Cockroaches are not a pleasant sight especially if you see them crawling out of your kitchen sink and bathroom drain. Spotting one or two cockroaches, there will be hundreds more living in a hidden nest. There is always a negative reaction to these creepy and sometimes flying insects for reasons of associating them with unhygienic surroundings and diseases.
Cockroaches are a health hazard especially in a home environment since they carry bacteria and even viruses causing diseases to humans. It is studied that roaches can be carriers of streptococcus, salmonella and staphylococcus including polio virus. Aside from these, cockroaches produce allergens that will be detrimental to asthma sufferers and can cause allergic reactions to some people.
Why is it hard to get rid of cockroaches?
Roaches are natural survivors. Dealing with a cockroach infestation is challenging considering that these insects thrive in any environment, can survive for a month without food and a week without water. Roaches are basically nocturnal creatures and spend 75% of their time resting, hiding in dark crevices and cracks around the house.
They multiply quickly. Typical roach lifespan is about a year and an adult female can produce 6 generations per year with offspring of about 300. Female roaches have the ability to reproduce asexually to maintain a colony for 3 years in a house where there is no need for a male contributor. Eggs are encased in a dark colored bean-shaped shell and can contain 16 to 50 eggs.
They developed immunity to household pesticides. Over the years cockroaches have developed resistance to insecticides and pesticides according to a recent study at Purdue University. Chemical concoctions alone would not eradicate them and in most cases exposure to these insecticides can even increase roach population.
Preventing Roaches in Drains and Pipes
- Keep sink and drain areas clean with no left-over foods, water and morsels. It is best to keep trash away from these areas depriving roaches of their food and water supply.
- Use a stopper to cover drains at night. This will block roaches’ entry point at night when they are more active.
- Inspect drain and pipelines. Cracks, holes and crevices are useful entry ways for cockroaches. Make sure to check under the sink, bathtub and exposed pipes. Seal any cracks with appropriate caulk.
- Check for leaky faucets. Repair any leaky faucet or consider replacement. Water attracts roaches and this is a main reason why they prefer staying in drains.
Ways to Get Rid of Roaches in Drains
Baking Soda and Vinegar. Mixing baking soda with vinegar is known to be a natural drain cleaner. Initially, pour a quarter cup of baking soda on the drain and follow through with a half cup of vinegar. The expected chemical reaction of these two components will get rid of dirt, odors and other waste substances. After a couple of minutes, follow up with boiling water.
Concentrated bleach. Common household bleach is a powerful and toxic substance that should be used with caution. Undiluted bleach can kill roaches on contact. However, using bleach to kill roaches requires careful consideration since it can interfere with other substances in the pipes releasing toxic fumes which can potentially harm your pipelines.
Borax is poisonous to roaches. Borax is a mineral also known as sodium borate and is common in some household cleaning agents. However, this is only effective in eradicating roaches when they actually consume it. Borax damages roaches’ exoskeleton can gradually kill them as they continue to ingest borax in their hiding nest.