Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Dreaded...Cockroach

By Michelle Schnaars

I have received many emails lately asking about natural pest control methods, specifically about natural ways to repel cockroaches. I thought it best to tackle this one via my blog, everyone in one place sort of thing.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you clean. Even after pulling everything out of the kitchen, bathroom, even the entire house, there is still a problem with roaches. You might be wondering how they're getting in. Some roaches come in with the groceries, I know -pretty disgusting thought, others can crawl through weather stripping. Michael Piacenza of Advantage Pest Control explains in his video clip we need to seal the home tightly using weather stripping, caulk, or expandable foam.

Although there are more than 4,000 different species, only a few pose a nuisance in the home. The three we are dealing with are most likely the American cockroach, the German cockroach, and or the Oriental cockroach. While all three are pesky and cause health problems, the German cockroach, which is often infesting homes and other places, is very resistant to commonly used household pesticides which makes it difficult to get rid of them. However, there are natural repellents that are proving successful in repelling these unwanted visitors. Jaipi Sixbear tells us in her article that bay leaves “discourage roaches from coming out to play.” Place them on counter-top corners, inside kitchen cabinets, and throughout your home where ever you've seen a roach. Other natural repellents include catnip, garlic, and of all things –beer.

Garlic can be used in a few different ways to help repel roaches. In powder form, it can be placed along borders, and on top of kitchen cabinets, as well as inside cabinets. You can also make a garlic and water solution which can be either sprayed around your home, or directly on the roaches. The reason garlic works is because roaches do not like strong odors or tastes.

You have to keep in mind that some of these natural remedies create odors that are also overwhelming for humans. You might want to try one over another to find what not only works at repelling the roaches, but also helps to maintain a comfortable home environment. Another thing to remember is dead roaches, or any bug for that matter, must be removed immediately, because bugs do feed off of the remains.

The first line of defense against roaches is prevention. Keep food and water sources as minimal as possible. Check your home for leaking pipes, and other water sources, and have leaks repaired as soon as possible. Never leave food out over night -unless it is sealed in an air-tight food storage container.

Following these preventive steps will also help to repel roaches:

• Everyone should eat at the dining or kitchen table. Eating snacks or meals in front of the T.V. leads to the possibility of crumbs getting in the couch and on floors, and stuck in carpets. This invites roaches and other pests. If there is snack or meal time in front of the T.V. then vacuum immediately.

• Vacuum floors and carpets at least once a week. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in a tightly sealed bag, and immediately take out to the trash can or skip.

• Clean kitchen daily, washing dishes, counter tops and sink.

• Keep garbage in a bag inside a trashcan with a tight fitting lid.

• Clean bathrooms at least once a week.

• Store food in insect-proof containers such as glass jars or sealable plastic containers.

• Remove trash, newspapers, magazines, boxes, and other items that provide a hiding place for roaches and other pests.

I feel confident that when you follow these steps, and use anyone of these natural remedies you will rid your home of these detestable unwanted visitors.


1. Michael Piacenza, Effective Natural Roach Repellent.

2. Jaipi Sixbear, Go Green with Natural Roach Repellents.

Tip: Did you know that Bay Leaves also repel parasites, as well as mice? You can crush bay leaves and leave the bits around your kitchen floor, inside kitchen cabinets, and inside dresser drawers. You can also tape a leaf to the lid of your flower, sugar, and other food storage containers to keep unwanted bugs out, and your family healthy!

About the author:
Michelle Schnaars, CHBE is a former childbirth educator and labor doula having worked in the field for more than seven years. She worked with more than 300 families and helped them prepare for the birth of their child, and assisted many through labor and childbirth, breastfeeding and early parenting. She is also the former Director of Publications and the former Managing Editor of the CAPPA Quarterly. Currently she is a freelance writer published in Expecting Miracles a quarterly publication mailed to childbirth professionals and their clients, Dirt Dissolvers, and the CAPPA Quarterly. She enjoys managing and writing for her blog Childbirth and....


Anonymous said...

Gross topic but timely. I live in an apt, and the owners won’t do anything about the roach problem here. It’s awful! Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for posting this article. My family lives in an apartment and we've had a horrible time trying to get rid of the roaches. They'll treat one apartment, but the roaches go into the walls, and then a few days or weeks later they're back. We can't afford to move out, otherwise we would. But now I have something I can try, because the roach spray isn't cutting it.

Anonymous said...

I keep my home clean. I think if people cleaned up after themselves they wouldn't have this problem. I think a lot of people won't admit it, but they are probably inviting the cockroaches in because they don't wash their dishes, vacuum, or clean up after themself. I don't want to offend anyone, but if you was your dishes you won't have cockroaches in your home, it's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

You said to take the vacuum cleaner bag out to the trash can or skip. What's a skip?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with your statement i just moved into an apartment and two months later have to move out and leave half of my things because i was never informed that there was a problem. I keep my house clean and my landlord would not call an exterminator and I never ever seen until approximately a month ago its because my neighbor had them and i was never informed so you should not speak upon someones situation if you don't understand their situation no offense

Anonymous said...

I have found that garlic powder really does work and quickly