Got pests at your place? No, not the human kind! One of the most common pests you will find hanging in and around your home are cockroaches.
Other pests may or may not be seen but are sure lurking around somewhere, ants, silverfish, moths, flies, mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, mice, rats, bird lice or even a possum or bird. There is just something about a nice, resourceful, homely place that attracts pests from all over. Of course, what ends up happening is you must continually remove live and dead pests from your place, which isn’t the most thrilling of tasks to say the least.
While cockroaches are a relatively benign threat to places, they can be a nuisance. Let’s explore why cockroaches and other insects love your place so much and look at a few steps you can take to get rid of them once and for all.
Why Do Cockroaches Love Indoors?
Have you ever wondered why cockroaches always seem to end up in your place? The reasons are quite simple – food and water. At night, the place is quiet and dark and acts like a cover that allows cockies to scurry around close by. This attracts cockroaches who discover a gigantic feeding plate where they can steal a nibble or two. Crumbs, scraps, compost attract the cockroaches, who eat this main food source. This influx of cockroaches and bugs at night then attracts you to switch the light on and freak out, run for the hills or for the swatter.
You get them there, but then people also discover a long list of food left out, unclean dishes or bench tops, scraps on the floor or in the compost bin where they possibly may have even taken a feed. What people don’t realize is cockroaches get out and wait once the light has been turned off. In the end, most will simply wait and feed in darkness leaving it up to you to capture and remove them from your place, and that’s definitely not the most fun task you will do on even your worst of days.
Are Cockroaches Bad for Your Place?
The good news is the cockroaches aren’t actually bad for your place. In fact, they actually eat a lot of food crumbs that you would normally have overlooked to clean from your place making your job a little easier. When they do become bad, their faeces or droppings and carcasses will often bring on symptoms in sensitive people making it relatively challenging to clean, even if it is a little gross.
If you are concerned about disease because of the cockroaches, don’t be. The good clean in your place will take care of any pesky bacteria that may be hiding out on the cockroach and most don’t carry anything harmful to humans anyway apart from those that are sensitive. Cockroach control may become a homeowner’s most difficult task because of the time and emotional distress it often involves. The cockroach is considered an allergen source and an asthma trigger for families and building occupants. For more on the proper way to clean up after cockroaches, visit the CDC website. We have been able to test out some pesticide free sticky traps that are a proven method of controlling cockroach infestations.
The brand that we have found to be best is AgriSense Lo-Line and can be purchased for approximately $35 including postage from Systems Pest Management by calling them on 02 9869 3153.
Simple Methods to Reduce Pests in Your Place
Just because they aren’t bad for the indoors, that doesn’t mean you are automatically alright with becoming the cockroach wrangler or the fly trainer for your home, cleaning up body after body, scattered droppings or their ‘nests’ and young. There are ways you can reduce the number of pests around your place, however. Let’s take a look at some of the best methods you can employ to reduce the pest population around your abode.
1. Install a Fly Screen
Installing fly screens around the perimeter of your building envelope, windows, door ways, is a great first step in pest defence and it also makes your place much safer and more secure in the process. Solid steel mesh fly screens are your best option to keep pests away as small pests could still slip through the holes in less sturdy materials and temporary screens
2. Clear out Composting
Pests love to hide in composting and vegetation piles. If you want to reduce your cockroach population, remove any composting and carefully landscape your garden areas using diatomaceous earth to discourage the pests from hiding there as well.
3. Turn Off Lights
The lights in and around your place attract bugs who then begin using your place as a smorgasbord platter. This attracts the pests such as insects, moths, mosquitoes to your place as they look to feast on other bugs, on you and take a drink and a feed while they are there.
When you aren’t using your lights, make sure all lights around the place, even in the garden, are turned off or dimly lit so fewer pests are attracted to your place.
4. DIY Pesticides
Create a mixture of any natural ingredients, add to a spray bottle and spray it around the entire perimeter of your garden. Once these mixtures dry, or touch the leaves, this will send pests the opposite away from your place.
Natural & Homemade Insecticides
Saves your garden without killing the Earth. Castille soap, Neem, Diatomaceous Earth, garlic and chilli. Natural and homemade insecticide recipes should give you a good starting point. By paying close attention to the effects of a specific recipe, it’s possible to modify it to best suit your own insect battles
Invite Pests Natural Predators
Pests are attracted to food and water. So if you keep their numbers low, it will be hard for pests to lay eggs or create more pests to enter your place. Plant mint, fennel, dill, yarrow, sunflowers and dandelion to attract ladybirds, praying mantis, hoverflies and lacewings – all of which will happily feast on your insects. The circle of life!
How To Deter Possums
If possums are eating your plants, brew some Lapsang Souchong tea and spray it on your plants – possums can’t stand the stuff. They also don’t like the smell of camphor blocks or mothballs, so consider hanging a few about. If possums (or birds) are feasting on your fruit trees, cover them with netting.
While it may be impossible to completely rid your place of pests, taking the steps above can definitely help you reduce your pest population so your place doesn’t become known as the zoo of pests. Remember, these pests won’t hurt you, they’re just annoying. So if you do see them flying around in your place, try to remove them as soon as possible. Just take it somewhere away from your place before you release it.
Pesticides are used in various products, from rodent and cockroach baits, fly sprays and gardening chemicals. Conventional pest control applications that involve the use of toxic pesticides to kill cockroaches, rodents, termites, spiders and mosquitoes, are hazardous to human health. They do not address why the pest was attracted to your property in the first place.
Pesticide exposure can cause many different health effects, from acute problems such as dermatitis and asthma exacerbation to chronic problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer (Sanborn et al, 2002). Studies conducted in numerous countries, consistently report a increased risk associated between home insecticide use and exposure and childhood Leukaemia (Chen et al, 2015).
Integrated approach to pest management
Is based on an understanding of insect ecology and habits, how they behave, where they breed and what conditions they like to live in. If these measures do not reduce pest numbers to a normal ecology level, then you may wish to consider having a low hazard, combination, localised treatment undertaken with a priority on non-chemical control measures by Systems Pest Management by calling them on 02 9869 3153.
As a Building Biologist, history-taking assists me, and your health physicians, to quickly identify possible environmental exposures. We provide prevention strategies to pesticide exposures by eliminating and controlling as many sources of pollutants as possible.
Towards healthier living, Carol Parr ♥
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) , Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology (DHCPP). 2012. Cleaning Up After Rodents. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/. [Accessed 27 November 2018].
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009. Healthy Housing Reference Manual: Chapter 4: Disease Vectors and Pests. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications/books/housing/cha04.htm. [Accessed 27 November 2018].
Sanborn, M., Cole, D., Abelsohn, A. and Weir, E. Identifying and managing adverse environmental health effects: 4. Pesticides. – CMAJ. 2002 May 28;166(11):1431-6. [online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12054413 [Accessed 24 May 2019].
Chen, M., Chang, C., Tao, L. and Lu, C., 2015. Residential Exposure to Pesticide During Childhood and Childhood Cancers: A Meta-Analysis. – Pediatrics. 2015 Oct;136(4):719-29. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-0006. Epub 2015 Sep 14. [online] Pub Med. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26371195 [Accessed 24 May 2019].