Cockroaches are the stuff of nightmares. The creepy, crawly, fast moving insect is disturbing to those with even the strongest stomachs and when cockroaches infest a household it can be downright horrifying. The bugs, which are prone to coming out in the darkness, will crop up in the most unlikely of places and make everyone’s skin crawl.

A cockroach infestation can be disgusting and horrifying. The following guide will help rid a household of the nightmarish insect.

Keep Things Clean

Like most insects, roaches are attracted to leftover food and messes, especially in the kitchen. It’s imperative that the home be completely clean when attempting to get rid of a cockroach infestation.

The counters should be kept clean and dry at all times. Dishes should be cleaned, rinsed, and dried immediately after use. This will ensure that roaches don’t flock to piles of dirty dishes for a midnight feast.

The garbage can should be taken out regularly, a minimum of once daily. If possible, food should be scraped directly into an outdoor trash can. It is also important to thoroughly scrub and bleach the indoor trash can. This will prevent any old food particles from clinging to the inside of the can as a delicious feast for the insects.

Carpet should also be frequently vacuumed, especially in places where food may have hit the floor. This is an especially important step in households with children, because kids tend to eat in front of the television and drop food on the floor.

Sticky Tape

The sticky tape that is used to catch mice can also be used to catch roaches. This is a good first step because it allows the number of roaches to be easily assessed. If the sticky paper doesn’t catch any roaches, than the problem is probably extremely mild. Possibly just a stray roach or two that found their way into the home. If the sticky tape is largely undisturbed, than farther treatment of the house is unnecessary.

If the sticky paper is covered in cockroaches, than the problem is much more severe. Additionally, if the roaches are visible during the day than the problem is much more likely to be an infestation rather than a stray roach or two.

Roach Bait

Roach bait is a good option for mild to moderate infestations. The bait is created by adding boric acid to a sweet tasting substance. This will attract the roaches and cause them to ingest a slow acting poison. Because the poison does not immediately take effect, the roaches have enough time to carry the poison back to their colonies, spreading it among the entire army of roaches.

This can also be an effective preventative measure because roaches frequently alert other roaches to areas that can be easily inhabited. If the roach is killed before or during the alerting of the colony, a roach infestation will be avoided.

Dusts and Sprays

Dusts and sprays are ideal for moderate to severe roach infestations. Most dusts and sprays are desiccants, meaning that instead of working as an immediately poison, they work by damaging the exoskeleton of the roach. This results in a slow death caused by moisture being released through the exoskeleton, which ordinarily keeps the roach hydrated.

Dusts and sprays can be more effective because they can be spread over a large area. The house can be covered, reaching the vast majority of the roaches with a single treatment. This can be more effective than baits, which relies on roaches being drawn to and ingesting the poison.

Roach Foggers

Roach foggers are usually done by professional exterminators and should be utilised as an absolute last resort. Roach foggers have not been conclusively determined as safe for human health and many scientists believe that the substance used to kill roaches could be a carcinogen to humans.

Roach foggers may be especially dangerous to children and pets, who should not be present during the procedure and should avoid the home for as long as possible after a roach fogging is performed.