Cockroaches are one of the most common household pests. You can find them in any environment where there is food and moisture. Cockroaches in the kitchen are not only a nuisance, but they can also contaminate food and spread diseases. Households are not the only places where cockroaches thrive. Restaurants, hospitals, and other commercial establishments are also susceptible to cockroach infestations.
We hate seeing them in our kitchens as a homeowner, and getting rid of them can be quite challenging. Routine pest control is the best way to prevent cockroaches from taking over your home. However, it may cost you some money. You can do some things to get rid of cockroaches on your own, without spending money on a professional.
What Attracts Cockroaches?
Cockroaches like to live in warm, moist environments. They are attracted to food and water sources. Cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including rotting meat, pet feces, and plants.
Here are some of the reasons why cockroaches are infesting your kitchen.
❗Unsealed garbage bags and trash cans
Cockroaches and open trash cans go hand-in-hand. When sealed in a bag, you may think that garbage is safe from cockroaches. Still, cockroaches are very resourceful and can get into the smallest openings.
They don’t just feed on food because they are also after other materials that other pests can’t ingest. It includes paper, drywall, glue, hair, and even dandruff. There might be residues and spills left inside the trash can, which is what the cockroaches are looking for. Ensure your garbage cans have tight-fitting lids and keep them in a well-lit area so that roaches are not attracted.
❗Dirty dishes and food scraps
Some of us are guilty of leaving our dishes in the sink overnight. Not only does this attract flies, but it also attracts cockroaches. Cockroaches are scavengers, and they will feed on any food scraps that we leave behind. If you leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight, you provide a buffet for cockroaches.
Food particles and odor on dirty dishes attract the cockroaches. They will also feast on spilled food on the floor or even leftover residue in your drinking glasses. When the cockroaches notice the food source, they will start to multiply and invade your kitchen. Make sure to clean up any food spills and put dirty dishes in the dishwasher or wash them by hand as soon as possible. Do not let food sit out overnight.
Cockroaches are attracted to moisture, and they can survive without food for longer periods, as long as there is water available. If you have a humid environment in your kitchen, this will attract cockroaches. Leaky faucets or pipes, sweating pipes, and even humidifiers can attract cockroaches.
Cockroaches will also look for any water source, including the water that is left behind after cooking. You can mostly find them in areas with humid environments, such as the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom.
It is also typical to find them under appliances such as the refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and water dispenser. These are the places where you should be looking for cockroaches if you think you have an infestation.
❗Close and dark spaces like kitchen cabinets
Cockroaches love dark and tight spaces. It makes them feel safe and protected from predators. Once they find their way into your kitchen cabinets, they will start multiplying. These are where you would usually find roaches when doing a kitchen inspection.
There are also many food sources inside your cabinets, such as crumbs, spilled food, and even old food. Make sure to clean your kitchen cabinets regularly and keep them well-sealed so that cockroaches cannot get in.
What Are The Signs of Cockroach Infestation?
What is cockroach infestation? Infestation happens when there is a large number of cockroaches in one area. It usually happens when they find a food source and start to multiply in large numbers. The most common sign of cockroach infestation is the presence of roaches themselves. You might see them crawling around your kitchen or even flying.
If you see a cockroach, it is usually an indication of more lurking somewhere in your kitchen. However, a cockroach infestation is not always easy to detect. It is because cockroaches are nocturnal, and they like to stay hidden. Here are some signs that you may have a cockroach infestation:
Cockroaches will leave behind droppings wherever they go. These droppings are cockroach feces. They are small, black, and similar to coffee grounds. The number of droppings usually indicates how severe the infestation is. If you see droppings in your kitchen, it is a sign that you have a cockroach infestation.
Female cockroaches will deposit their eggs in safe and secure places. It usually includes dark and tight spaces, like inside cabinets or under appliances. If you find egg casings in your kitchen, it is a sign of cockroaches around.
Cockroaches will leave behind smear marks as they crawl around your kitchen. These are dark streaks that are left behind by their oily bodies. You can usually find smear marks on walls or in areas with enough water.
Cockroaches give off a musty and unpleasant odor. It is because they excrete an oily substance that has a strong smell. You can also find bodies of dead cockroaches around the house. If you notice a foul odor in your kitchen, it is most likely because of cockroaches.
Cockroaches will periodically shed their skins 5-8 times as they grow. If you find molted skins in your kitchen, it is a sign of cockroach infestation.
What Are The Risks of Having Cockroaches in The Kitchen?
Like other pests in the house, cockroaches can cause many problems. They contaminate food, spread diseases, and even trigger allergies.
One of the biggest risks of having cockroaches in the kitchen is food contamination. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, cockroaches are known to spread bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli. They can contaminate food with their droppings, saliva, and vomit. Consuming anything that they contaminate can cause food poisoning and other serious illnesses.
Cockroaches can also transmit diseases to humans. They carry several pathogens in their bodies that can cause diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid fever, and even plague. If you are exposed to these pathogens, you can get sick.
⚠Allergies and asthma
Cockroaches can also trigger allergies and asthma. They are one of the most common carriers of indoor allergens. The enzymes in their saliva, eggs, shedding skin, and feces can trigger allergies in people. People who are allergic to cockroaches can experience symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing. If you have asthma, exposure to cockroaches can trigger an asthma attack.
How To Eliminate Cockroaches in The Kitchen
There are many ways to eliminate cockroaches in your kitchen or get rid of them out of your house. Keep in mind that it is better to use long-term preventive measures than short-term kills.
Here are some effective ways that you can do to stop cockroaches from getting into your kitchen in the first place.
1. Install cockroach traps
Cockroach traps are devices that attract and trap cockroaches. They come in various shapes and sizes, but all work the same way. The cockroaches enter the trap, get stuck, and eventually die. You can buy cockroach traps online or at your local hardware store.
You can also use glue traps to help monitor and reduce the number of cockroaches in your kitchen. These are small pieces of cardboard or paper that are coated with glue. The cockroaches will stick to the trap when they crawl over it.
2. Gel roach bait
Another way to prevent cockroaches from getting into your kitchen is to use roach bait. Gel-based roach baits are a type of insecticide specifically designed to kill cockroaches. The gel contains a toxin that is attractive to cockroaches. When they eat it, they will die. You can place the baits in various places like under the sink, below your Kitchen cabinets, and other areas that you think cockroaches may frequent.
3. Boric acid and sugar
Boric acid is a white, powdery substance that effectively kills cockroaches. It is a water and boron mixture. It works by causing the cockroaches to ingest it. When they do, it will dissolve their exoskeleton and eventually kill them.
Sprinkle a small amount of dusting into the sides of a small container or paper plate. Place a bit of sugar or orange peel at the center to bait the cockroaches into eating it. You can also make a boric acid roach spray by mixing water and boric acid.
4. Borax Powder
Borax is a white, powdery substance that is similar to boric acid. It is a common cleaning product that is also very effective in killing cockroaches. We usually use it to get rid of mold, mildew, and other pests.
Use borax to clean your kitchen cabinets and countertops. Sprinkle it in the areas where cockroaches like to hide, such as under the sink and cabinet corners.
5. Baking soda
Baking soda is a classic remedy for getting rid of cockroaches. You can create an easy DIY cockroach bait with baking soda and onion. Slide a handful of onions into a shallow plate. Add baking soda until the onions are well coated. The onion will release its juices, which will combine with the baking soda. Place the bait in areas where you suspect cockroaches. The roaches will burst when they consume it since the baking soda creates gasses inside their stomachs.
You can also try mixing baking soda with hot water lemon. Mix well and pour them into the sinks and drain outlets. Leave it overnight. Pour boiling water the next day.
6. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are a natural way to get rid of cockroaches. They contain a compound called d-limonene, which is toxic to cockroaches. You can place the peels of citrus fruits in areas where you have seen cockroaches. They will eat it and die.
You can also make a citrus spray by mixing fresh lemon or orange juice with water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution in areas where cockroaches are known to hang out.
7. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil is another natural way to get rid of cockroaches. The oil is toxic to cockroaches and will kill them when they come in contact with it.
You can make a peppermint oil spray by adding a few drops of peppermint oil to water in a spray bottle. Shake well before use. Spray the solution in areas where cockroaches are known to hang out.
8. Bay leaves
Bay leaves are a common kitchen herb that can also get rid of cockroaches. They contain a compound called eugenol, which is toxic to cockroaches.
You can place crushed bay leaves in areas where you have seen cockroaches. You can also make a bay leaf spray by adding a few drops of water to a bay leaf. Spray the solution in areas where cockroaches are known to hang out.
9. Neem oil
Neem oil is a natural, plant-based oil that effectively gets rid of cockroaches. It works by disrupting the cockroach’s life cycle and eventually killing them. You can make a neem oil spray by adding a few drops of neem oil to water in a spray bottle. Shake well before use. Spray the solution in infested areas.
10. Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a pulverized, fossilized algae that effectively get rid of cockroaches. It consists of dehydrating and sharp particles that can kill cockroaches. It works by puncturing the cockroach’s exoskeleton and causing them to dehydrate and die.
You can find food-grade diatomaceous earth at your local supermarkets or online. Sprinkle a small amount in the areas where cockroaches are known to hide, such as under the sink and in the corners of cabinets.
Cucumbers are a natural, non-toxic way to get rid of cockroaches. Roaches don’t like the smell and essence of cucumbers. Place cucumber slices in areas where cockroaches usually thrive. Replace the slices as needed.
Prevent Cockroaches From Getting Into Your Kitchen
One of the best ways to get rid of cockroaches is to prevent them from getting into your kitchen in the first place. Here are a few ways to do that.
🚫Clean and clean the clutter
One of the best ways to prevent cockroaches from getting into your kitchen is to keep it clean and free of clutter. Cockroaches thrive in dirty environments and are attracted to food and water sources. Keep your kitchen clean and organized to deter them from setting up shop.
🚫Make sure to clean up pet food and water.
Whether it’s a dog, cat, or bird, clean up their food and water bowls when they’re done eating. Cats usually eat their meal slowly, so their food is left sitting in the food bowl for some time. These are major attractants for cockroaches. Ensure to store pet food and water in airtight containers to keep the roaches from getting into the food. Don’t forget to clean up any pet food crumbs that may have spilled on the floor.
🚫Seal your garbage bags and close trash cans
If you have trash cans in your kitchen, cockroaches can get inside and feast on the contents when unsealed. To prevent this, make sure you securely seal your garbage bags. Also, your trash cans should have tight-fitting lids.
Additionally, ensure that you regularly change your garbage bags and empty your trash cans. Don’t let garbage or food build up in your kitchen.
🚫Keep food in airtight containers.
Another way to prevent cockroaches from getting into your kitchen is to keep food in airtight containers. Cockroaches are attracted to food sources, so keeping food in sealed containers will deter them from entering your kitchen.
Airtight containers include glass jars, Tupperware, and zip-top bags. Store food in these types of containers to keep cockroaches out.
🚫Do not leave food out overnight.
Cockroaches are attracted to food, so you’re inviting them into your kitchen if you leave food out overnight. To avoid this, make sure to store food in airtight containers and eat it all up before bed. Do not leave any food out on the counter.
Another way to prevent cockroaches from getting into your kitchen is to seal your garbage bags and close trash cans. It will help keep them out of your kitchen and away from your food.
🚫Remove any food or water sources.
Another way to drive them away is to remove any food or water sources they may be attracted to—cockroaches like food scraps and spills. Keep your counters clean and free of crumbs and spills. Repair any leaks in your sink or pipes to eliminate potential water sources.
🚫Use caulk or sealant to close gaps and cracks.
One of the ways that cockroaches can get into your kitchen is through gaps and cracks in your house. They can squeeze through tiny spaces and enter your home, searching for food and water. You can use caulk or sealant to close the gaps and cracks to prevent them from getting in.
You can also use weather-stripping to seal doors and windows. It will help create a barrier that cockroaches cannot penetrate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long can cockroach infestations last?
A: Cockroach infestations can last for years if not treated properly. It is important to get rid of them as soon as you notice them, prevent them from spreading and becoming more difficult to control.
Q: Can I use fabric softeners to get rid of cockroaches?
A: Yes. Fabric softeners help exterminate roaches by blocking their pores and suffocating them. You can create a spray with three parts of fabric softeners and a small amount of water.
Q: What smell will keep cockroaches away?
A: Fortunately, cockroaches hate smells that are pleasant to us, like peppermint, citrus, coffee, and basil. You can use essential oils or plants with these scents to keep them from your kitchen. Try diffusing the oils in the air or placing the plants near your kitchen. You can also put these oils in a spray bottle and use them to spray around your kitchen.
Q: What can I do if my home is already infested with cockroaches?
A: If you have an infestation of cockroaches, it is important to get professional help. Exterminators can use various methods to get rid of cockroaches and prevent them from returning. You can also try some of the methods listed in this article to help reduce their numbers.
Q: What kills cockroaches instantly?
A: Boric acid is one of the most effective substances for killing cockroaches. It is important to use boric acid safely and follow the instructions on the package.
Q: Does cleaning with vinegar keep roaches away?
A: Vinegar is a natural cleaner, and cockroaches do not like the smell. You can use vinegar to clean your kitchen counters, floors, and appliances. It will help eliminate any traces of food and keep cockroaches away.
Cockroaches can be a nuisance and a health hazard. They can contaminate your food and spread diseases. It is important to get rid of them as soon as you notice them and take steps to prevent them from coming back.
There are many ways to get rid of cockroaches, and the methods listed in this article should help reduce their numbers in your kitchen. If you have a severe infestation, it is best to get professional help. Get your kitchen clean and cockroach-free to enjoy a safer and healthier home.