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Yes, the cockroach. That annoying little pest that threatens us with disease and repulses us with its pungent odor. The battle between man and roach has been going on for a long time and the roaches are fighting back. They have become resistant to most pesticides that have been used over the years. Females are reproducing at the alarming rate of 35,000 per year. They can survive for up to a week without food. And they’ll turn almost anything into food – leather, wallpaper, books – you name it.

Cockroaches have many tricks up their sleeve when it comes to getting inside your home. They – or their eggs – may have come in grocery bags, sacks of potatoes, onions or in beverage containers. They may have walked right under your front door. They may have even hitch-hiked on your shoes and clothing. Commonly, they travel through what have become known as ‘roach highways’ – water and steam pipes.

So, just how can you evict these unwelcome house guests – for good? Follow these tips to ensure that your home is a cockroach free zone.
(1) Keep your entire kitchen clean. Likely hiding places, such as cracks and crevices in floors, baseboards and vents should be cleaned frequently. Clean all spaces around stoves, refrigerators and cabinets. Don’t leave unwashed dishes overnight.
(2) Where possible, caulk cracks and crevices in bathrooms and kitchens.
(3) Store dog and cat food in a container. Don’t put out more than your pet can eat.
(4) Remove trash and garbage daily.
(5) Clean all spills and crumbs immediately and completely.
(6) Examine all incoming bags and containers for insects and their eggs.
(7) Practice moisture control. Repair all water leaks.
(8) Use a good roach bait.

If a room is badly affected, a pesticide spray may be necessary. Too much spray, however, may work against you. The roaches will either avoid it or become immune to it. So, follow the instructions carefully.

If the problem persists, you’re going to have to call in the professionals. If this proves to be the case, make sure that you thoroughly clean your home before the technician arrives. Remove food and dishes from cabinets. Place dishes and utensils on a table and cover them with a plastic sheet. Store food items in the oven or refrigerator.
These common sense practices will give you the upper hand in the war against cockroach infestation. This humble little pest has, however, endured for a long time and shows no sign of going away. The message for us then is to remain ever vigilant. That way we can – hopefully – enjoy living in a roach free zone.