate an infestation at home," says Schal.
But if it's German cockroaches, there is a small inconvenience: you should rotate the gel bait formulations that you apply in these "tacos" every 3 months, says Miller, so that the gels have different assets Y inert ingredients in them (more specifically, look for those that contain fipronil, avermectin or neonicotinoids as the active ingredient). In that way, it is pointing to all the different mutations that could be occurring in its cockroach population.
4. Call the professionals.
If you have performed this method and completed several rotations but still He has cockroaches crawling all over his house, so it's time to call the professionals. Because cockroaches may vary depending on the area (and also their resistance), a Trained applicator will be better able to identify the best route to eliminate cockroaches will be"And finally it allows you some peace of mind."
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Brielle Gregory Brielle Gregory previously worked at Men’s Health magazine, where she reported, edited and verified all aspects related to health, nutrition and weight loss; He currently spends his time researching similar topics as a freelance writer and editor.