How Do I Get Rid of Cockroaches If I Live in an Apartment?

dead cockroach
Image courtesy of Toby Hudson (CC by -SA 3.0)
Raleigh has the unfortunate distinction of being ranked sixth in the list of cities with the highest number of roach infestations around the country. Cockroaches tend to thrive in warm, humid climates and they can be difficult to clear up. If you are living in an apartment building, you may have an even harder time to clear up an infestation, as the cockroaches may move from one room to another. Here are some steps you can take to eliminate cockroaches.

Contact the Landlord

If you contact the landlord, you can request that the entire building (including the crawlspace) be treated by a cockroach exterminator. Then request that regular exterior treatments be completed. This should clear up any infestations that are currently in your building, and the exterior treatments can help to prevent any new cockroaches from coming in. If your landlord will only treat one apartment at time, the cockroaches will just move from space to space and continue to be a problem.

Eliminate Food Sources

If you have a clean home, you are less likely to have issues with cockroaches, even if your neighbors are still having issues. Be sure to store your food in airtight containers. Clean up any crumbs left over after eating or preparing a meal. Be sure not to leave any dirty dishes in the sink or out on the counters, especially overnight. Take the trash out every evening. Be sure that your interior trash cans have a tight-fitting lid to prevent the roaches from finding them.

Check the Apartment for Ways for the Roaches to Get In

Cockroaches can live on the interior of the walls. If there are any holes in the walls an electrical cover that is loose or off or cracks around the baseboards, you will need to have them repaired in order to stop the roaches from coming in. You can request the landlord to make the repairs or ask for permission to do them yourself. Check along the windows and door frames to see if there are cracks. The windows may need to have caulking applied to them. You can apply weather stripping to the door to plug any cracks that may be leading out. Check your kitchen counters to make sure they are flush to the wall. You may need to apply caulking there to stop roaches from living in the spaces between the cabinets and the wall. Image courtesy of Toby Hudson (CC by -SA 3.0)

10 Facts About Cockroaches

cockroach on floorCockroaches are most people’s nightmare. The idea of them invading your home and crawling across you dishes and plates can be horrifying. However, some people find them fascinating. Here are ten fact about cockroaches that you may not know.
  1. The world’s largest cockroach can grow up to six inches long It is reported to have a wingspan of a foot. However in the United States the largest cockroaches, also called Palmetto bugs, can grow up to two inches long. Most roaches that you find in your home are about a ½ inch long.
  2. Cockroaches have been on the earth as long as dinosaurs and possibly even longer. The earliest roach fossils are estimated to be 350 million years old. Roaches manage to survive in very difficult circumstances, which is one of the reasons they are so difficult to get rid of.
  3. Cockroaches are fast for their size. They can run up to three miles an hour, which can make them difficult to catch and kill with a shoe or a fly swat.
  4. Cockroaches breathe through holes in their shell, which means they can live up to a week without a head. They do need water, and without a head they cannot drink. They can only go a week without water.
  5. Cockroaches multiply rapidly. Roaches lay their eggs in ootheca. Depending on the species there can be between 16-50 eggs in each ootheca. A roach can lay up to 90 ootheca in a lifetime. This multiplies quickly. Add to this to the fact that the eggs only take about a month to hatch and you can see how quickly this can turn into an infestation.
  6. There are currently over 4500 species of roaches. Not all of them are considered pests. The most common variety of cockroach in the United states is the German cockroach, but Oriental and American cockroaches are quite common as well.
  7. Cockroaches are not considered native to North America. People estimate that the first roaches came to America in 1625 on a ship from Africa. The species is able t adapt to most conditions and quickly began to thrive in the United States.
  8. Some cockroaches can fly, but not all roaches do. In the United States, the Palmetto or American roaches fly. Other roaches can glide or use their wings t balance while the jump.
  9. Roaches can go up to a month without eating, but they do need a steady source of water. They can only survive a week without taking a drink.
  10. A new type of roach, the Turkestan roach, is starting to invade the United States. These can multiply more rapidly than other species and is a growing concern, especially in the southwest.
While there are some interesting facts about roaches, it does not make the idea of an infestation any more appealing. If you see roaches, it is important to act quickly to limit your exposure to the diseases they can spread. The pest way to deal with an infestation is to call the experts at EcoTek. Learn more about cockroach extermination from EcoTek Termite and Pest Control.