It's an unpleasant reality that as the days get warmer, many of our homes become the breeding ground for cockroaches.
Forget ants, mosquitoes and bed mites, ‘roaches come out tops on the average South African's Most Unwanted Pest list!
Remember that if you've seen one scuttling in the kitchen, his entire family is probably just around the corner so the sooner you attack, the better!
Did you know?
* Cockroaches prefer warm, tropical climates.
* Female cockroaches can produce up to 30 egg capsules at any given time, and that's not even the scary part… Within each of these capsules lies an estimated 15 to 50 eggs!
* One female cockroach can have up to 30,000 offspring in her lifetime.
* They're nocturnal pests who thrive mainly in your kitchen. Eek!
* While it's widely believed that cockroaches harbour disease, germs and various other disgusting wastes, the truth is that they're actually one of the cleaner pests. Still, the mere thought of one makes many of us squirm with distaste.
* The proteins residing in cockroach saliva may cause allergies and aggravate asthma.
* They are also diehards… some are known to stay alive - without food - for more than a month!
How to ‘roach-proof your home:
* Clean up your mess and any spillage as soon as you've eaten.
* Don't leave dirty dishes piled overnight.
* Invest in a good kitchen detergent.
* Store food in sealed, vacuum-tight containers.
* Empty and sanitise your dustbins regularly.
* Get rid of excess clutter – cockroaches procreate in almost any hiding place they can find.
* If you notice a crack in the skirting of your walls, cover it up.
How to stop an infestation:
After a bit of Googling, I learnt these three great gems...
1. Once you've identified where the crawlies have been hiding, sprinkle a bit of boric acid nearby. If consumed by the cockroach, the acid acts as a poison. But be careful: boric acid is toxic to humans and animals too, so don't use it where children – or pets – eat, sleep or play.
2. Bay leaves are a natural ‘roach repellent, but don't get too excited…it can't kill them!
3. Disinfect all surfaces using a bit of bleach and water. Cockroaches love dirt, grease and grime so the cleaner your house is, the less chance that a cockroach will find it inviting.
Can you think of any other ways to get rid of cockroaches? Share your tips in the box below.