By: Tatum Stafford

Though this may not come as a shock to those who live here, cockroaches are the most common household pests in Australia.

WA plays host to a variety of species of cockroaches that can be found in multiple spots on a property. At any given time, you could find American, Australian and Common Shining cockroaches in garden mulch, or German and Brown Banded cockroaches hiding in your kitchen.

If you notice an influx of cockroaches around your house and garden, the team at Termico Pest Management say it’s important to act fast. Here are six ways to prevent and get rid of cockroaches.

1. Seal cracks and holes

If you suspect cockroaches are making their way into your house, the first thing to do is check for any obvious cracks, holes or gaps in walls, doorways or windows to physically prevent them from entering. Use caulk to fill these cracks – and if you find any larger gaps, opt for foam or a sturdy steel wool.

2. Shift garden beds away from your house

Garden variety cockroaches are commonly found in mulch, so if you’re noticing more of these critters entering your house, do a quick audit of your garden. If there are damp, mulch-filled garden beds sitting along the side of your house, shift them further away. This will prohibit cockroaches from using your garden as a direct access point to your house.

3. Get rid of any cardboard boxes

As well as being a reliable food source, cardboard boxes are common breeding spots for cockroaches. A reason for this is that cockroaches communicate through pheromones, and this scent can be better infused in surfaces such as wood, paper or cardboard.

Recycling or disposing of cardboard food or storage boxes is the simplest way to deter cockroaches from using them as breeding grounds (or for their next meal). The same applies for any unused cardboard moving boxes you’ve put in storage – these could be a haven for the critters, so it’s best to recycle them and invest in new ones before your next move.

Image of recycling cardboard

4. Regularly (and thoroughly) clean your kitchen

Above all else, cockroaches are attracted to easily accessible food sources. Therefore, the easiest way to deter them from infiltrating your kitchen is to keep it as clean and hygienic as possible at all times. As well as the obvious wiping down of surfaces and washing dishes, do a few extra cleaning tasks every day to keep it sparkling clean and roach-free.

A few of these extra tasks could include emptying your kitchen bin regularly, ensuring all leftover food is kept in airtight containers, and scrubbing grease from your stove top or other appliances. Dishwashers can also be a source of remnant grease and grime, so give this a good scrub at least once every few days.

As it’s generally kept on the floor, leftover pet food is easy for cockroaches to access, so make sure you thoroughly empty, clean and dry your pet’s food bowl every day so no crumbs are left out overnight.

5. Limit easy access to water sources

If their water supply is cut off, cockroaches can only survive for up to two weeks. For this reason, checking any sources of water (including taps or appliances such as kettles) around your house for leakages could be a key factor in deterring cockroaches. Patch up any leaks you find, and contact a specialist if you need any large leaks in piping to be professionally sealed.

Image of a leaky pipe

6. Try a natural remedy

Similar to the borax recipe we refer to in our list of ways to get rid of black ants around the house, a natural cockroach deterrent may be just the ticket if your preventative measures have failed and you find your house inundated with them.

To create this natural remedy, mix one part baking soda to one part sugar or honey. Place the mixture in a small bowl in a spot where you regularly find cockroaches, and leave overnight. The baking soda will kill the cockroaches. As this is a completely natural solution (without any chemicals or poisonous ingredients), this mixture is safe to use around children and pets.

Tried the above and still finding cockroaches?

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Last updated: February 2021