How does boric acid kill cockroaches

Fighting cockroaches: how to get rid of bugs

Having bugs like cockroaches or cockroaches in the house is a nuisance. Cockroaches infiltrate the apartment piece by piece, and those affected often only realize quite late that they have uncomfortable subtenants. But with patience and the help of an expert, you can get rid of the problem.

Fighting cockroaches: how to get rid of bugs
Fighting cockroaches: how to get rid of bugs

How do the cockroaches get into the apartment?

First of all: Having cockroaches in the house does not mean that you do not clean well enough or that your apartment is in an unsanitary condition. It just means you're unlucky - as ugly as that sounds. The cockroach species that could potentially have nested with you will find shelter wherever it is more than 20 degrees Celsius and there is a source of food and moisture nearby. In their natural habitat they would ingest fruits or dead plant parts and contribute to the production of humus - in other words, they would do something good for the ecological system. In the vicinity of humans they eat textiles, paper, leather and, as the name of the storage pest suggests, also food. They transmit and trigger diseases and can make life extremely difficult for asthmatics.

For example, cockroaches may have entered your kitchen in a food package. Or in a bag from the delivery service, in a bag from the cleaning department, or in a second-hand electrical device. Another possibility is that if you live near a food establishment, pet shop, or swimming pool, the animals have worked their way from there piece by piece to your front door. Maybe the little animals came through the sewer system.

Cockroaches can be harmful to health

Important: Cockroaches can cause great damage to humans as well as pets and farm animals: cockroaches can transmit fungal infections, dysentery, hepatitis, gastrointestinal flu, typhoid, consumption and salmonella poisoning. That means: the animals are indeed not hosts of these diseases, but if they have them, then humans in their vicinity may soon have them too. In addition, cockroaches have been shown to cause severe allergies and asthma attacks as well as eczema.

Which cockroaches are they?

Biologists around the world have recorded around 3500 cockroach species. Most of them stay away from people, for example live in the forest. The ones that can be dealt with in an apartment in Europe, i.e. the house pests, are mostly the German cockroach, the common cockroach, also known as the oriental cockroach, and the American cockroach. Occasionally, other types of cockroaches are also reported by pest controllers, which, like the now widespread cockroach, come into the country as stowaways in trucks, cars, ships and airplanes through travelers and trade.

The smallest of the pests is the German cockroach. It is between twelve and 16 millimeters long, is brown and has two black vertical stripes across the chest. Its wings can protrude beyond the body - it cannot fly properly with it, but it can run all the better: A German cockroach can cover up to 29 centimeters per second.

The common cockroach, also known as the oriental cockroach, is somewhat larger: it can reach 25 to 30 millimeters. Through global trade, it came to Europe from North Africa in the past centuries. It is dark brown to black and prefers warmer and more humid places than the German cockroach. She prefers to populate indoor swimming pools, breweries, slaughterhouses, stables and bakeries. This has earned her the nickname baker's cockroach.

The American cockroach is the largest and has long antennae. The red-brown cockroach with the yellow front breast grows up to 53 millimeters long. And: it can fly. The American cockroach likes it warm. Their range is therefore more restricted than that of the other cockroaches - they often nestle in canal systems.

Where do cockroaches hide?

Cockroaches are light shy and therefore active at night. If you see a live cockroach in your apartment during the day, you probably already have a fairly large population of cockroaches in the house - because the storage pests scurry around outside in the light only when the nest is too narrow. Anatomically, they are perfectly adapted to their living space: The flat, elongated and oval body allows them to crawl into even the smallest cracks and crevices. The cockroaches register every vibration, no matter how small, with their legs and antennae. That means: door frames, cracks in the floor, small holes behind the sink, the heat exchanger of the refrigerator, the extractor hood, a gap between the cabinet and the wall, broken tiles, a crack in the wall, pipe shafts - the nesting possibilities for cockroaches are almost endless.

Recognize cockroaches: How do you become aware of a cockroach's nest?

Precisely because the pests fit into every crack, no matter how small, most people do not immediately notice when the new subtenants have moved in - and the population increases relatively quickly without being noticed. Up to 200 animals can live in a shelter. Most of the time, not just one apartment is affected in apartment buildings. If you have a cockroach problem in your apartment, your neighbor either already has one or will have one in the foreseeable future.

So what should you watch out for? The most obvious indication of a cockroach nest in the apartment is, of course, after you've seen an animal, live or dead. Another sign are the almost transparent remains of skin that the cockroaches leave behind when they molt up to eight times during their growth - so-called skin armor. These can be found near the nest. You will probably also see the cockroach's egg packets there: They are cuboid, rounded at the top, up to one centimeter long and brown to black. Elongated, brown-black, crumbly traces of excrement on the walls or cabinet doors, eaten food and crumbs in the pantry are further clues. In addition, there is the sweet, musty smell that cockroaches secrete in order to communicate with each other.

Roaches in the apartment: the right way to control cockroaches

Act immediately - as soon as you first suspect a pest infestation. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem becomes. If you live in a tenancy, you must notify the property manager and the owner of the problem. And: Call a pest expert immediately. Cockroaches are a nuisance that there is no way you can cope with by yourself. But: You can provide support measures for the exterminator's work. Overcome your disgust, put on work gloves and take action. Turn down the heating and ventilate regularly - cockroaches don't like fresh, cold air. Use the vacuum cleaner to suck up the skin armor and the egg packets, then change the vacuum cleaner bag or, in the case of the bagless vacuum cleaner, the dust collector. Close joints and cracks in the walls with adhesive tape or silicone, close door and window gaps, temporarily tape off the sockets. Throw away the cockroach-infested foods - do not eat them anymore. It can make you sick due to the cockroach droppings and mushrooms brought into the food by the animals. Transfer the rest of the unaffected food into resealable containers made of glass or plastic. Thoroughly clean all of the closets. You should also clean the stove and refrigerator. Disinfect work areas, tables, cabinet fronts, chairs - simply everything in the affected rooms.

Deprive the cockroaches of food: wash your dishes immediately, don't leave them in the sink overnight. The same goes for the food and water bowls of your four-pawed friends. Take out the rubbish every day - and only collect it in lockable containers in the apartment. If you've recently come back from vacation, shake off and wash any clothes you brought with you outside of the home. If you have put unwashed clothes out of the suitcase in the closet, you have to take everything out of the closet, shake it out and wash it.

Rely on the experts for pest control

Now is the time to take stock. Set up a cockroach trap near the cockroach nest - this is usually a sticky trap that prevents the vermin from moving on. This gives you a rough overview of how big the colony already is. You can also buy cockroach spray - if you don't know how to use it properly, you run the risk of poisoning yourself and all other living beings in the apartment, but leaving all cockroaches alive. In the event of a cockroach infestation, pest fighters therefore rely on what is known as pest. The baits are placed or glued to strategic points around the cockroach nest, the animals eat it and die from it. There are manufacturers who advertise their products by stating that the cockroaches, equipped with a strong urge to cannibalism, would eat animals that have already been weakened by the product.

You should also keep this in mind when fighting

  • Be careful not to trample cockroaches, as the eggs can be carried along with the sole of the shoe.
  • Avoid using agents with insecticide when fighting. Traps with attractants and tape are better.
  • It is best to position the traps in the places where cockroaches are comfortable. That means: dark, warm and humid hiding places, such as below the sink, in the electrical part of refrigerators or on heating pipes.
  • It is essential to vacuum up dead insects, dirt, egg packets and moulting residues with a vacuum cleaner with an appropriate attachment nozzle. Then change the vacuum cleaner bag.
  • Pesticides also include bait cans and powders with diatomaceous earth or kieselguhr, which is also made up of diatoms. This is fatal as it dries out the cockroaches. Other substances that are used are borax or boric acid. Do not mix old home remedies yourself, as these substances can also be dangerous for humans.
  • In any case, you should leave the use of agents with the active ingredient abamectin to an expert. Although it is a natural product, not only is it highly toxic, but it also has a negative effect on reproduction and causes skin irritation in humans.
  • Cockroach gel is also often used. This has the advantage that the cockroach does not die directly, but retreats to its shelter after the meal and only dies there. Since cockroaches are cannibals, by eating the dead cockroach they will ingest the active ingredient and also die. It is best to bring the gel in front of or in the animal loopholes. Renew the gel points about every two weeks.

Why should you forego synthetic chemical pesticides?

Chemical pesticides pose enormous health risks that can cause serious problems, especially for babies, sick people and pregnant women. The agents usually contain neurotoxins, which can also damage the nervous system of humans and pets. In addition, it is not uncommon for the poisonous substances to enter the indoor air. Once food is contaminated with it, it can be discharged into the environment through the waste and pollute water and soil there. So it is better to leave the control to experts and always use as little as possible and as much as necessary.

Getting rid of cockroaches: how long does it take to fight?

How long the cockroach control lasts depends on the infestation and the affected areas. In individual cases, only the responsible exterminator can say exactly. After about seven days, however, the first successes should be visible. Around two to three months later, all of the roaches in your home should be eradicated. But: the drama is unfortunately not over yet. Because eggs can still be deposited somewhere or larvae can hatch. Regular, meticulous checks are therefore essential. If the oriental cockroach has taken hold of you, you will only be able to rest six months after the start of treatment.

Preventive measures

  • Do not transport your groceries in used cardboard boxes like banana boxes. These often come from southern countries and offer optimal hiding places and egg laying places for cockroaches.
  • Always check your suitcases and bags for eggs after a vacation.
  • Buy only intact food. You should always draw the sales staff's attention to open packs.
  • To be on the safe side at home, too, it is advisable to transfer foods such as pasta, flour, sugar and the like into well-sealable glass, plastic, ceramic or porcelain containers. Bags made of paper, cardboard or cellophane can easily be destroyed by the cockroach's mouthparts.
  • Make sure that you properly dispose of old food or cooking oil.