How to Prevent Roaches In the Kitchen

“Oh no, we’ve got cockroaches in the kitchen!”

This is something no homeowner—or resident—wants to hear. But what is it about these bugs that so disgusts us and makes us want to get rid of them as fast as possible?

Cockoaches are unpleasant insects. They tend to live in dark, moist places, often near garbage and rotting food. They are greasy. They carry diseases and provoke asthma or allergy attacks. Plus, we know roaches seldom come to our homes without the company of other roaches.

And “yes, roaches literally stink: they store uric acid in their bodies, which is a major component of human urine.” In spite of the fact that roaches technically do less harm to humans than some other insects, we don’t want them anywhere near us—least of all in our homes!

So, in this article, we’ll discuss how to prevent roaches from coming into your home in the first place, how to get rid of them if they do come in, and how to keep them from returning.

It’s Not Hard to Tell If It’s a Cockroach

If you live in a large city, especially in the southern United States or New York City, it’s likely you will see roaches in your house or apartment at some time. Like many humans, roaches enjoy living in warmer climates as well as busy, exciting ones.

But spotting a few roaches is different from having an all-out roach infestation. You need to know how to prevent cockroaches from coming to your home in droves.

If you notice a few roaches, you need to take action right away by killing those you see and then examining the kitchen (the most likely part of the house for them to appear in) for any place they might be coming in or be particularly drawn to.

Cockroaches will run for cover when the lights come on and they detect movement, but it really isn’t hard to know they’re there (even if you want to deny it).

How Can I Prevent Cockroaches on My Own

There are several recommendations for dealing with roaches that are just plain common sense. For one, you need to clean your kitchen thoroughly, including emptying the cabinets, disinfecting them and throwing away any open food containers.

A ritual you need to practice every day is to clean all kitchen surfaces with disinfectant and vacuum the floor to get rid of any “cockroach bait” food.

Store all food and garbage in sealed containers and empty the trash every night. The more food you can store in the fridge, the better.

In addition to these recommendations, you should seal any cracks or holes, especially in the kitchen, as well as fix any water leaks.

Keep bathtub, shower, and sink drains covered at all times when not in use. These are places cockroaches will use to enter your house or apartment.

And you should be wary of maintaining a compost pile, especially if you would need to locate it close to your house.

Can I Trap them or Even Poison Them?

Mother Nature Network suggests making cockroach bait that isn’t toxic to humans (though should be kept away from children and pets). Here’s the recipe:

“Mix three parts boric acid with one part powdered sugar. The sugar lures the roaches, while the boric acid kills them.” It should be sprinkled under and behind large kitchen appliances, under the sink, and into any cracks along the edges of cabinets.

If the boric acid bait doesn’t work, and you’re still trying to figure out how to prevent cockroach invasion, you could try one of the popular commercial roach traps, such as Black Flag’s Roach Motel.

What If I Live in an Apartment and the Roaches Keep Coming Back?

Let your landlord know! She or he will then be able to check other apartments in the building and call an exterminator if the problem seems bad. Your neighbors will need to know anyway if they don’t already.

If the landlord fails to take appropriate action, file a complaint with the health department in your city. Not dealing with pests such as cockroaches constitutes a code violation.

Apartment buildings in crowded city neighborhoods—especially those with lots of restaurants—can seem like giant buffets to cockroaches. Apartments closer to the ground have more problems due to being near dumpsters and other waste.

The best advice between roach episodes is to monitor vigilantly and clean frequently. Who knows—you might discover how to repel roaches for good!

At What Point Do I Just Need to Call an Exterminator?

On average, you can expect to spend between $100 and $400 for a single roach extermination job, which seems reasonable when you really need to get the roaches removed. An exterminator’s job is to get rid of the roaches.

Feel free to try other options (including those discussed above) before calling the pros. But don’t use all your energy and resources if the job starts to seem futile. You might just be giving the roaches more time to enjoy being your roommates.

If you need to call a professional pest control outfit, do some research first. You want to hire the best and most conscientious firm you reasonably can.

Here is some recommended reading for when you’re thinking about hiring: “Tips for Selecting a Pest Control Service” from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

I’ve Been Forewarned: How to Prevent Roaches in the Future

As we’ve said, you need to clean often and thoroughly and be extremely vigilant. If you have roaches in the kitchen and don’t get the situation under control very quickly, they will spread to other parts of your home.

Unless you live in an apartment in a crowded urban neighborhood, it’s possible you will be able to get things under control on your own, without calling a professional exterminator.

However, if you do need to call an exterminator for help, remember the key word is “professional.” The right professional pest management service will use the safest possible treatments for humans, pets, and the environment.

And depending on where in the U.S. you live, you might benefit by setting up regular pest control service to prevent roaches in the future. But this is a lot better than having the pests!

Still wondering how to prevent roaches from sticking around? Call our pest control firm!

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Dave Galvagni