Finding roaches in a living space will leave anyone grimacing. Roaches can trigger allergies, asthma, and even carry disease.
If you keep seeing small roaches in your apartment, it’s time to take steps to get rid of them once and for all.
If pesky small roaches have invaded your home, here is what to do next:
- Clean up your apartment
- Find and eliminate moist areas in your apartment
- Find and seal small openings in your apartment
- Choose a roach removal method
- Prevent new roaches from entering your apartment
- Contact your landlord, if needed
- Contract a pest removal company for large infestations
1. Clean Up Roach Food in My Apartment
If you spot a roach in your apartment, it is likely looking for food, water, and shelter. The first thing you should do is clean up any potential roach food sitting in your apartment.
Cockroaches are omnivores and can eat all foods humans enjoy. If your snacking leaves crumbs or dirty dishes are sitting around, a cockroach sees a feast.
While they prefer starchy and sugary foods, cockroaches can eat anything from meats to milk products.
They also feed on other organic materials, such as cardboard, other dead insects, excrement, and even fingernails or toenails.
Make sure all of your food is sealed and stored properly, and wipe down countertops, dishes, and sinks after use.
2. Identify Areas of Moisture in My Apartment
A cockroach can live for up to a month without food, but it will die after a week without water. Cockroaches are tropical in origin but have adapted to live in temperate zones.
Nonetheless, they seek out humidity and a moist environment.
You must next identify all areas of moisture in your apartment, as these are prime nesting and living spaces for all species of cockroaches.
Usually, these include the cabinets under sinks or areas with leaky plumbing. Check for spots near your laundry area, kitchen, or bathroom.
If you have a leaking pipe, seal it yourself or hire an expert to replace it immediately. Clean the areas under and around the pipes to make sure there are no droplets of water.
If need be, put a dehumidifier in the room.
3. Find Any Roach Openings in My Apartment
Roaches can enter a home through cracks in door frames, walls, or windows. They find shelter in small crevices and under large furniture, as well as in or under cupboards, drains, or large appliances.
Purchase caulk or another waterproof filler and sealant and fill in any gaps you find that may let in small roaches. Focus on holes between tiles or walls, as well as those in door or window seals.
4. Choose a Removal Method
If you keep seeing small roaches in your apartment, more are likely hidden out of view. Roaches either deposit their eggs or carry them with them.
A female cockroach can produce one case of up to 16 eggs per month for 10 months, adding up to more than 100 potential baby cockroaches per female cockroach!
To avoid ending up with an infestation, you must choose and implement a removal method to eradicate the small roaches that have invaded your apartment.
Natural Remedies for Repelling Small Roaches
For those who prefer natural ingredients as opposed to harsh chemicals, there are some natural remedies you can buy or make at home to repel and kill small roaches.
- Baking soda: Dice a handful of onions and mix them in baking soda. Place the onion in a shallow dish near the area where you spotted the roaches.
- Diatomaceous earth: This natural insecticide is made from fossilized algae, which dehydrates roaches upon contact.
- Boric acid: This naturally-occurring compound is harmless to people yet deadly for small roaches.
- Borax: This laundry product can be mixed with sugar and set out to kill the roaches.
You can find all of these remedies online or in the pest control section of your local superstore. Set the remedies out in the areas most likely to attract roaches.
Be sure your pets don’t ingest any of these remedies.
These remedies might not kill the roaches for a few minutes, meaning you may have to hunt down and throw out the roach carcasses later on.
Glue Strips to Kill Small Roaches
Glue strips or sticky traps are mats or traps that capture cockroaches through an adhesive. These glue strips have an odor that is undetectable to humans but lures in roaches.
The roaches walk into or onto the strip, where they are stuck and eventually die.
These types of traps are good to put in hidden places like under sinks or refrigerators. If you can, opt for a box-like glue strip that requires the roach to enter before getting stuck.
The alternative mat glue traps, are unsightly for open areas, as the dead cockroaches tend to pile up and you must dispose of the strip and trapped roaches once they are dead.
Bait Stations to Kill Small Roaches
Bait stations are effective for households with children and pets. These stations are tube or shell-like containers that hold roach poison, keeping it out of reach of those who live in your apartment.
Bait stations hide their poison in a mixture of food to attract small roaches in your apartment. A roach enters the station, consumes the poison, and returns to its nest.
At its nest, the cockroach will soon die. It leaves behind its poisoned body, which soon attracts other cockroaches who want to eat it.
As the dead cockroach is consumed, the poison then spreads. This effectively kills off large groups of roaches in and around the roach nest.
Roach bombs, also called bug bombs or total release foggers, are pesticide propellants that “explode” when triggered by a person.
Most roach bomb fumigation require humans to stay out of the area while in effect. These bombs kill cockroaches, fleas, and most other insects in the area.
Roach bombs are generally not recommended because of the strong chemical composition that lingers in your home and coats your furniture.
Breathing in these pesticides can cause trouble breathing, coughing, nose and throat irritation, and dizziness.
The quality of roach bombs also varies greatly. Less-effective roach bombs may cause roaches to retreat further into their hiding spaces instead of killing them.
5. Preventing New Small Roaches from Entering My Apartment
Once you’ve gotten rid of the small roaches in your apartment, your next step is to prevent any more roaches from making their way back in.
There are a few preventative measures you can take to roach-proof your apartment.
Citrus – especially lemons – acts as a natural roach repellent. Adding a few drops of lemon oil to your mop bucket before cleaning your floors is a great way to ward off roaches.
You may also choose to use citrus-scented cleaning products or leave a few citrus peels in areas roaches may frequent.
Mixing certain essential oils with water can also work as a natural roach repellent. Use peppermint or lemongrass oil in your mixture and spray it wherever you think roaches may look to reside.
Insecticide sprays can be used to harm, kill, or repel cockroaches. You can use an insecticide as a removal method, although professional application is often most effective.
As a preventative measure, insecticide can be sprayed around the perimeter of your house to stand guard against outside roaches.
Some preventative insecticides are effective for up to 3 months, and most also guard against other types of invasive insects.
6. Contact Your Landlord
If your roach problem cannot be tamed through the above measures, it’s time to contact your landlord.
You can also choose to contact your landlord straight away if you initially discover a roach infestation that has gotten out of hand.
Landlords need to maintain inhabitable apartments and are therefore required by law to quickly resolve roach infestations.
If your landlord ignores your requests, you may be able to break your lease because of the presence of vermin.
7. Contract a Pest Removal Company
If the apartment is in your name, you can also resort to contacting a professional pest removal company. This company can get rid of small roaches in your apartment and prevent new ones from entering.
A single cockroach treatment can cost anywhere from $100 to $400, depending on your apartment and infestation size. The average cost is about $150.
If you keep seeing small roaches in your apartment, it’s time to take action.
You can begin by eliminating the roaches’ food and water sources, including cleaning up crumbs and any wet areas found near leaking pipes.
Follow this step by implementing a roach removal method, such as a glue trap, bait station, or natural roach-killing remedy.
If the infestation has gotten out of hand, reach out to your landlord for assistance. Landlords are legally required to ensure a safe living environment, and you may be able to break a lease if the do not help with the roach issue.
If the apartment is in your name, you might turn to a professional pest removal agency.
Your home should be a place of cleanliness and comfort – don’t let roaches ruin your peace.
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