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Category: Pest Control

Victory is yours! Your exterminator has completed your roach control treatment, and the last cockroaches have been sent packing, leaving you with a bug-free existence. But your victory can be short-lived. Roaches are persistent pests, and even after a thorough treatment, it could be a reasonably short time before the irritating insects begin to reprise their roles in your homeowner nightmares.

Here are three things you can do once your roach treatment has been completed to help keep the bugs out.

Seal It Up!

Since roaches are wily creatures that can slip through the smallest of cracks, any steps you can take to reduce the number of potential entry points will help keep the pests at bay. Take a walk around your house and take note of any gaps that could admit entry for roaches or other bugs:

  • Gaps around trim, doors, and windows
  • Cracks in the foundation or masonry
  • Spaces where plumbing, electrical, or other services enter or exit the house
    • Pay particular attention to crawlspace entrances, places where garden hose connections come through the walls, dryer vents, ductways, French drains, and refrigerant lines for your HVAC system
  • Damaged window or door screens
  • Damaged roofing, such as shingles, especially if trees overhang your house

After you’ve completed your exterior assessment, take a similar trip around the inside of your home. Inspect baseboards and crown molding and identify places where caulking has split or fallen away, leaving a gap between the wall and the floor/ceiling. Also, pay attention to kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities, the spaces around tubs and showers, or any other gaps that could allow a bug to make it into the living space.

Once you’ve made those two walkarounds, it’s time to seal everything up!

  • For small gaps and cracks on the outside of the home, exterior-grade silicone caulk or sealant can prevent bugs from making it inside.
  • For larger gaps, use an expanding foam sealant (like Great Stuff) to seal the openings tightly and prevent re-infestation. (Pro tip: After you’ve injected the foam and it has expanded, use an old serrated steak knife to trim the excess.)
  • If your roofing is damaged, make repairs using quality roofing felt (sometimes called tar paper) to cover any gaps, and then install new shingles or tiles to replace the damaged roofing. Contact a professional if you’re uncomfortable working on a ladder or are unfamiliar with how to lay roofing.
  • On the inside of your home, use a latex-based caulk to close up gaps at your baseboards and crown molding. In “wet” rooms (kitchen, bathrooms, utility room), use a caulk containing silicone on seams around sinks, tubs, and other fixtures to ensure the sealant stays waterproof.

Clean It Up!

Particularly here in Middle Georgia, even the most spotless home can find itself hosting various pests. Keeping your home clean, however, is still one of the best ways to stave off a roach infestation. Once you’ve gotten rid of the bugs, follow these practices to keep your risk of a reinvasion low.

  • Never leave food sitting out for extended periods, and make sure that stored food is placed in tightly sealed containers.
  • Deep-clean your kitchen regularly. In the course of everyday cooking, oils, food particles, and other organic materials end up distributed throughout your kitchen. Roaches love nothing more than grease and sugar, so clean all the kitchen surfaces with a good, degreasing cleanser.
    • Roaches also love to hide behind appliances. Make sure to pull out your refrigerator to clean under and behind it at least once or twice a year. If your range can be easily pulled out, do that as well – the grease that naturally builds up behind and under an oven is a smorgasbord for cockroaches.
  • Don’t leave pet food and water dishes sitting out
  • Make sure to dispose of food packages, candy wrappers, and beverage containers correctly. Carry your trash out often, and (if possible) store outside garbage containers a reasonable distance from your home.
  • Roaches don’t just like hiding inside the walls and behind appliances – they’re also very fond of cardboard boxes. If you store things in your home, store them in tightly closed plastic or metal containers as much as possible. If you have to store items in cardboard boxes, try to keep them in the garage or another area not inside the heated living space, and keep them up high instead of on the floor or a low shelf.
  • Especially in the Southeast, don’t let yard debris pile up near your house. The American cockroach, commonly (if not affectionately) known as the “palmetto bug,” is fond of yard debris piles, especially pine bark and hardwood leaves. Once they’ve taken hold in your yard, it’s only a matter of time before they try to move in with you.

Dry It Up!

Like any other animal, roaches need water to survive. Often, their search for water, rather than a food source, drives them indoors, especially during dry times of the year. Ensuring you’re not providing the insects with a free watering hole can help keep them from settling down in your home.

  • Fix any leaky faucets, supply lines, or drains as soon as you become aware of them. Roaches can sense water and will move toward it. Not only does fixing leaks help prevent future water damage, but it also removes a significant insect attractant from your home.
  • Don’t leave water standing in your house. If your tub normally has a few small puddles at the end of a bath or shower, mop them up.
  • Regularly check the drain at the bottom of your refrigerator. As the fridge cools, water condenses on the coils, drips down, and is gradually evaporated away by the heat of the running compressor. If your coils are over-condensing, water may be left in the drain pan, inviting roaches to belly up to the bar.
  • Keep an eye on exterior water as well. Fix dripping hose faucets, ensure your gutters are clean and draining smoothly, and be on the lookout for any standing water outside – still water doesn’t just breed mosquitoes; it also attracts roaches.

Taking all these steps may not guarantee that your house will remain roach-free, but it will go a long way towards keeping the pest population in your home under control for a long time.

The super disinfecting son and dad duo. Shot of a father and son cleaning the kitchen counter together at home.

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure – Let National Exterminating Secure Your Home Against Roaches and Other Pests. Call us: 478-922-1410.

National Exterminating’s full-service pest control methods can help you get rid of and stay rid of roaches and other household pests. Call us today at 478-922-1410.

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