The best way to solve your cockroach problem is to make your home as unwelcoming for them as possible.
- Turn off your appliances to limit the warm, dark places cockroaches can hide, such as kettles, microwaves, etc.
- Thoroughly clean your home at least weekly, and clean regularly underneath the fridge, stove, toaster and other movable appliances.
- Cockroaches live close to food preparation areas, so keep these areas clean. Wipe up food spills promptly and thoroughly. Pet-food bowls are a perfect source of food for cockroaches, so keep them cleaned and outside.
- Empty the kitchen rubbish bin regularly. Compost bins need secure doors or screens and should be kept away from the house. Make your rubbish hard to reach and keep organic waste in tightly covered garbage cans.
- Keep food in sealed containers.
- Cockroaches love small enclosed spaces, so seal any holes, cracks or gaps in the walls, skirting boards and inside cupboards.
- Newspapers, magazines and cardboard boxes are great homes for cockroaches, so don’t accumulate them in the house.
- Leaving the dishes in the sink overnight creates a feast for cockroaches while you sleep.
- Cockroaches need to drink, so wipe up any spills immediately and don’t let taps drip.
There are alternatives to chemical products but they tend to be preventative measures rather than instant solutions. Natural oils, maintaining good storage practices and using fly screens and insect excluders can help make your home a haven, excluding cockroaches and other pests in general. Naturally occurring botanical pesticides such as neem or pyrethrum can also have an impact.
The only “natural” product on test is Hovex Natural Cockroach Traps. The manufacturer, Pascoes, told CHOICE it uses an all-natural food source and glue to trap cockroaches . Unfortunately, both traps and baits are poor performers overall. Check out their individual scores to see which one works for you.