Have you ever had to deal with roaches?
Well, don’t be embarrassed because it is actually a really common problem that almost anyone can get. Yes, we usually associate cockroaches with dirty conditions, but I was stunned to find that they don’t always come with dirty conditions.
Actually, roaches like anywhere that old food particles gather. A dishwasher or a sink could be a good example of an environment that isn’t super dirty but has the perfect conditions for a roach.
Also, they are attracted to electronics and can often come into your home through cardboard boxes. So if you buy items in bulk, you could actually bring roaches home in the packaging.
But once you have them, how do you get rid of them?
Well, I’m bringing you that solution with this post.
Here is how to get rid of roaches:
Step 1: Remove All Roach Sources
I had a run in with roaches when we first began our life of self-sufficiency. You all have to understand that when we moved to the country I was so green. I had no idea what I was doing most days.
So cooking from scratch was all new, canning was all new, and cleaning a house that was being used for all of these purposes was so new to me. I got flour in places in my kitchen I didn’t even know you could!
But I made one really stupid mistake! I was canning deer meat for the first time ever. I canned them as I was supposed to, and they turned out great.
However, I didn’t realize how much the juices from the deer meat would stick to the outside of the can. I wiped the jars down but not nearly well enough.
So the jars I stored in my kitchen, unfortunately, attracted roaches. I moved a jar one day and out a few crawled. I screamed and then I declared war because I was not about to have bugs in my kitchen. I began by removing any potential roach source.
I purchased a lot of items in bulk and would actually organize some of the items with the cardboard boxes I got from my bulk shopping trips. The cardboard boxes went and were replaced with nice baskets and plastic containers.
Then I made sure that there was no standing water anywhere. I realized that I had a leak under my kitchen sink that could’ve been a potential water source, and my dishwasher could be a water source as well.
So I fixed both of those issues as well. I removed any clutter, cardboard, or potential water source that I could. If you have indoor animals, roaches can even use their water bowls as a potential water source so make sure you pick those up at night as well since they usually come out when it is dark when they won’t be disturbed.
And be sure to not leave any water in a kettle on your stove, or in your coffee pot. Those bugs can go a long time with no food but without water they die within a matter of days.
So be on the look out for potential water sources, and then fix them.
Also, don’t leave paper sources out either as roaches love all things paper and cardboard as well.
Step 2: Deep Clean
My next step was to deep clean my kitchen. I pulled everything out and cleaned every surface I could reach. If you have any food spills that could potentially draw them be sure not to leave crumbs or anything of the sort unattended.
Also, put your cereal, crackers, and any other bagged food in glass sealed containers so roaches can’t get into them and use them as a food source.
Finally, I wiped down all of my canned food jars with hot soapy water to make sure there was no residue from any of the juices they were cooked in. I sprayed every surface down with degreaser as well because grease will attract roaches faster than anything.
Plus, you’ll need to make sure that you clean your oven thoroughly and regularly as grease build up in it will be a double whammy.
See, roaches love electronics so your stove is perfect because it is dark, could potentially have grease in it, and also has the electricity that they are drawn to.
So after you remove anything that could potentially draw roaches into your home, you’ll need to clean your house thoroughly.
Step 3 – Seal Up Your Home
After your home has been decluttered and deep cleaned, it is time to seal up any potential holes you may have in your home. Roaches can crawl through the tiniest spot in doorways or walls.
So you’ll need to seal up around your plumbing, sinks, and doors with weather stripping and caulk. Do the same around your windows as well.
Then look for any other areas that you can see which might be a doorway for insects and other pests to enter your home.
Once your home is sealed, decluttered, and cleaned you can be doing battle with the roaches that have made it in your house, but knowing that you’ve most likely stopped anymore from entering from outside.
Step 4 – Use Roach Traps
After your home is in tip-top shape it is time to go to war with the roaches that are still left in your home because sadly, there are still going to be some in your home most likely.
A good place to start is to purchase roach traps. They are pretty inexpensive and usually very easy to use. Just follow the instructions on the pack as they do vary.
However, you’ll need to place them where you’ve seen roaches the most. If they were under a leaky sink, then place the traps there. There is bait inside of the traps that will draw them in.
But if you saw them near your stove or other electronics, then place the traps where they most frequently travel.
Also, if you think you found where the roaches were coming in, it’s a good idea to place a trap there as well so if they still try to enter or exit that way, then they’ll be caught.
Once your traps are in place, just be on the lookout for roaches being caught.
Step 5 – Make a Few Homemade Mixtures
I’ve shared before how I try to keep my house super clean. Naturally, I was mortified that I had drawn roaches into my home out of my own ignorance.
So when I tell you I declared war, I declared all out war. I wasn’t satisfied with ridding my kitchen of cardboard, deep cleaning, and setting traps. I wanted those suckers gone, like yesterday.
Which is why I also used some homemade concoctions that included Borax. I love Borax. It is great for everything from cleaning, to washing clothes, and also for killing pests.
First, I sprinkled a mixture of cocoa, sugar, and borax along the floor of my kitchen. I put it going from the doorways to the appliances, and on around to my refrigerator. You have to sprinkle it very lightly or they will avoid it.
But if you include the sugar and make it light, the roaches will think it’s a food source. The Borax will kill them in the process.
Then I made a sugar mixture with Borax that I lined my counters with. Again, I didn’t make it thick so they wouldn’t avoid it.
However, a word of caution, if you have young children or pets take that into consideration. Borax is potent and can harm them.
So use these methods safely. I am happy to say after I sealed everything, decluttered my kitchen of cardboard, deep cleaned everything, and set traps (both store bought and homemade) the pests quickly got out of dodge.
Hopefully, you’ll have the same results.
Step 6 – Maintain It
The next step to ridding your home of roaches is to maintain this. Sadly, bugs will draw to just about anything, and you don’t want roaches in your home. They can make you very sick.
So you’ll need to be sure to keep a very tidy home. Clean your house regularly. Make sure that you clean messes up when they occur.
Also, be sure to take out your trash on a regular basis. Don’t let water be left standing in or around your home. Be sure to store your trash cans far away from your home as well.
Plus, you’ll need to get any cardboard or paper products out of your home as soon as you bring them in as well so if they contain roaches, they won’t be able to infest your home.
And don’t do what I did. If you are a canner, be sure to wash all of your jars with hot soapy water after they have been sealed. I used to use a damp cloth, but I have since learned that hot soapy water is a must.
Also, be sure to store any staples in glass containers instead of repurposing smaller cardboard boxes (like I did.) Who knew that was a huge no-no?
Well, now I do!
Step 7 – Don’t Feel Bad
The last tip I have for you when it comes to ridding your home of roaches is don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes, you can be a really clean person and things just happen that attract pests.
So if you wake up one morning to find out that using that old popcorn box as a way to store powdered drink mixes attracted some bugs, just handle it and cut yourself some slack.
Or if you realized that when you can meat, you have to use soapy dishwater to clean the outside of the jars instead of a wet cloth or it’ll draw bugs, don’t fret. Just follow the above tips.
Or if that leaky faucet that you’ve been trying to fix for a while is still leaking and unfortunately, brought the roaches with it, don’t panic. Follow the above steps and take the necessary steps in order to fix the leak.
But shaming yourself just makes things worse. I know because I actually cried when I found out I had bugs in my kitchen. It sounds kind of funny now but when you are a mom trying to keep a healthy home for your family, and you realize your ignorance is what brought them in, it can hit you hard and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
And if you are in that overwhelmed spot and have a really bad infestation to the point that the above tips do not work for your situation, please do not ignore it! Call a professional and get your home sprayed and cleaned up so you don’t have to share your home with bugs. It isn’t healthy for you or your loved ones.
Well, now you know what can attract roaches to your home and how you can (hopefully) kick them out of your home if they come.
Again, I hope you will use these tips to head them off so you don’t have to declare war on household pests.
However, I learned through battling these bugs that roaches are one of the most common household pests. Yes, they are that easy to attract and that hard to get rid of!
So I want to hear your thoughts. How do you keep your home pest free? Do you have a certain product you recommend? A certain homemade mixture you use to rid your home of bugs? Do you have a recommendation of a specific place you should clean in your home or it will be a sure thing to attract roaches?
We really appreciate your input as this community learns a lot from each other. So come participate and leave us your comments in the space provided below.