5 Non-Chemical Ways to Control Roach Population

People want to get rid of roaches not because they’re afraid of getting bitten, but because these insects are filthy vectors. Yes, they do bite, but these creatures aren’t aggressive by nature. Roaches are dangerous because they can carry viruses that cause gastroenteritis, salmonella, typhoid, dysentery, and many other infectious organisms. These animals can easily sneak into a house; and the roach’s mere act of crawling all over plates and utensils, as well as food, readily spreads disease-causing bacteria. Because of the health dangers that cockroaches bring, they should be eliminated from homes.

When it comes to cockroach eradication, the first thing that comes to mind is pesticide. However, the use of chemicals in killing roaches has several disadvantages. For one, chemicals not only kill roaches, but also other beneficial bugs. So, it’s not a good idea to spray Raid all over the place when you have a thriving garden that depends on several types of beneficial insects. Secondly, pesticide use adds to environmental degradation. Artificial substances in pesticides leave residues that harm the ground and water. Third, pesticides are dangerous to health. Have you noticed those warning signs on pesticide cans or containers? Regular exposure or even a one-time exposure to a significant amount of pesticide is very harmful to health.

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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/siamesepuppy/8259832512/

Because of the dangers mentioned above, it’s better to choose natural and non-chemical ways to control roach populations. Here are some examples.

1. Keep your home clean.

Sanitation is key in deterring cockroaches. The cleaner your place is, the less likely roaches will come and dwell there. Roaches can easily survive on scraps or crumbs. They are attracted to food odors as well. To ward them off, clean your house everyday. Vacuum carpets, sweep floors, wipe kitchen counters, and scrub spills.

2. Fill your home with odors that roaches don’t like.

The scents of certain essential oils and herbs are unappealing to cockroaches. So, after cleaning, you can spray your home with citronella, eucalyptus or peppermint. Another way to distribute such scents is by soaking cotton balls with the essential oil of your choice, and then putting these in places where roaches are most likely to pass by. When they get a whiff of that peppermint smell, they’ll most likely run away. In addition to essential oils, the aroma of some herbs is unpleasant to roaches too. These critters hate the smell of cucumber, cayenne pepper and okra.

3. Use environmentally friendly roach killers.

There are various types of ecofriendly pesticides, such as diatomaceous earth and boric acid. DE sticks to the outer covering of a cockroach, and then damages it. The damage leads to dehydration and, eventually, death. The ingestion of boric acid also kills roaches, as well as other insects, such as termites, ants, and fleas.

4. Employ physical barriers.

Make sure that you keep out roaches by sealing cracks or putting screens on doors and windows. When sealing cracks, you can use caulking material, such as silicone, latex, or butyl rubber caulk. For large holes, stuff opening with steel wool before caulking.

5. Set sticky traps.

Adhesive or sticky traps that are used to catch rodents can also be used to ensnare roaches. Place these traps near openings or in places where you often find cockroaches. Once roaches get stuck, they won’t be able to break free from the gluey boards. Clean up is a cinch as you can just put used boards in the garbage bin.


Claire Clarke is a freelance writer and a homeowner who also encountered roach problems in the past. She continues to use natural methods to keep away roaches and other annoying pests. Clarke blogs about her experiences for pest control companies like Insight Pest Solutions.

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