What Chemicals Do Exterminators Use for Roaches?
If you have roaches, you know how difficult it can be to get rid of them. The problem is that roaches can eat almost anything, including the walls of your house, and they can live on very little water.
This makes them difficult to get rid of, and the first thing most people do is to call an exterminator. Exterminators often use chemicals that require a license to use, so you might want to think twice before making this your first move.
How Do Exterminators Get Rid of Roaches?
Professional exterminators often use chemical insecticides to get rid of roaches. Many of these chemicals require a license to use, and they will use them in your home. Also, roaches usually hang out in your kitchen, which means the chemicals will be near where you cook your food. Here are some of the most commonly used products that require a commercial license to use.
This is only a shortlist of the most common ones used, and there are many others, too. These chemicals have been proven to be effective against roaches, but there is a downside. Some of them, such as Hydramethylnon and Piperonyl Butoxide, are listed as a carcinogen by the U.S. EPA. It is typically used as roach bait, which means that it will remain in your home.
Many companies use pyrethrins and pyrethroids because they pose the least risk to people and pets, at least when compared to the other alternatives. They are not allowed to be used near bodies of water because they are poisonous to water life. Professional safety equipment is necessary to use these chemicals in the concentration necessary to kill roaches.
Products that you can buy at a home improvement store are not the same and are often not as effective. Also, you still have the issue of toxic chemicals in your home. When you weigh these risks, you might want to consider other alternatives for your family.
When Should You Call an Exterminator for Roaches?
Many people will first call an exterminator right away without thinking twice, but as you can see from the list, you have to weigh the risks. The only time when it might be necessary to call a pest control professional is if your problem is extreme and has been going on for a long time. One example might be moving into a house where the previous occupants let a roach problem get out of hand.
Even if you hire an exterminator, you can request that they use boric acid products that are not considered harmful chemicals. It will not work as quickly, but it is one of the products that professionals use, which is considered safe by the EPA. It is known to be an effective means to provide a long-term solution for cockroaches.
How Do You Know if Roaches Are Gone?
The nature of cockroaches is that most of them are nocturnal and will quickly scurry for cover when you turn on the light. Unless you have a large infestation, you probably will not see them during the day. There are several ways to tell if you have roaches, even if you do not see them when you turn on the lights.
Cockroaches leave behind a musky smell that lingers. You also might see egg casings that are tiny brown ovals. These are often in clusters glued together in places you typically would not look, such as inside walls. You also might see roach feces that look like tiny brown or black specks.
If you do regular inspections for roaches and do not find any of the signs, you still want to ensure a simple and inexpensive solution.
One way to see if you have roaches is to get roach glue traps. You will catch them as they crawl across the roach traps. These glue traps can be found at grocery stores, hardware stores, and home improvement stores and are only a few dollars.
Are There Any Natural Ways to Get Rid of Roaches?
The Internet is full of home remedies that work to varying degrees, but there is one solution available to you that professionals also use. The EPA has conducted extensive research on boric acid, and it is safe and effective against roaches.
It is one solution that professionals use, and it is available to you at general merchandisers and home improvement stores. The boric acid that you can purchase is the same as that used by professionals.
Boric acid is an acid of boron. This element is a component of minerals that are naturally found around hot springs and volcanic waters. It consists of boron, hydrogen, and oxygen. It is used medicinally in yeast infections, cold sores, and eyewash to rinse the eyes. The boric acid that you purchase has been ground into a fine powdery dust.
Boric acid works in two ways. It is poisonous to roaches when it gets inside their digestive tract. It affects their nervous systems and eventually paralyzes and kills them. Cockroaches have a slick, waxy coating that prevents toxic chemicals from entering. Boric acid dissolves this coating and can eventually get inside the roach's body.
The second way roaches can ingest boric acid is when it sticks to the roach's body as it passes by. The roach will return to the nest and begin to clean itself. Other cockroaches will come to help. They ingest the boric acid and will eventually die.
Using Boric Acid the Right Way
To be effective, boric acid must be used properly. Boric acid containers have a nozzle that disperses a fine powder that you can barely see. You must use the product in a way that invites roaches to walk over it.
Many people make the mistake of putting around piles or layers of it. Roaches will walk around the pile, so less is more in this case.
You should puff out the powder and allow it to settle around the floor, baseboards, under cupboards, in drawers, and in any other place where roaches might be hiding. The idea is that the roach should not see the powder to walk on it accidentally. This means you should not see it either.
Boric acid is odorless, and if a child or pet accidentally ingests a small amount, it will not harm at all. Roaches cannot become immune to boric acid, as they can with some chemical sprays.
Do not expect it to kill the roaches immediately. It takes about three or four days for the poison to do its job and break down the internal system, but it is working.
Keep in mind that it might take a week before you start seeing any reduction in the population. You will slowly see the population dwindle to nothing over the next month, depending on the size of the infestation.
You also need to keep reapplying regularly to make sure the roaches have continual access. This is an effective and natural way to rid yourself of roaches, and you do not have to use toxic chemicals.
If you are struggling to deal with your cockroach infestation on your own, you should get in touch with a pest control professional as soon as possible.