Today we are going to be discussing how to rid your apartment of roaches.

Nearly everyone has cracked a joke at some point about how roaches may be the only thing (other than Twinkies) able to survive an apocalypse. While that may be amusing, infestations in the here and now can be seriously frustrating, not to mention potentially dangerous. They can be particularly challenging to manage for people living in apartments.

If one apartment has a roach sighting, it isn’t a stretch to assume that the rest of the units in a building will have them, too. But there are easy steps you can take to rid your apartment of roaches and prevent them from taking over in the first place.

Address It With Your Landlord

On average, it’s reported that 10-30% of apartment complexes in the US have roach problems at any given point. Since roaches thrive in buildings with foundational cracks, plumbing leaks, and poorly maintained trash disposal areas, neglect by the building’s management or the building’s age can contribute significantly to infestation rates.

A housing concept of a landlord.

But new rental apartments with solid supervision aren’t immune to roach infestation, either. If you see the signs, report them to your landlord. Even if you manage to eliminate them from your unit, they’ll very likely return if the whole building isn’t professionally treated by a commercial pest control company.

Keep Food Sources Locked Up

Roaches assemble where there’s a food source, especially in a dark place, such as a cabinet or pantry, so transfer human and pet foods to sturdy lidded plastic or glass containers. They also enjoy rummaging in trash cans, recycling, and compost bins. Removing the trash frequently and using sealed bins and containers can help keep them out.

Roaches aren’t only attracted to your food; they’ll feast on your houseplants and household items like soap, sugar scrubs, and toothpaste. To prevent them from dining on your personal hygiene products, consider switching to liquid soap and be sure to keep a clean, tight lid on other products. You can keep them from your plants by smearing petroleum jelly on potting containers and holders, or you can opt for artificial plants if you want an easier alternative altogether.

Keep Your Apartment Clean

Wipe down countertops, mop up spills, and vacuum regularly to keep crumbs under control. Remember that roaches love dark spaces, so immediately take care of any spills inside cabinets and pantries and wipe them down.

It’s essential to keep the kitchen and bathroom clean at all times, but be sure to keep your apartment decluttered, too. Roaches live wherever they can hide, including laundry piles, bags, and old magazines/newspapers.

Eliminate Water Sources

Roaches are drawn to animal water bowls, kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtubs, and other water sources. Wipe down sinks and bathtubs, and alert your landlord immediately if you have leaky pipes. Keep your pet’s dishes and water bowls clean and dry between mealtimes.

Eliminate Nooks And Crannies

Even the largest roaches can squeeze through surprisingly tight spaces, so check your apartment for cracks or holes in walls, doors, window frames, etc. Worn grout and caulk can cause gaps between countertops and sinks or around bathroom tiles and bathtubs.

If you find areas that need attention, contact your landlord. While repairs are usually straightforward with some caulk or spackle, your landlord may want to handle it. Also, they’ll want to know about any structural issues inside the apartment for maintenance purposes.

Storage areas can also provide nooks and crannies where roaches like to hide, so clean out and declutter closets, pantries, and cabinets. Cockroaches eat cardboard/paper items, so toss moving boxes or tape them up tightly after you ensure they’re not infested.

Hire A Licensed Professional Exterminator

Running to the hardware store and using over-the-counter bug sprays to eliminate your roach problem may be tempting. While that may sometimes work in the short term, leaving it to a professional is the best strategy.

Hire A Licensed Professional Exterminator

Not only do they have access to industry-approved chemicals that won’t harm children and pets, but professional exterminators also have the expertise required to treat smaller spaces like apartments safely. Before you call an exterminator, check with apartment management/maintenance to see if they contract a pest control service or have a policy against tenants using their own.

Roaches Don’t Have To Bug You

Cockroaches can cause a myriad of health problems. For example, they transmit bacteria like salmonella, streptococcus, and staphylococcus across food and surfaces. They can also trigger asthma attacks through allergens in their body parts.

Ridding your apartment of roaches will keep you healthier and safer, but it’ll also help you sleep better at night. Combine the danger to our health with the overwhelming “ick” factor (cockroach phobia is called katsaridaphobia, by the way) and it’s easy to see why roaches rank #1 among the most-hated insects in the US.

While roaches may seem indestructible, you don’t have to live with them. With a few housekeeping best practices, solid communication between you and your leasing company, and the help of a professional, it’s possible to get rid of them for good.

If you have questions about cockroaches or pest control treatments for your Kansas City home or commercial property, please email us at info@gunterpest.com or 816-444-2847.

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