Cockroaches in your home can be distressing and unpleasant. If you see one crawling around, chances are there are plenty more hiding away in the darkest, quietest corners of your home.

While you can learn how to stop cockroaches and eliminate them from your home, they say prevention is better than cure.

What attracts cockroaches?

The first thing to do is to understand what attracts cockroaches and what reduces the presence of them. When a cockroach ventures into your home, they are looking for food, water, warmth and shelter, so it is a good idea to make your home as unattractive to cockroaches as possible by:

  • Eliminating access to food: Don’t leave food on the counter (covered or uncovered), thoroughly rinse out all disposable food containers before placing them in the recycling bin and transfer kitchen waste to the bins outside. Wipe down all surfaces in your kitchen with a good surface cleaner and give your appliances a good clean regularly.

  • Eliminating access to water: Remove any liquid spills or liquid residue in containers around your home. Wipe down sinks and tubs, and rinse sponges and cleaning cloths thoroughly, squeezing as much of the water out as possible so they dry quickly.

  • Eliminating access to your home: Block any gaps or crevices through which they might gain access to your home, including around windows and under doorways.

What repels cockroaches?

Cockroaches are hardy creatures, which means that the most effective way to eliminate them from your home is by using purpose designed products such as control bombs, baits and surface sprays which are ideal for killing these pests.

Cockroaches like to congregate together in the dark. Start by using the Mortein Kill & Protect Cockroach Bait that contains ingredients to lure cockroaches to the bait laced with insecticide. The cockroach will feed on the bait, become contaminated, die often after returning to the nest. The bait takes advantage of the cannibalistic tendencies of cockroaches as the contaminated cockroach remains are likely to be eaten by others which will then be poisoned in turn and die. The insecticide also eliminates the eggs that the cockroaches carry thereby also breaking the breeding cycle, as well as eliminating the existing population.

Once you have eliminated the nest, keep your home cockroaches free with Mortein Kill & Protect Crawling Insect Surface Spray. Once sprayed onto surfaces, the residual action lures and kills cockroaches continuously for up to 6 months; simply spray in infested areas such as around doorways, cracks, under and behind cupboards, behind refrigerators, under stoves and along wall skirting.

Can one cockroach cause an infestation?

Unfortunately, all it takes is for one cockroach carrying an egg sac to lead to an infestation. A typical egg case of a German cockroach can contain up to 50 eggs. The egg case is carried by the female until one to two days before hatching. With their ability to reproduce prolifically, it is important for you to quickly eliminate the problem before it gets out of hand.

Generally speaking, cockroaches can invade our homes at any time of the year, with the warmer months being their chief breeding season. According to entomologist Graeme Smith, “cockroaches are much less active when the weather gets cool, but,” he adds, “they don’t necessarily die out. They survive quite well in people’s homes.”

How do cockroaches get in your house?

With cockroaches being such fierce breeders, perhaps the best way to combat them is to prevent them from getting in your home in the first place. So, how do cockroaches get in your house? Here are some possibilities, as well as ways to combat them:

  • As mentioned, cockroaches can get into your house through cracks and crevices in your walls and gaps around your entry ways. Seal gaps in damaged walls with filler and use foam or rubber strip products to seal around doors and windows.

  • You’ll also want to seal off any holes surrounding pipes, wall fixings and lighting fixtures.

  • Keep your garden and porch clear from unnecessary materials which can act as a staging shelter for cockroaches close to your home.