A word from the wise: knowing how to keep roaches away from your home in the first place will spare you the trouble of having to deal with a roach infestation.
Maybe you recently moved into a new home in a roach-infested area or heard that one of your neighbors is dealing with a roach problem. Perhaps cockroaches just give you the chills and you’d like to do whatever you can to avoid coming into contact with them.
Whatever the reason – you’re doing the right thing by finding out how to prevent roaches. ‘Cause when it comes to roaches, an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure.
How to Keep Roaches Away from Your Home
Anyone who’s ever had a roach infestation will swear to you that these disgusting buggers are notoriously hard to get rid of once they’re in your home.
They hide in the smallest cracks and crevices, can eat pretty much anything to stay alive, are capable of laying eggs without breeding, and are incredibly skilled at surviving – a roach can even live up to a week or two after having their head cut off!
Obviously, it’s much easier to make your home a roach-repellent place than it is to have to get rid of a roach infestation.
So, without further ado – here’s how to keep roaches away from your home!
Keep it clean and clutter free
Cockroaches love dirty, crumb-laden, and cluttered places. They’ll live anywhere that has their three basic requirements – food, water, and warm shelter – but dirty, cluttered environments have a lot more of these to offer.
So if you want to prevent cockroaches, make your home an inhospitable place for these buggers by keeping it spick-and-span.
Take out the trash religiously, do your dishes as soon as you finish eating, dispose of all your food scraps in sealed-tight Ziploc bags, wipe up every trace of sauce and grease from the stovetop, give your countertops a thorough wipe-down, sweep and mop the floors, and keep the dishwasher spotless.
Food that’s left laying around is an open invitation for roaches, so make sure you stash all your edibles in the fridge or tucked safely inside sealed-tight containers.
Getting rid of unnecessary clutter – newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes and paper bags from the grocery stores – also means there’s less places for roaches to hide and makes it easier for you to spot any signs of cockroaches, if there are any.
Sure, it’s a lot of work but it’s a lot less work than getting rid of a roach infestation.
Use roach repellents
There are several roach repellents that are effective for keeping roaches away from your property. And you don’t even have to resort to chemical pesticides.
Here’s how to repel roaches naturally…
Essential oils. Not all essential oils will do – to repel roaches, you want to get peppermint oil, cedarwood oil, and/or cypress oil. Roaches hate the smell of both these oils and will steer clear of them.
To use oils as a natural roach repellent, mix the oils with water (30% essential oils, 70% water), pour into a spray bottle and spray your countertops, tables, the insides of cupboards, windowsills and any surfaces near where food is prepared or where roaches can climb in from.
You can also make little natural roach repellent balls by dropping 3 to 4 drops of either essential oil onto cotton balls. Distribute these throughout parts of your home that can be inviting for roaches – under the fridge, under the sink, in the corners of cabinets and cupboards, and by the stove. Go ahead and also rub the oils into the entryways of your house.
If you’re not into the DIY route, Eco Defense’s Pest Block pouches come pre-prepared with a combination of Cedar, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Mint, and Peppermint oils to ward off roaches as well as other unwanted creepy crawlies.
Seal off your home
The two most common types of roaches in the States are the small German cockroaches – which can fit through a crack as thin as a dime – and the larger American cockroach – which can squeeze through spaces no thicker than a quarter.
Thanks to the roaches’ ability to freakishly flatten their bodies, they can find their way into your home through the smallest cracks and crevices.
So if you really want to keep roaches away, you’re going to want to grab a caulking gun and start sealing off any and all roach entryways into your home.
Also, make sure roaches can’t get into your house through the pipes by blocking your sink and tub with a stopper whenever you’re not using them.
Plug up all leaks
A cockroach can survive for a month without food but it needs daily access to water. One easy way to keep roaches away is to make your home a place without an easy water source.
Always drain the sink when you’re done with the dishes, wipe down the bath when you’re finished, remove all traces of water from your countertops, and even leave your damp dish sponge inside a container or somewhere roaches cannot access it.
Also check your house for other sources of water – leaky plumbing and even dampness under the fridge – and secure those areas so roaches cannot find a water source if they enter your house. Even if one gets in, a lack of water will prevent it from sticking around.
Use a natural roach killer just in case…
Want to know how to prevent cockroaches from infesting your place even if one does happen to get in? It’s as easy as sprinkling Diatomaceous Earth (DE) in possible roach entryways – baseboards and windowsills – as well as the places roaches would be most tempted to hide – behind appliances, in the corners and crevices of cupboards and cabinets.
DE is a soft powder that will kill any bug with an exoskeleton but is safe enough for any mammal to eat, including pets and kids. Once roaches make contact with it, the DE punctures the cockroach’s body, causing it to dehydrate to death within 48 hours.
Making a barrier around your home with DE ensures that any cockroach that is unfortunate enough to sneak in will be dead within a few days’ time. It’ll also make it easier to spot signs of cockroaches since roaches will be more active when they’re dying from DE, coming out often to search for water.