Like rats and mice, cockroaches owe a large part of their success to humans. Wherever you find excesses of organic waste and garbage along with a cool and stable environment, you’re sure to find cockroaches.  Roaches can transfer bacteria like Salmonella and Shigella from the unsanitary places they feed to new areas where the bacteria have not yet been introduced; like your toothbrush for instance or the silverware inside your kitchen drawer.

The three most common roaches found in Vanderburgh County are the German cockroach, Oriental cockroach and American cockroach.

German cockroach Oriental Cockroach American cockroach
German cockroach Oriental cockroach American cockroach
(Images from University of Florida IFASA Extension)

Take these steps to prevent your home from being infested with cockroaches.

  • Maintain that your home is kept clean
  • Sprinkle powdered boric acid around walls, behind cupboards and wherever they may enter your home
  • Avoid leaving uncovered food out in the open
  • Don’t leave dirty wet pots in the sink
  • Insulate pipes to prevent condensation under kitchen units and around the toilet
  • Keep your bin clean and empty regularly
  • Keep unused areas tidy, avoid a build up of debris and paper etc
  • Eliminate all sources of moisture / water
  • Take action at the first signs of infestation – Keep vigilant

How to Treat a Roach Infestation

For many people there aren’t many other experiences that cause as much revulsion and panic as that first sight of a cockroach crawling across their kitchen counter. Although you may feel violated and angry, before you begin a relentless campaign of chemical warfare, laying traps, gels, and clouds of poisonous gas, it is important to remember what brought the roaches into your home to begin with, and remove those things (listed below) as soon as possible:

    • Leftovers
    • greasy pans left on the stove
    • crumbs and cereal that have fallen between the counter top and the stove
    • that bag of soda cans that has been sitting by the back door for a week or two

These things provide roaches with everything they need to live and breed. The first step in ridding your home of roaches is ridding your home of the things that roaches need. Go through your house and clean from top to bottom and remove whatever organic waste, crumbs or trash you can find.

If you are treating your home or apartment without the help of a licensed pest control professional, follow these guidelines for maximum efficiency and safety:

  • If you are renting or do not otherwise own your home always get permission from your landlord.
  • As with any pesticide, always follow label instructions carefully.
  • If you have children or pets do not leave baits out where they have access to them. For any accidental ingestion, call poison control immediately!
  • Avoid using “bombing” products as they may cause cockroaches to scatter and retreat to less accessible areas of the home- making future treatments less effective. In addition, insect “bombs” may cause cockroaches to spread to other areas of the house or into adjacent apartments where they had not previously been.
  • Products such as pastes and powders are more effective. In most cases roaches will eat the baits and return to the cracks and crevices where they hide to die. There, other cockroaches will actually feed on their carcasses and the baits ingested from the first roach to die will kill them as well.