Why do outside roaches come inside? What damage can they cause to homes? How to get rid of garden roaches? And finally, how to protect your home from outside cockroaches
I. What is a garden roach?
The garden cockroach (Ectobius Vinzi is its scientific name) is an insect of the family Blattelidae.
It is still called cockroach in Europe, ravet in the Caribbean and cockroach in Canada.
It is a species considered a pest by most people. The garden cockroach is recognizable by its brown or black color, its oval and flattened shape, and its size which can vary from a few millimeters to about 6 cm.
It has two long antennae on its head, two faceted eyes, and two chewing mouthparts.
This insect uses its wings very little, except in a very hot environment. It moves mostly by running very fast with its spiny legs.
The lifestyle of garden cockroaches is quite simple since they live only to feed and reproduce.
This species of the order Blattoptera can live between 6 and 12 months, including 8 to 9 in the state of larva and pupa, and 2 to 3 in the imago state.
They are ovoviviparous and can produce thousands of young during their life. The female deposits oothecae (egg sacs) filled with 16 to 25 eggs.
The cockroach is omnivorous and can survive for a long time with very little food. They are very resistant species that have existed since the Carboniferous, in the Paleozoic era (for about 350 million years).
II. Why do outside roaches come inside the house?
Garden cockroaches enter the house in search of a favorable environment for their nutrition and reproduction.
The warm seasons (summer, spring) are those during which the infestation is effective.
The decomposing organic matter that they love in the garden becomes scarce.
These periods, favorable to reproduction, and the proliferation of the colony, make external foodstuffs insufficient.
So they retreat to the nearest favorable place: your house in this case. Thanks to their flat, smooth bodies, garden cockroaches are able to squeeze through the smallest cracks and crevices to get into your home.
Your home is a very suitable place for a cockroach. All it takes is a few dirty dishes lying around, three bread crumbs at the foot of the table, or a greasy wall in the kitchen for the garden cockroach to make it his new home.
In addition to food, cockroaches seek moisture and warmth. They will lodge in your closets, under your appliances, and in small spaces (doors, walls …).
Their favorite place in the house is the kitchen because of its tranquility, and its dark places conducive to the development of their colony.
III. What damage can they cause to homes?
If cockroaches are only looking to live their lives, they nevertheless disturb your environment. When they invade homes, they sometimes cause serious damage.
They get into garbage cans and garbage disposals, then step on your dishes and make them dirty.
They attack your food packages, destroying the packaging and exposing it to faster decay.
At night, they wander all over the house and also on your furniture while disseminating all kinds of bacteria they can carry.
They can also take refuge in your laundry, and underwear, and nibble on fabrics.
The important documents you keep at home are also in danger with these bugs devouring everything when they are hungry.
The natural role of garden roaches is to decompose organic matter to improve the richness of the garden soil.
When there is nothing left to decompose in the garden, it is the objects in your home that will suffer.
With their powerful mandibles, cockroaches will consume files that you carefully store, and even storage boxes.
You could lose valuable souvenir photos, or even books that will not be spared.
Neglect of hygiene measures is certainly a factor in the proliferation of garden cockroaches in the home.
But this species of insect is also quite comfortable in a very clean environment since it also feeds on particular materials (cardboard, paper, plastic, fabric …).
Garden cockroaches that storm your home will wade into your garbage cans, and then continue their adventures in your meticulously cleaned kitchen.
They’ll spread bacteria all over the house and garage and in the most delicate places. This will cause other types of damage to the health of the inhabitants of the house by bringing back serious diseases such as Salmonellosis, Typhoid fever, gastroenteritis, dysentery, hepatitis, and other parasitic diseases.
IV. How to get rid of garden roaches
# Grandmother’s Recipes
The main question is how to get rid of these pests that contaminate our environment. There are several means more or less effective depending on the degree of infestation.
Natural recipes can be used when the infestation is recent, so roaches in reduced numbers.
- An effective grandmother’s recipe consists in making a mixture based on plaster. It is a composition of white flour, plaster, and cornstarch. Once the paste is formed, place it on the roaches’ paths.
- White vinegar is an excellent insect repellent. Spray it in the corners of the house. Cockroaches will leave. Repeat every other day for the best results.
- You can use cucumber as an insect repellent. Cut it into thin slices and place them in the cupboards.
- Red wine would also be an excellent poison. Place small bowls of wine in unexposed areas and the cockroaches will drink it to death.
- Beer is also an effective way to get rid of these pests. Place a rag soaked in beer in their path to contaminate them
- You can also use bay leaves that you will chop up and scatter in their living areas. Its smell is unbearable for cockroaches.
- You can pour baking soda on their path. The inhalation of baking soda causes dehydration of the insect. In addition, the cockroach will contaminate the members of its colony, which will suffer the same fate. For more effectiveness, mix it with powdered sugar.
- Diatomaceous earth or silica powder is used to dissolve grease. It will destroy the shell of garden cockroaches and cause their death.
- Boric acid-based solutions are also very effective in getting rid of these insects. The paste obtained will be placed on the passages of cockroaches. Be careful with children and pets.
# Cockroach Traps
You can make traps to catch and kill garden cockroaches that attack you.
Sticky traps consist of buying adhesive paper in a supermarket and placing a little food on it to attract them.
Once stuck, you put them in a plastic bag and put them in the refrigerator for a few hours to finish them off.
Another trap is to coat the inside of a can with petroleum jelly (or any greasy, slippery liquid) and place a bait at the bottom.
The cockroaches that get in will not be able to get out.
V. How to protect your home from outside cockroaches
Getting rid of pests is good, but keeping them out of your home is even better.
The ways to protect your home from garden cockroaches are relatively simple. You need to be more vigilant during the warm seasons, which are prolific for these bugs.
- You should try to plug all the holes and cracks that could be entry channels into your home, behind sockets, and under baseboards where they could hide.
- You must also proceed to a deep and regular cleaning of your interior. Clean the floor, and vacuum after each meal to avoid food crumbs that attract them. Protect your foodstuffs by putting them in plastic or glass boxes that are tightly closed.
- Do not leave dirty dishes lying around, wrap garbage in garbage bags before throwing them away, and empty the garbage regularly.
- During these periods, to limit the arrival of cockroaches in the house as much as possible, carry out a deeper cleaning that is not done daily. This involves moving large appliances (refrigerator, washing machine, stove…) and scrubbing the back, sides, and bottom, which are not easily accessible every day. The greasy walls behind the cooking plates for example are enough for the survival of cockroaches for sometimes their whole life.
The best way to avoid cockroaches is to change the way you live. Because if the cleanliness of the house is rather acceptable, no dwelling, unless adopting a behavior dedicated to the prevention of infestation, is really safe.
In semi-detached houses or apartment buildings, regular pest control by professionals is necessary.
Cockroaches are tough insects and their speed of reproduction allows them to quickly re-inhabit a place from which they were chased.
In addition to plugging all holes, sewage pipes should be closed at night, when they are most active.
It is necessary to synchronize hygiene efforts: all neighbors should empty all their garbage cans at night, close all holes at the same time, and make potential nests unlivable.
Don’t forget pet food and litter, which also attract garden cockroaches.
You can put their food bowls in a basin of soapy water, which will keep the undesirables away.
You can also reduce the humidity in your home as a preventative measure. A moisture absorber is a tool you need to dry out your home and make it as unwelcoming as possible to these critters.