The State of Florida is known for sunshine and warm temperatures throughout the year. The weather is enjoyed by the residents and it provides comfort to people seeking an escape from the cold temperatures in other parts of the country. Unfortunately, the warm weather is also ideal for pests such as cockroaches.
According to a report by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, up to 30.4% of homeowners in Florida report cockroach infestations each year. This amounts to almost a third of all the Florida homeowners reporting a minimum of one infestation annually.
With this alarming rate of infestations, it’s necessary to understand how to protect your property from these pests and maintain a clean, healthy environment. Here are some different preventive measures and the steps to take in case of an infestation.
What Complications Do Cockroaches Cause?
An infestation of cockroaches can quickly spiral out of control and cause damage to your property. They can also cause your home to become a health hazard. Some of the problems caused by a cockroach infestation include:
- An infestation may lead to different diseases and infections
- They can physically damage your property, especially wood and paper products
- They can cause your property to have a repulsive smell
- They can trigger allergies
Where Can Cockroaches Be Found on Your Property?
Cockroaches can make their nests both inside and outside of a home. They may be found in:
Cockroaches that nest inside of a home have adapted to being in close proximity to humans.
German cockroaches are known to prefer cool spaces such as AC units, cabinets, bathrooms, and sewerage pipes. In contrast, the Brown-Banded cockroaches prefer to live in dry and warm spaces. These include attics, basements, inside panels, and in furniture.
Even though these spaces are within the house, they are hard to see or reach, so regularly check them to avoid any possible infestations.
Some cockroaches are primarily found outdoors, but they can potentially make their way into a house. These species may be found in places such as gardens, greenhouses, near ponds, and in garbage heaps.
American cockroaches are known for their mobility. They can move from outside a property and infest it. Even though they dwell outside a home, they still pose a threat to your health and to the property.
Common Signs of Cockroach Infestation
The beginning of an infestation might be hard to notice, but there are a few telltale signs you can look out for. When cockroaches inhabit your premises, you are likely to find eggs, shell casings or their excrement.
You might also detect a musty smell which they are known to produce. If you notice any of these signs, you may need to contact an exterminator.
How Do You Prevent an Infestation?
Prevention of an infestation can be advantageous in averting damage to your property and potential health risks.
Here are some steps you can take to deter any potential infestations.
Fill Up Cracks and Openings
Cockroaches can squeeze through cracks and small openings in the walls or underneath doors. Sealing these openings will block potential routes, making infestation more difficult.
Practice Hygiene and Sanitation
Maintaining a clean environment both indoors and outdoors is one of the best ways to prevent an infestation. Cockroaches don’t find clean environments appealing as they mostly prefer a close proximity to waste. Places where mold is growing are also hot spots for cockroach infestations.
To deter cockroaches that live indoors, you can take measures such as cleaning your dishes often, wiping the surfaces, regular vacuuming, storing food in airtight containers, and draining accumulated water. Cockroaches are attracted to wet surfaces so it is very important to wipe any spills on the floor and to clean the kitchen area.
Outdoors, you can practice basic landscaping, drain any stagnant water, clean adjacent structures (such as sheds and greenhouses), practice proper storage and disposal of waste, and clean out waste disposal areas.
The main principle for both indoor and outdoor cleaning is to drain accumulated water, avoid waste, and tidying your environment.
Natural Measures of Prevention
There are some measures involving organic products that you can use to prevent an infestation. These measures are harmful to cockroaches but not to humans. They include:
- Slicing and rubbing cucumbers along any entry points or areas that cockroaches may try to access. The smell of cucumbers is a natural deterrent that would repel these pests.
- Growing various plants that are natural repellants. Such plants include catnip and garlic.
- Spraying lavender and peppermint oils in your living spaces
When Should You Call an Exterminator?
Even though the preventive measures that were previously discussed are quite effective against cockroach infestations, sometimes they still manage to make their way inside your home. Once they settle into their preferred habitats, they are often difficult to reach; and considering their multiplication rate, things can go sideways fast.
Preventive measures and the use of deterrents are only useful in pushing back the pests. Once you notice the signs of an infestation, it’s best to contact an exterminator. Professional exterminators have the right tools and the required expertise to eliminate the pests and effectively stop an infestation in its tracks.
Cockroach infestations are unfortunately quite common in Florida due to the warm temperatures. Absentee homeowners might not be able to keep a close eye on their property to prevent an infestation, but we can do that for you.
At Income Realty Home Watch, we understand the dangers that your property is exposed to without someone present to check on things. Homeowners in the greater Florida area entrust us with caring for their properties and in turn, we provide them with peace of mind. Hire Income Realty Home Watch to ensure your home is safe from infestations while you’re away.