Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How To Get Rid Of Roaches Without An Exterminator

Cockroaches, commonly known as roaches have a bad reputation around the world. They multiply at a rapid rate and soon become an uncontrolled infestation, particularly in densely populated urban areas. So to most of us, roaches are a formidable enemy that seem to be unstoppable. No matter what we do, they always seem to come back. Generally, if you see one or two, pretty soon there will be hundreds.

Some may say we’ve declared war on the roach, it’s a war that seems impossible to win because they are highly resilient. As with any war, it’s good to know your enemy. So let’s take a look at what we know about roaches and uncover the facts. Understanding them should make it easier to find ways to control them. Finally, we’ll take a look at how to get rid of roaches without an exterminator.

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What are roaches? (cockroaches)
There are around 4,600 species of cockroaches, though only about 30 of these are associated with human settlements. They’ve been around for about 320 million years and can live in any type of climate. Roaches are more common and grow bigger in tropical climates, but are known to survive in arctic climates. Some species can survive temperatures as low -188 degrees Fahrenheit by producing glycerol which is a type of antifreeze.

Roaches can eat virtually anything and can even survive off the glue on the back of stamps. If they are threatened by starvation, roaches may well turn on each other and eat their own. They can also go for up to a month without food and will survive without air for up to 45 minutes. It’s easy to understand why they are so invasive in our cities and homes, where there’s an abundance of food and dark nesting places.

NOTE : For more detailed information on effective roach killers, traps and insecticides read our article, focused on products : Best Roach Killer | How to Kill & Prevent Roaches

How Roaches live and thrive

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Most cockroach species are gregarious, meaning that they live in well-structured groups. They communicate by means of a chemical transfer passed on by direct physical contact. Laboratory experiments have shown that roaches are incredibly well organized. When one cockroach finds a good food source, it is communicated to the entire group and they will cooperate in sharing the food. They control their numbers within the group. When a nest reaches critical mass it will remain like that, even resorting cannibalism to control their population numbers.

Roaches hate light and will always nest in dark places, mostly coming out to feed at night. They will prefer to nest in warmer areas and the motor of your refrigerator is often where you’ll find them, it’s hidden from light and the heat generated by the electric motor keeps the ambient temperature at a comfortable level. It is widely assumed that roaches prefer dirty places, however, this not entirely true.

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They will search anywhere for food, so a home that is not kept clean is likely to have more food for them to find, especially considering that they will eat anything. They will come into a clean home in search of food, but you’ll find more of them where it’s easier to find food.

Health issues associated with roaches

Roaches are known to spread bacteria because they move through dirty areas regularly and are particularly fond of garbage bins. So roaches can spread disease and are also known to cause or aggravate allergies. Roaches are known to be hazardous to asthma sufferers. Hospitals consider roaches to be a serious problem because they spread infections. While people have been coexisting with roaches since our earliest origins, they do pose a problem as far hygiene and allergies are concerned.

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Through the course of history, cockroaches have even been reputed to be of medicinal value. Dating back to the ancient Greeks, there have been suggested remedies containing cockroaches. There is, however, no medical evidence to suggest that they have any medicinal value – so the common warning: “don’t try this at home” applies to supposed healing concoctions that contain roaches.

Roaches as food

Not many of us would consider roaches as a tasty entree, but in many cultures, it is common to serve up roaches as a healthy snack. In many Asian countries, spicy deep fried roaches have been a part of their diet for centuries. In Mexico, one can also find fried roach on the menu and there are old English and Irish recipes that require roach paste as part of the dish.

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While roaches commonly carry large amounts of bacteria, when raised in controlled conditions, they are a healthy source of protein. Because roaches and their close relatives termites are high in protein and low in fat, it has been suggested that they could be a viable food source. This idea has become more popular as concerns mount regarding global food shortages. The fact is that roaches are a healthier source of protein than chicken or red meat. Who knows? In the not too distant future, deep fried roach may come to replace chicken nuggets as a much-loved snack.

How To Get Rid Of Ants

1. Figure out what kind of ants you have.
While there are thousands of species of ants, only about 25 of those commonly make their way into American homes, according to Mike Goldstein, a Certified Pesticide Applicator for Woodstream. The most pervasive of these include pavement ants, Argentine ants, odorous house ants and carpenter ants. Identifying the particular kind is key, because it'll help you figure out what they're eating and where they're coming from.

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How to Get Rid of Gnats
Tiny, brown or black pavement ants usually come inside from their nest outdoors. Argentine ants are also small and brown, but they often live indoors near food and moisture, like potted plants, sinks, and pipes. Odorous ants earn the name because they stink like rotten coconut when you squish them.

As for carpenter ants, they're not your friends. They literally destroy your house from the inside out by tunneling through the wood, especially where it's damp. Look for large, black ants as well as the tell-tell sawdust-like debris, called frass. It's a delightful mix of chewed wood, feces, and dead ants.

If your pest doesn't match any of those descriptions, try contacting your local cooperative extension agent or an exterminator for more info on what's common in your area.

2. Seal up cracks and openings.

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Yes, ants are tiny, but it's still a good idea to seal off crevices with clear caulk or steel wool, especially if you spy an obvious trail marchin' on in. Patching torn screens and replacing worn door sweeps can also make a big impact.

3. Remove all potential food sources.
Ants eat like humans, enjoying sweets, proteins, and fats, but it's not just people food you should look for. In addition to sealing up groceries in airtight containers and cleaning up crumbs and spilled drinks quickly, consider some other popular items on the ant menu: grease splatter around the kitchen, oils spills, or even other insects — including dead ones — lying around. These suckers are resourceful!

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4. Put out bait.
The temptation is to squash every ant you see, but that's not going to cut it. "Only about 10% of the ants in the colony are outside foraging at a time, which means 90% of that colony is hidden away," Orkin entomologist Chelle Hartzer explains. "You may kill a couple random ants, but that still leaves a lot back in the nest to fill in that void."

To address the problem at its source, you're better off trying a bait trap. "Ants will carry the bait back to the colony, share the bait and then it gets dispersed and kills off the colony," Goldstein says. Even better, more ants will follow pheromones back to the trap, speeding along the process. Just be careful that you don't spray any pesticide on the bait or trail of ants, since it'll interfere with the chain reaction.

A bait trap we like: Terro Liquid Ant Bait ($10 for 2, amazon.com), which is a top pick on Amazon with 6,000-plus reviews and a four-and-a-half star rating.

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We also recommend this DIY method:

Mix 1 tablespoon of boric acid powder ($13 for 1 pound, amazon.com) with 1 1/4 cups sugar. (The sugar attracts the bugs — remember they have a sweet tooth!)
Sprinkle in areas where you see lots of ants, such as the backs of cabinets and under the sink.
SAFETY ALERT: Keep the powder away from kids or areas your pets can access as it's toxic when ingested in large amounts.

5. If the above isn't working, call in a professional.

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Sometimes, you need to bring in the pros. "They can trace it back to the colony where they're originating from and eliminate most of the problem, if not all of it," Hartzer says. An expert is also a good idea when it comes to carpenter ants, because they can cause serious and potentially dangerous structural damage.