It seems cockroaches have been plaguing human beings since the beginning of time. More than 3,000 years ago, The Egyptian Book of the Dead describes a spell which invokes the ram-headed god Khnum to banish vile cockroaches. On ships in the 1600s, some sailors, after discovering that their eyelashes were eaten off during the night by these creatures, tried in vain to kill them by burning sulfur. In the late 19th century, people were creating traps using molasses, and local papers contained advertisements for cockroach exterminators. Synthetic insecticides and crack-and-crevice sprays in the 20th century brought temporary relief – then in the 1950’s, it was thought that DDT would mean the end of all cockroaches; but less than 10 years later, it was said that these resilient bugs were swimming in vats of the stuff! Clearly, these are hard bugs to get rid of.

They are easier to prevent than eliminate.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of turning on your kitchen lights to see several cockroaches scatter, you probably want to keep it that way. Here is a list of things you can do to keep these disgusting critters from taking up residence in your home:

Indoors:

  • Proper sanitation goes a long way. Regularly clean surfaces, floors, and especially hard-to-reach places like under the fridge or between the oven and the cabinet. These are places roaches love to hide.
  • Do not leave unwashed dishes. If you don’t have time to wash dirty dishes, put them in a sink full of soapy water.
  • Immediately clean up any spilled liquids, don’t give those roaches a drink.
  • Keep cupboards and pantry shelves cleaned, and store foods in sealed plastic containers.
  • As much as possible, eliminate all hiding places and food sources.
  • Use a trash can with a cover on it for kitchen waste, remove waste as often as possible.
  • Store pet food in sealed, plastic containers and only put pet food down at mealtimes.
  • Repair any leaky water faucets or pipes.
  • Repair cracks or holes in walls, floors and ceilings.
  • Seal around plumbing fixtures, furnaces, electrical outlets, or anywhere else you find gaps or cracks.
  • Make sure thresholds on doors are as tight as possible.

Outdoors:

  • Make sure outdoor trash is in well-sealed containers, and that the garbage area is cleaned regularly.
  • Use a caulking gun to seal gaps or cracks in foundations, around air conditioning units, doors, windows, etc.
  • Keep paper, cardboard, lumber, firewood, and other items where cockroaches can hide well away from your home.

What to do if your home is already infested:

If you live in the New Jersey area and you find cockroaches in your home, we can help. We’ve been providing homeowners relief from cockroaches for over 80 years. That isn’t quite as long as cockroaches have been around, but it’s a really long time. If you need relief from cockroaches, give us a call.