How to protect your house against cockroaches

Close up of a cockroach on white background.

A cockroach is a brown –winged insect found in many homes and their environs, there are about 4000 species of cockroaches although only a few are most common. They thrive in warm places where there is plenty of food and water; they are found in kitchens, gutters, cracked walls, sewage pipes, food stores, water pipe holes and they feed on food, decaying foods, feaces, rubbish and even dead roaches. They are seen in several homes (where cleanliness is not commendable) crawling everywhere from the toilets to kitchen, kitchen counters, and food stores.
Cockroaches have health effects on man for two main reasons: a substance called allergen contained in their excreta, saliva and body skin and also because of the germs carried by cockroaches on their hairy legs.
Owing to the allergens mentioned above, cockroaches trigger allergies in man, this is shown by increased asthmatic attacks in asthmatics, skin rash, running nostrils and breathing problems.
The germs (bacteria and viruses) cockroaches carry can contaminate food which can lead to typhoid fever, food poisoning, pneumonia, and worm infestations.

1. Food Hygiene
Store food in airtight containers within your kitchen and food store, always cover your cooked food as cockroaches defecate and vomit on food.
Keep kitchen counters/cabinets and also those in food store clean all the time. Clean counters before and after cooking
Use the refrigerator and /or freezer if available to store food.

2. Barrier Exclusion
Seal all cracks and gaps in walls, floors, plumbing pipelines and electrical socket holes to prevent cockroaches from entering the house. This is called barrier exclusion.

3. Check purchased items properly
Department stores, groceries, shops and markets harbour a lot of cockroaches, therefore you must thoroughly check all purchased items for cockroaches before storage.

4. Check your travel bags properly
Travel bags and school bags can also carry cockroaches from one place to the other; consequently one is advised to always check bags thoroughly for cockroaches. Always zip up your box fully especially in hotel rooms.

5. Flush unused toilets
Un-used toilets or toilets that are sparingly-flushed harhour cockroaches; consequently such toilets should be flushed regularly. Also pour water regularly into unused sinks.

6. Sanitation
Cockroaches thrive and breed in dirty environment, the house should be well lit up and swept thoroughly every day in our country because there is dirt everywhere, on the road, around the house, markets, everywhere. Clean the floor, clean the sinks, remove any collection of items; a clean house and surrounding discourage breeding of cockroaches.

7. Fumigate your home every quarter
Fumigate your homes and the immediate environment every three months if you can afford it as this will kill the cockroaches and also discourage their existence in the house.

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