Cockroaches can invade any home and live on the most meager crumbs and even some non-food items, such as the glue on envelopes or canned food labels. They can also contaminate your food and your dishes, spreading germs that cause food poisoning and trigger allergies and severe asthma attacks.
Despite how repulsive they are, many people are reluctant to use pesticides containing harsh chemicals to get rid of cockroaches. Instead, they opt for a more natural approach that uses plants, non-toxic powders, and even vegetables to help you get rid of cockroaches naturally.
Does natural cockroach control work? Try the following tips and see for yourself:
It is believed that leaving small packets of catnip in areas frequented by cockroaches will help ward them off. You can even go as far as to make catnip tea and spray it in areas where cockroaches have been seen.
Although catnip is generally considered a mild and relatively safe herb, there is no hard evidence that it is an effective long-term form of controlling cockroaches.
Another natural cockroach deterrent is the cucumber. You can place slices of fresh cucumber in dark, damp areas of the kitchen and bathrooms, or wherever cockroaches are known to frequent. The idea is that cockroaches, which are believed to find cucumbers unpleasant, will have to move on.
Bay leaves have been used for generations to keep weevils out of flour, pasta and other dried pantry staples; you can also use them in repelling cockroaches, which have been known to find aromatic scents as unpleasant as cucumbers.
Garlic has powerful antioxidant properties and, like many vegetables, is very good for you. For hundreds of years, garlic was believed to have the power to repel everything from vampires to fleas. Some have also used it to also repel cockroaches, although its effectiveness is questionable. Leaving garlic cloves lying around the house can also lead to unpleasant odors that could attract more cockroaches to your home.
Diatomaceous earth is a fine, sandy powder composed of diatoms, which contains a relatively safe and non-toxic form of silica. It acts as a desiccant that clings to roaches and cuts through their outer shell. The cockroaches then die from dehydration.
Give diatomaceous earth at least a week for results. It should be dusted lightly in areas where cockroaches have been sighted. Cockroaches like to hide in cracks, crevices and gaps in your home's walls, floors and ceilings, so make sure to place the dust in these areas.
Also, pay special attention to areas beneath sinks and appliances. Diatomaceous earth can lightly scratch some surfaces, leaving what appears to be a white film, so be careful where you use it.
Natural Remedies: Are They Worth It?
In general, natural cockroach control takes longer to work than traditional pest-control products. Because natural pest-control methods don't usually provide residual effects, your home will not be protected from new cockroach invasions.
Keeping non-toxic sticky traps in place in your home can help you to catch any new invaders before they get a chance to get settled into your home. Although some natural methods are effective, they will not eliminate every cockroach infestation.
If you try these methods but the cockroaches remain, or if you need fast relief from cockroaches, call a professional pest control company for assistance.