If you are not used to cockroaches disturbing your clean and peaceful home, the presence of cockroaches in Nigeria will no doubt fill you with horror! If like me you have a cockroach phobia, hearing stories about people waking up with cockroaches crawling on their face or entering their mouth will leave you on a mission to try to keep cockroaches from your home!
There are a lot of commercial sprays available in supermarkets for killing or repelling insects, but if you are looking for more natural alternatives, look no further.
Keep your house clean
The first tip in fighting cockroach infestations is keep your house clean. Do not leave food waste in kitchens or in bins overnight. Wipe down all surfaces and mop up all water. Check electrical equipment kettles, toasters, microwaves, refrigerators, etc. cockroaches love hiding in every nook and cranny.
Keep the lights on and temperature low
Cockroaches love warm damp environments, keeping your home free from leaks, dark damp corners will reduce the attractiveness of your home to cockroaches. Keeping the kitchen as cool as possible also makes it a leas inviting place.
Block access holes
If you have holes or gaps they can crawl through, they will crawl through! Fill all holes to ensure no new entrants spoil your clean and cockroach free environment.
Capnip is a very effective natural remedy to repel cockroaches.
Boil catnip leaves for 10 minutes and let it cool before transferring the mixture to a spray bottle. Spray it around the house.
Neem has been used as a traditional insect repellant in India and South Asian countries.
Boil neem leaves for 10 minutes and let it cool. Use a spray bottle to spray the mixture in areas where cockroaches and insects roam.
Chrysanthemum flowers contain a chemical compound which attacks the nervous system of insects when in direct contact.
Use dried chrysanthemum flower heads to repel cockroaches naturally by crushing them into powder and mixing two tablespoons of the powder in a litre of hot water. Mix a pinch of detergent powder into the mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and spray around possible infested areas.
Cockroaches hate the smell of bay leaves. Crush some bay leaves and place in corners and dark areas.
Silica absorbes moisture and dries out anything which comes into direct contact with it. When cockroaches come into direct contact with silica balls the gel dries out their body, killing them.
To increase the effectiveness mix the beads with sugar and sprinkle the mixture around the house. Keep away from children and pets.
Garlic and Cucumber
Cockroaches are not keen on garlic and cucumber. Place garlic and cucumber in areas where you have seen cockroach activity. You can blend garlic and cucumber and add to a spray bottle. Spray around the house and in entryways.
Peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree oils are natural repellants for insects. Use essential oils to repel cockroaches naturally by putting drops on a cotton ball and wiping down places where cockroaches usually hide or enter your home.
You can also make a spray by mixing 15 drops of peppermint oil and 10 ounces of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray in entry points and dark spaces.
Borax is an effective natural cleaner and a safer alternative to some conventional cleaners. It contains boric acid which when injested by cockroaches destroys the cellular lining of their guts.
To kill cockroaches with borax, mix two tablespoons of borax and two cups of sugar in a litre of water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. To increase the potency you can add two or three drops of peppermint oil in suspected areas.
Roaches like high places, if you continue to have problems buy boric acid and put on top of your cupboard tops. Cockroaches will carry the boric acid back to their nests.
Baking soda is an effective home cleaning remedy and killer of cockroaches.
Mix one part of baking soda with one part of sugar. The sugar attracts the roaches and the baking soda kills them. Place the mixture in small bowls or sprinkle it in corners and baseboards.
You can make cockroach traps using petroleum jelly by adding sugar and smearing on cardboard. Place the traps where cockroaches normally hide. The sugar attracts the cockroaches and they get stuck to the petroleum jelly.
These tips should help keep cockroaches at bay away from your home and family and reduce the impact of harsh chemicals in your home.
Since arriving in Lagos in August 2017, advice has come from several sources. Some recommendations are based on errors made through lack of experience living and working in this environment.
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