Cockroach Control – Doing Your Part

Cockroach infestations are some of the most common issues in our Southeast New Mexico service areas of Artesia and Carlsbad. They range from minor “water bug” (Oriental Roach) presence to extreme infestations of German roaches. Some are rather easy to control and others take a bit of time and persistence.

While this article is directed more as a supplement and guideline for our own clients, the following information, steps, and requirements will also be helpful if you’re going at it yourself. This stuff is important for complete long term control and goes beyond the resources that are used to actually kill the pests. As well, these are important as preventive measures.

Along with an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach and an attack plan from all angles, educating our clients and client participation is critical in achieving the best long term results in the least amount of time. Please understand the importance of this. There are things that the client must do to help. We’ll do our part and educate our clients but it is critical that they do their part.

First, let me make the point clear. Any home, clean or unkept, can get a roach infestation. An unkept house is not usually the cause or source. And it doesn’t mean your house is dirty or unsanitary because you get one. However, having a good supply of clutter, food sources, and water will amplify an environment to encourage roaches and other insects to hang around and multiply. It will also hinder our progress in achieving desired results.

Effective control of cockroach infestations requires a different approach than other types of insect pest control, maintenance, and exterminator practices. Simply spraying an insecticide labeled for roaches generally isn’t going to do the trick. It doesn’t matter what the label says.

So…….what can you do?

 Minimize Clutter

There are a few reasons to minimize or eliminate clutter.

  •   – Harborage – This is pretty obvious. Clutter creates lots of areas where the roaches can hide and breed.
  •   – Make Areas Treatable – While liquid spray insecticides are a very small part of our roach control program, we still use specialized insecticides that include IGR’s (Insect Growth Regulators) which are basically bug birth control. We obviously can’t treat toys, clothes, shoes, and other personal items so all of these things need to be picked up. This means everything and not just the few things I just named.
  •  - Cardboard Boxes And Paper Sacks – This is where a lot of infestations start and where the roaches are brought in in the first place. These items have seams that are perfect hiding places and carriers for eggs and the bugs themselves. Get rid of them and try not to bring them in in the first place.

 Sanitation

As I stated before, any home, clean or unkept, can get a roach infestation. However, having lots of  clutter, food sources, and water will help create an environment to encourage a roach infestation. It will also hinder our progress in desired results.

  •   – Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum  - Your vacuum is one of your best tools for fighting roaches. And preferably one with a good filter like a hepa that will trap allergens produced by the bugs. Frequent vacuuming will trap roaches of all life stages, their eggs, allergens, and food sources. After each use make sure you empty the vacuum right away into a sealed bag and dispose of it in the outside receptacle.
  •  - Clean counter tops, stove tops, etc. with bleach solution. Do this often and especially at night before you go to bed.
  •  - Cupboards And Cabinets – Clean out all cupboards and cabinets, wash the dishes, clean with a bleach solution, and place new shelf paper.
  •  - Make foods inaccessible – Place food sources in sealed plastic containers. This includes pet foods. I know that this can be time consuming, costly, and seem a bit extreme. However, this is very important for long term control and prevention.
  •  - Empty trash often.
  •  - Clean up crumbs where you eat. If you eat in front of the television or in bed, make sure these areas are cleaned up after use. Again, your vacuum is one of your best tools.
  •  - Do a thorough clean up of the entire house. I don’t think I need to explain what thoroughly clean is. However, a few suggestions are to shampoo the carpets, mop the floors, clean grease splatter from the sides of appliances, clean out light fixtures, dust, etc.

 Eliminate Water Sources

Roaches can’t survive without water so it’s important to get rid of all sources of water. It’s one of the things they’re looking for in your home or business.

Several species of cockroaches are tropical or from areas that have more moisture than we do here in Southeast New Mexico. And while they are very adaptive to many environments, they still need water to survive.

  •  - Water leaks and dripping faucets – Fix ‘em or call a plumber
  •  - Dry out sinks and keep the drains plugged. This is especially important at night before you go to bed.

 Exclusion – Keep Roaches Out

  •   – Cracks And Crevices – Many species of roaches are nocturnal and spend much of their time nesting in cracks, crevices, and voids. These areas such as cracks in walls and where pipes come through walls need to be repaired or filled.
  •  - Seals Around Electric Outlets – Electrical outlets are very common nesting areas. New seals around your electrical outlets is helpful.
  •  - Weather Stripping – Weather stripping under and around doors and windows need to be tight and create a seal to keep more bugs out.

It doesn’t take a trained eye to spot and address the obvious. If it’s even questionable, take care of it. In the case of cockroach infestations, there’s no such thing as too much control and prevention.

 Professional Cockroach Control

If you live in Carlsbad, Artesia, or surrounding Southeast New Mexico areas and would like professional help with a cockroach infestation, give Horizon Pest Control a call today at 575-725-9331 . With this type of issue, time is critical. Either get on it right away yourself or get professional help.

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