Texas has the perfect climate for cockroaches; it is warm and, at times, humid making it one of the most cockroach-infested states in the US. Cockroaches live in filthy areas and can carry disease into the home, so how does one get rid of cockroaches, particularly in Texas, where they are so prolific?
Getting rid of cockroaches in Texas is much like pest removal elsewhere, making your home inhospitable to cockroaches. Keeping homes clean and dry can remove the food and water resources that cockroaches need to survive. There are also various pesticide options available.
Getting Rid Of Cockroaches In Texas
Cockroaches are very pesky insects, and they are quite difficult to get rid of as they live in hard-to-reach places and can enter a home through the smallest, most obscure entry points. Texas is infamous for cockroaches, particularly during the summer months.
To fully understand how best to get rid of cockroaches, one must first know what one is up against. Let us look at how to best get rid of cockroaches in Texas.
Types Of Cockroaches In Texas
To begin with, there are over 30 different cockroach species in Texas alone, with variations in how each species lives. Let’s look at the most common cockroaches you will find in Texas to better understand how to get rid of them:
- American cockroach
- German cockroach
- Oriental cockroach
- Smoky-brown cockroach
- Brown-banded cockroach
While most cockroaches live outdoors, they will find their way inside homes to find food and water. That said, some species, like the German cockroach and the Brown-banded cockroach, will live in your home with you if they get a chance.
What Attracts Roaches In Texas?
If we know what attracts roaches, then we have a better chance of knowing how to get rid of them. Cockroaches like moist areas; they will be found near drains, sewers, and other dark, moist spaces. Some roaches will live outside in dead wood, under rocks.
Cockroaches are scavengers who eat almost anything, from human food to soap, paper, feces, and dirt. Because of this, dirty dishes, filthy homes, and leaking pipes will attract cockroaches.
As mentioned, Texas has a particularly severe cockroach problem exacerbated in the summer months due to the rise in heat and humidity.
Ways To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Texas
There are three main routes to take for homeowners, and businesses can take to reduce cockroach incursions and remove existing cockroaches. These are best used together for full effectiveness.
- A Clean Environment
- Building Maintenance
- Insecticide treatment
A Clean Environment To Get Rid Of Cockroaches
The best offense is an effective defense. And in cockroach control, the best defense is keeping things clean. It is a very simple but highly effective way to reduce cockroach incursions.
As cockroaches as scavengers, if you remove resources for them to scavenge from, they will look elsewhere for their meal. It is, therefore, essential to keep your home clean.
We have put together a table of dos and don’ts to optimally keep your environment clean and eliminate cockroaches.
|Keep surfaces clean
|Leave food out
|Leave dirty dishes out
|Put trash out when bins are full
|Allow trash to overflow
|Clean dishes when finished eating
|Leave open food bags in cupboards
|Keep food in airtight containers
|Leave crumbs on surfaces and the floor
|Clean the home at least weekly
|Keep outside trash bins away from home.
Building Maintenance To Get Rid Of Cockroaches
Cockroaches like damp, humid, and warm environments. They will congregate in areas with a lot of moisture and heat. Broken and leaking pipes, badly sealed basins, showers, and baths will all attract cockroaches due to moisture. To best reduce cockroaches, good home maintenance is critical.
Cockroaches can squeeze themselves through incredibly small and thin cracks; therefore, it is integral to optimal pest management to ensure that small cracks and areas of ingress are properly fixed and sealed.
To effectively get rid of cockroaches and help stop them from returning, it is recommended to do an annual check of all pipe fixtures. Where necessary, replace or reapply sealant around inlets and outlets.
Keep crawl spaces dry by ensuring enough ventilation to stop moisture build-up. Well-maintained homes are less likely to experience cockroach activity as they are more difficult to enter and have unhospitable environments for cockroaches.
Insecticides To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Texas
Last but not least, it can often be necessary to use insecticides to get rid of existing cockroaches. One can use several different insecticides, each having its respective effectivity depending on the environment; let us take a look at the options available and their pros and cons.
- Insecticide dusts
- Insecticide sprays
- Insecticide baits
Insecticide Dusts To Get Rid Of Cockroaches
Boric acid and diatomaceous earth are the two most common dust types used to eliminate cockroaches. These are spread around the edges of rooms and in crevices. They should only be lightly applied as a dusting, or the cockroaches will avoid them.
Boric acid is more effective than diatomaceous earth but should not be applied to surfaces where food is prepared. The cons to dust are that it can blow away if applied in areas where there is a draft, and pets may try to eat them.
Insecticide Sprays To Get Rid Of Cockroaches
Sprays may be great for flying bugs, and yes, while some cockroaches do fly, most tend to crawl. Sprays also won’t get into the small crevices and cracks or behind appliances and cupboards where cockroaches may be hiding.
Sprays and foggers are not very useful for getting rid of cockroaches and can also carry danger in being a fire hazard due to the flammability of some of the fogging agents.
Insecticide Baits To Get Rid Of Cockroaches
Baits are one of the most effective forms of insecticide for getting rid of cockroaches. There are also several varieties, from bait stations to gels and pastes.
They can be applied to small inconspicuous areas where cockroaches have been seen. Baits work, as the name suggests – the cockroaches eat the bait and will eventually die.
The only con, although also a possible pro is that death is not instantaneous; however, the cockroach may take bait residue back to its shelter, where it may poison others.
Plastic-covered baits are the most home-friendly, as pets and children can’t get at the poison bait. While using a gel is much more convenient as it can be inserted in hard-to-reach crevices, care must be taken so that pets and children can’t reach the bait.
Will Insecticide Foggers Kill Cockroaches?
If the cockroaches have nowhere to hide, foggers may be effective. Still, otherwise, foggers are one of the least effective insecticide systems for cockroaches – the problem is that they don’t reach the areas behind cupboards, in crawl spaces, in the wall, and in drains where cockroaches are most likely to hide.
Do Cockroaches Prefer Warmer Weather?
Yes, cockroaches prefer warmer, more humid weather, the summer months in Texas is when cockroaches are most prevalent. They like warm moist environments.
How Long Do Cockroaches Live?
Cockroach life span depends on species, but a general estimate is 100 days to 1 and a half years.
- Biology and Management of Cockroaches: Agrilifelearn.tamu.edu
- American Cockroach: extensionentomology.tamu.edu
- Cockroaches and How To Manage Them: entomology.ca.uky.edu
Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.