Controlling Cockroaches

Controlling Cockroaches

Cockroaches have been around for more than 300 million years. Most live in warm, tropical climates, but various species dwell in the offices and homes of humans. Cockroaches are not just an unwelcome visitor in the home€”a protein in their droppings is a primary trigger of asthma symptoms, especially for children living in densely populated, urban neighborhoods. To reduce asthma symptoms, it is important to eliminate cockroaches. Block areas where roaches could enter the home, including crevices, wall cracks, windows, woodwork or floor gaps, cellar and outside doors and drains.

Cockroaches need water to survive and thrive in high humidity, so make sure to fix and seal all leaky faucets and pipes. You may also want to have a trained exterminator go through the house when your family and pets are gone to eliminate any remaining roaches.

Roaches feel less welcome in a clean, dry house. To keep them from returning, keep food in tight-lidded containers and put pet food dishes away after they are done eating. Vacuum and sweep the floor after meals, and take out garbage and recyclables frequently. Use lidded garbage containers in the kitchen. Wash dishes immediately after use in hot, soapy water, and clean under stoves, refrigerators or toasters where loose crumbs can accumulate. Wipe off the stove top and clean other kitchen surfaces and cupboards regularly.

Controlling Indoor Molds

Indoor molds and mildew thrive in areas of the house with increased humidity, such as damp basements and bathroom windows. These molds send out small spores that can trigger allergy symptoms. Fortunately, indoor molds and mildew are easily eliminated once you discover them. Use a cleaning solution containing 5% bleach and a small amount of detergent. If mold or mildew are visible in carpeting or wallpaper, remove these items from the house. Also, promptly repair and seal leaking roofs or pipes. Never put carpeting on concrete or damp floors, & avoid storing clothes, or other items in damp areas. The surface must remain wet for about 15 minutes to allow the solution to disinfect. Concentrations as high as 1½ cups of bleach per gallon of water are recommended for wood and concrete surfaces that could not be thoroughly cleaned. Provide adequate ventilation during disinfecting and wear rubber gloves.

Using dehumidifiers in damp basements may be helpful, but they generally cannot control humidity throughout the house. Empty the water in dehumidifiers and clean units regularly to prevent mildew from forming. All rooms, especially basements, bathrooms and kitchens, require ventilation and consistent cleaning to deter mold and mildew growth.