Keep American Cockroaches Out Of Your Home This Fall
American cockroaches can measure up to 2 1/8 inches in length and are known to carry pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. Clearly, these are not pests that you want in your home. During the warmer months, they are happy to live outdoors, but in the autumn, they begin looking for warm places to spend the winter — and your home is one of those places.
How do you keep pesky American cockroaches from moving in with you this autumn? Start by following these guidelines.
Mulching your garden beds in the fall can help keep your plants healthy throughout the winter. However, if you do not mulch carefully, you may end up with a cockroach problem in your yard. Once the roaches are in your yard, they don't have to travel far to make it into your home.
Wood mulches may attract American cockroaches, who like to feed on decaying wood. The best mulch for roach prevention is an inorganic mulch, such as rubber or gravel. However, these mulches do not break down and add organic matter to the soil.
If you must use a wood mulch for its soil-enriching benefits, leave at least 12 inches between the edge of the mulch layer and your home's foundation. This way, if roaches find their way into the mulch, they won't have a direct pathway through any cracks in the foundation.
Get Rid of Fallen Leaves and Yard Waste
Some homeowners pile leaves and other yard waste in a corner of their property, either temporarily or in an effort to compost these materials. Unfortunately, American cockroaches love hiding in such leaf piles and may soon find their way into your home.
Either burn your yard waste or arrange to have your municipal service pick it up. If you must store yard waste temporarily, do so as far from your home as possible.
Check Your Firewood and Store It Properly
If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, you may be stocking up on firewood this fall. Make sure it is stored properly so that American cockroaches don't move into the wood pile and get carried into your home with the wood. Some good firewood storage tips include:
- Stack your wood at least three feet from your home or any other structure.
- Stack the wood on concrete blocks to minimize ground contact and reduce the number of hiding spaces for insects.
- Use the oldest firewood first.
- Burn firewood as soon as you bring it inside.
Always check firewood for pests before you buy it. If you see any cockroaches or other pests in the firewood, say "no thank you" and find another source.
Clean Gutters and Drains
Not only are the moist leaves in clogged gutters and drains attractive to American cockroaches, but clogged gutters also result in moist soil and mulch around the base of your home — which may attract roaches. Check your gutters and remove any leaves several times throughout the fall. Clear the leaves off any drains in your yard, too.
Clean Up Your Basement
American cockroaches often invade the basement first. If you make your basement less appealing to them, you reduce your risk of an infestation. If your basement is moist, install a dehumidifier. Clean up any dirt or debris that has accumulated from your summer activities. If you feed pets in the basement, clean up the area around their food dish and don't put down more food than they eat in one sitting.
American cockroaches are looking for shelter this time of year, but your home does not have to be it. Follow the tips above, and call The Original Bugman Pest Elimination, Inc., if you see any roaches in your home. The sooner you act, the easier they are to get rid of.