Effective roach control requires a combination of methods and tools. Prevention and sanitation are the foundation of the effort as its way easier to prevent roaches than to eliminate them after they have become established. Then we will talk about baits, dusts and sprays. You might want to think about calling a professional to do the dirty work. They have the gear and know-how to do a thorough job and have access to chemicals unavailable to homeowners.
Roach control begins with prevention and sanitation. Prevention just means keeping the roaches out of your home. Keeping window screens repaired and the doors and windows shut will help, but the majority of the time roaches hitch a ride into the house in bags or boxes. So examine everything before it comes in your house. Any indication of roaches or eggs, or brown liquid stains is a red flag.
After that comes sanitation. Thoroughly vacuum everything. cleaning everything with hot soapy water will kill the pheromone (scent) that roaches find attractive. Then eliminate the roach basics, that is, food water and shelter. If you can do this step well, roaches will find it very difficult to get established. After all would you want to survive where there was very little in the way of food, water or shelter?
Although chemical products are used for roach control, the tactics have changed completely over the last 30-40 years. Baseboard sprays, once extensively used, have been found to be unproductive. The methods of choice today are baits and dusts. chemical sprays are customarily reserved to locate and clean out nests or high populations. The fact is that chemical products used alone are the least successful method to control cockroaches. Used correctly and combined with prevention and sanitation techniques however, they can be an important supplement to the arsenal.
Baits are valuable and highly suggested. They function well and reduce pesticide exposure. Baits commonly come in plastic containers, or big syringes for gel applications. Place bait stations in corners where roaches have been seen. Squirt small amounts of gel into cracks and crevices in the vicinity of roach sightings. Also place gel around windows, doors, and any other suspected cockroach hiding spot, but not where food is prepared or handled.
Insect growth regulators (IGR) are an additional effective roach control product. Even though they take longer to work (4 to 6 weeks), the control lasts much longer that other products because the cockroaches can no longer breed. Watch for adults with twisted wings since that is a sure sign the treatment is working.
An additional useful group of products are dusts. Dusts are slow-acting but work for a long time. The most common dust labeled for roach control is boric acid dust. Do not confuse the boric acid accessible in drug stores with the roach control chemicals. They are not the same. Boric acid dust is best used indoors in clean, dry locations. Use dusts in hidden locations like beneath appliances and in cracks and crevices. Be careful not to overuse dusts. A very gentle dusting is plenty. This is one product where less actually works better.
Here is roach control in a nutshell. Vacuum methodically and wipe everything down with hot soapy water. Position baits where roaches have been seen. Use either gel or container type of baits. Use dusts in concealed locations. Inspect monthly, exchange when used up or empty. Do not use liquid sprays unless you intend to to clean out or knock down high populations. Be sure to read the directions and above all be safe.
Florida Bug Inspectors, a leading Tampa pest control service, has over 25 years experience finding solutions for challenging pest control issues. If you suffer from roach control issues, call Florida Bug Inspectors.
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