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You flip on your bathroom light in the middle of the night, and the walls seem to move. It’s like something out of a B-grade horror movie. You have roaches in your pad.
How can you deal with a roach infestation in your apartment? While these creatures have survived for millions of years due to a unique defense system, the following nine methods can help you cope.
1. Deep Cleaning
Roaches look for food, and if they can’t find any, they go elsewhere. While it’s impossible to get every crumb, spare no effort in keeping your pad clean.
Make sure you hit the following areas while performing daily and weekly cleanup:
- Your kitchen: Don’t leave dirty dishes piled in the sink. Rinse them and put them in the dishwasher or wash them before bed.
- Your trash: If you don’t feel like taking out the garbage every day, use covered bins to deter pests.
- Your bathroom: Roaches love damp areas — wipe down your shower after use.
2. Eliminate Hiding Spaces
Have you kept your belongings in boxes? Cockroaches love dark cardboard hiding places. Either unpack and arrange your pad or use bay leaves to deter critters from building their nests within.
Check your plumbing as well. If you have a leak under your sink, your roach infestation may stem from them seeking water, especially in arid regions. Your landlord should repair and maintain your plumbing as a condition of habitability.
3. Seal Your Entryways
Roaches don’t need much space in door and window cracks to enter. Make sure you caulk and weather-strip all entryways to keep insects at bay.
Another benefit of using devices such as under-the-door draft stoppers is the energy savings. You can find these items for less than $20, sometimes less than $10 at many retailers. You could save that much on your next electric bill alone.
If you have pets in your home, baits are a safer extermination method than sprays, which can make your small dog or cat sick. Plus, if you have breathing problems, these applications won’t aggravate your airways and possibly cause an asthma attack.
Install roach bait under appliances and in cracks and crevices where they tend to hide. Baits kill adult roaches, but they leave the eggs behind. Therefore, you may need ongoing applications to keep the problem at bay.
Traps are another pet-and-kid-safe method of controlling roach infestations in apartments, as long as Fido or your 2-year-old doesn’t mistake them for toys. Try to find models big enough for critters, but not curious fingers, to enter.
The benefit of traps is that you can check them to ensure they’re controlling the problem. Again, these devices only kill adult bugs, so you’ll need to continue using them as the eggs hatch.
6. Boric Acid
Boric acid is an ideal way to combat roaches, but you don’t want to use it where your kids or pets could touch it. Plus, it can cause skin irritation if you touch it and severe gastrointestinal issues if ingested.
Use a dusting of this stuff on windowsills and doorways. When roaches crawl through the powder, they drag bits of it back to the next on their legs. When they groom themselves, they die. You can also sprinkle this under appliances and furniture to prevent infestation.
7. Ultrasonic devices
If you have a tender heart, ultrasonic roach repellents might strike you as a humane way to keep roaches out of your apartment. These devices work by confusing insect behavior, although human ears can’t detect the sound.
However, research performed by Kansas State University in 2002 showed that while such devices deterred some pests, cockroaches seemed unaffected. Plus, your furniture or walls can break the signal, rendering this method ineffective.
8. Call a Professional
If the roach infestation in your apartment qualifies as severe, you may have no choice but to call in a pro. Before you shell out cash, talk to your landlord.
Your property owner has a legal obligation to keep your home reasonably free from insect pests. Know the steps you should follow if your landlord refuses to work with you on professional extermination.
Keep in mind having legal rights doesn’t mean your landlord has none. If you only see the occasional bug, you may need to foot the bill if you have a phobia.
Finally, if you can’t deal with the roach infestation, you may want to pack up and move. Please bear in mind that these critters may hitch a ride to your new pad in your boxes — consider this a last resort.
However, if you have critters raining from your ceiling, you probably don’t want to carry an umbrella in your house. It’s okay to have a case of the screaming horrors that makes you say “nope” to renewing your lease.
Deal With a Roach Infestation in Your Apartment in One of These 9 Ways
If you have a roach infestation in your apartment, try the nine methods above. You shouldn’t have to live with creepy crawlies for roommates.