Cockroaches are more than a minor annoyance. They can contaminate your food supply, exposing you to diseases like salmonella and E. coli. They also give off noxious odors, which are not what you want to smell when eating or preparing food. Having an exterminator come treat your place with insecticides is not always the best way to keep these pests away. The insecticides may contaminate your food and are not much safer than the pests themselves! Here are four more natural ways to get rid of cockroaches and keep them away.
1. Spread diatomaceous earth.
Also known as D.E. for short, diatomaceous earth is a substance that is made from the shells of tiny, ocean-dwelling creatures called diatoms. It dehydrates insects like cockroaches, ultimately killing them. Luckily, it is pretty harmless to people — especially if you buy the food-grade version of D.E. that's meant to be consumed as a supplement. It may make your skin a little dry, but that's fixable with some lotion.
Spread a little D.E. in areas where you've seen cockroaches, such as along the backs of shelves and along door frames. Vacuum up and replace the D.E. once a week or so; it works best when it is fresh and dry.
To learn more about D.E., talk to companies like Earthworks Health.
2. Decrease Humidity
Cockroaches thrive in high humidity. If you can take a few steps to make your space less humid, you won't see as many bugs. Install a central dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air throughout your home, or plug in a portable dehumidifier in the room where you store your food. You should also have any plumbing leaks repaired, and replace any damaged seals on your windows and doors since these are common sources of indoor moisture.
3. Seal Up Your Food
Cockroaches can eat right through a cardboard box. In fact, they are almost as happy eating cardboard as they are eating the food inside the box! Transfer all of your food products to thick plastic or glass containers. If the bugs stop finding accessible food in your storage area, they will move along and bother someone else.
4. Clean More Often
Sadly, it does not take much to feed a cockroach. A few crumbs spilled here and there will give them a meal. So, to further control their access to food, you need to clean regularly. Wipe off all counters and shelves daily, and make sure your containers also stay clean.