Cockroaches are one of the most common household pests. They are found everywhere from homes to offices, restaurants, and even public transport! Though Singapore is a clean and green city, you will be surprised to see roaches lurking around the nooks and crannies of HDBs and condominiums. Lucky for us, the National Environment Agency here conducts regular inspections at residential and commercial buildings. But we as home or business owners can play our part in controlling these unwanted pests. Let us find out how that can be done in this post.

How can Cockroaches Affect Us?

Cockroaches can breed very quickly, especially if there is food available for them to feed on. The eggs hatch into larvae which then grow into adults. Adults can live up to 2 years while the larvae can survive for about 4 months.

Cockroaches are known to carry many diseases including salmonella, E coli, listeria, and typhoid fever. They are often found near waste matter or in the kitchen, where there is food. They can contaminate food and spread disease through its faeces. Roaches can also cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to them. They can also bite or sting humans causing minor injuries such as a rash, skin irritation, or swelling.

Identifying the Problem

The first sign that you have a cockroach infestation is when you notice droppings or excrement on your floor. Other indications include egg casings and skin sheds.

Although it is believed that poor housekeeping invites these pests, this may not always be true. Roaches enter houses through cracks and crevices found in exterior of building, through drain or sewage pipes or even fly in through the window! Hence, they are not limited to just the kitchen. They feed mainly at night and are attracted by food sources, so a clean environment is still necessary.

Methods to Prevent Cockroach Infestation

In order to keep cockroaches at bay, here are some good housekeeping tips you can practice at home or at work:

  1. Clean regularly. Remove or wipe down food crumbs or food waste from kitchen counter
  2. Keep your kitchen/pantry well-ventilated
  3. Seal all holes and gaps
  4. Remove any food source and store food in sealed containers
  5. Vacuum daily
  6. Do not store rubbish outside
  7. Keep pet food or food scraps in pet bowls away

DIY Cockroach Control Options

There are many ways to kill cockroaches, but not all of them are safe. For example, using insecticides may cause harm to humans and pets. The best way to keep cockroaches out of your home is by sealing cracks and crevices around your house.

Other DIY methods are as follows:

1) Use a boric acid solution to get rid of cockroaches. Mix 1 part boric acid with 9 parts water. Spray this mixture into cracks and crevices. Leave it for about 10 minutes before wiping it off.

2) Sprinkle dry ice or carbon dioxide pellets onto areas where cockroaches are hiding. Dry ice has been used successfully to kill cockroaches.

3) Strong scents like peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree may work as a natural repellent to keep them away. Other food items like garlic, and pandan have been said to deter roaches. This can be used as a short-term repellent.

Getting Rid of Cockroaches in Your HDB Unit

It is almost impossible to completely eliminate cockroaches. However, there are ways to prevent them from entering your premises. The best way to get rid of cockroaches in HDB is by using a combination of chemical and nonchemical methods.

cockroach killed after being sprayed on

Gel Baits

Gel baits are usually applied in the cracks and crevices where there is evidence of activity. It works by luring insects into eating the baits containing an insecticide.

Cockroach Baits

When a cockroach dies from consuming a bait, other roaches will be attracted to feed on it, which in turn will kill them. If they eat the faeces from the poisonous cockroaches, then they’ll be killed by them too. Thus, effectively curbing their population at the same time.

Insecticide Spray

In this treatment method the water-based solution is sprayed in bin chutes and drains. The residual insecticide will continue to remain and persist for several hours to several weeks, eliminating the cockroaches as well as nymphs from soon to hatch eggs.

Fogging of Bin Chutes

Bin chutes are one of the most common places where you can find cockroaches because they breed there. This remains a threat to homeowners as it increases the chance pest invasion. Fogging bin chutes regularly is one effective way to control, curb and eventually get rid of these cockroaches.

Preventing Cockroaches in Cars

Singaporeans are food lovers. Wherever we go food is involved, at times even in cars while taking a ride. And this means crumbs and spillage in your vehicle. If these are not promptly or thoroughly cleaned, then you are sure to attract another type of food lover – the cockroach!

Roaches are very hardy creatures. They can survive extreme weather conditions and live up to two years without feeding. They can also withstand high levels of heat and humidity. As such, you can also find these creatures in your car.

According to this article, it is imperative to clean the interior of your car regularly especially the carpets and in between car seats. This would include vacuuming and disinfecting. You can also try this DIY method. A mixture of baking soda and water or vinegar is said to deter roaches from coming into your car. Apply this solution before leaving for work or school.

Do You Think You Have Cockroaches?

If a roach infestation goes out of control it’s best to call a NEA certified, professional pest control company immediately. They will inspect your place thoroughly and give you tips on how to prevent future infestations.