Cockroaches have been around far longer than humans — for more than 280 million years, they have roamed the earth, and now they roam into our homes with near impunity, only showing themselves at night. And on average, we spend more than $8 billion per year on pest control services and roach exterminators to rid our homes of them.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who seek out pest control companies each year, chances are you want any pests they remove to stay gone. But when cockroaches thrive in wet, warm places, that can be easier said than done if you live in a place like Austin, Texas. Here’s a look at the three best ways to make sure that the cockroaches don’t return after you’ve hired an exterminator:
Do your dishes
Cockroaches need two things to survive: food and water. By leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight, you’re giving them free access to both those things! And believe it or not, but leaving food-covered dishes in your dishwasher is just as much of an invitation for cockroaches to waltz back into your home — so be sure to rinse your dishes well before leaving them in the dishwasher. If you’re in a rush out the door and don’t have time to do all your dishes, rinsing the food off of them and soaking them in soapy water is a good alternative.
Seek out non-toxic repellants
If you’re a fan of more organic forms of pest control, using natural, non-toxic repellants like catnip, diatomaceous earth or non-toxic cockroach traps are all great ideas for keeping cockroaches away in the weeks after your pest control services. They’re tough on cockroaches while gentle on the environment!
Seal off any cracks or gaps
Cockroaches can enter your home through old, cracked pipes or cracks in your walls and floors. Following any pest control services, it’s a smart idea to inspect your home for cracks and holes in your walls, cupboards and floors, particularly near water pipes and electrical cables. You can usually seal up these cracks with caulk from the local home improvement store, or you can hire a handyman to do the job for you.
Keeping the cockroaches away for good after you’ve sought out a roach removal might seem like a daunting task — but by staying vigilant in the months after your pest control service, you can make sure your home stays pest-free for years to come.