Tips to keep your home cock­roach free

Lesotho Times - - Property -

APART from be­ing hor­rific to look at, it’s be­lieved cock­roaches are one of the top causes of asthma and other al­ler­gic re­ac­tions (in­clud­ing eczema) af­ter dust-mites.

Their drop­pings and shed skin lead to al­ler­gen ac­cu­mu­la­tion, which in turn is known to trig­ger asthma at­tacks, es­pe­cially in chil­dren. Cock­roaches also carry a range of other se­ri­ous ill­nesses in­clud­ing sal­mo­nella, dysen­tery, gas­troen­teri­tis and E.coli.

Think you might have a cock­roach prob­lem? You might need to do a lit­tle sleuthing to find the source of the cock­roach in­fes­ta­tion. These in­sects are noc­tur­nal, mean­ing they are ac­tive dur­ing night time, which is when they come out in search of food.

Gen­er­ally, they hide in cracks and crevices around your house and also en­ter through drains or vents, pre­fer­ring warm, hu­mid ar­eas such as kitchens as their prime in­fes­ta­tion spot.

Look out for cock­roach drop­pings, cast skins and egg cases cou­pled with an un­pleas­ant odour in dark, undis­turbed ar­eas like cup­boards, kitch­enettes or un­der re­frig­er­a­tors.

1. Elim­i­nate po­ten­tial food sources The most ef­fec­tive way to de­ter cock­roaches is to deny them food, wa­ter and shel­ter. To get rid of cock­roaches, you need to get rid of what sus­tains them. l Do not leave liq­uids in sinks or buck­ets. l Do not leave food sit­ting out on coun­ters. Store dry foods in tightly sealed con­tain­ers. l Rinse cans, bot­tles and plas­tics be­fore putting them in re­cy­cling bins. l Empty the rub­bish on a daily ba­sis. l Clear all waste food and liq­uid spillages, and clean up food de­bris from food prepa­ra­tion ar­eas, un­der sinks and ap­pli­ances. l Re­move pet food, drink and lit­ter trays be­fore night­fall.

2. De­clut­ter Cock­roaches re­lease an ag­gre­ga­tion pheromone in their drop­pings, telling other cock­roaches that they have found a safe har­bourage.

Re­move old stacks of news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines, un­used card­board boxes and other forms of clut­ter from the floor or bot­tom of cup­boards where these pests have easy ac­cess.

3. Take pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures l Var­nish or paint wood shelves to seal them, and wipe them down reg­u­larly. l Check key risk ar­eas where cock­roaches may gain en­try into the home such as cracks, crevices, vents, sew­ers and pipe drains, and seal them with caulk­ing or a sealant prod­uct. l Seal ar­eas such as cracks in walls, around skirt­ing boards, be­hind elec­tri­cal sock­ets, un­der kitchen sinks and bath­room cab­i­nets to re­duce po­ten­tial hid­ing ar­eas.

4. DIY cock­roach con­trol l Place cock­roach poi­son (avail­able from your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket) in ar­eas where you have spotted the cock­roach in­fes­ta­tion. Al­ways make sure you read and fol­low the in­struc­tions care­fully. l Put cock­roach traps down in your home wher­ever cock­roach ac­tiv­i­ties are highest. These traps en­tice cock­roaches in and then en­trap them with an ad­he­sive. l Mix­ing nat­u­ral home reme­dies such as boric acid and wa­ter to form a paste which acts as a poi­son that cock­roaches carry back to their nests and feed to nymphs (the life cy­cle stage be­fore they de­velop into adults) is a worth­while ex­er­cise you could also try. l Bay leaves can also be used as a nat­u­ral cock­roach re­pel­lent, but do not kill them.

Top tip: Al­ways ex­er­cise great care when us­ing DIY cock­roach traps or poi­son, and al­ways fol­low the la­bel and warn­ing in­struc­tions care­fully. Also, be sure to place them in ar­eas where chil­dren or pets do hot have di­rect ac­cess too.

5. Take prompt ac­tion With­out spe­cial­ist know-how and equip­ment, cock­roach con­trol can some­times be­come a los­ing bat­tle, es­pe­cially be­cause they are such re­silient crea­tures and breed at rapid rates. Should an ex­ist­ing cock­roach prob­lem not re­spond to a DIY ap­proach, con­tact a pest con­trol pro­fes­sional.

— Prop­erty24

Cock­roaches are eas­ily at­tracted by waste food and liq­uids spillages that are not cleaned up.

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