By Chris King •
Published: 12 Jul 2023 • 5:00
Image of a cockroach.
Credit: Erik Karits/Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication
With Summer upon us in Spain, we can expect to face an increase in the number of cockroaches, whose presence multiplies exponentially in the hot months.
These creatures have an enormous capacity for adaptability in environments that are often tremendously hostile to them. As a result, they are believed to have inhabited the planet for 300 million years, and would probably still be around long after humanity has disappeared.
Cockroaches are a major health problem as they are carriers of various bacteria and can spread salmonellosis; intestinal affections such as diarrhoea, dysentery, gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, cholera, and even produce asthma attacks.
Unlike other insects, such as wasps, it is possible to find cockroaches throughout the year, but the hot summer temperatures create an ideal environment for their reproduction and breeding.
Their nests are usually found in warm and humid places, such as sewers or the darkest corners of our house. From there, they embark on excursions in search of food, which is why they are more frequent at this time of the year.
During the breeding season, cockroaches have a larger appetite. As a result, the first precaution we must take is to keep a clean home, particularly the kitchen. For obvious reasons, this is the room most susceptible to an invasion by these bugs.
It is very important to take out the rubbish bags every day and seal any cracks that cockroaches might use to enter and build nests.
Typically, it has been proven that no matter how clean a home is kept, cockroaches will still end up appearing. However, there is a perfect way to get rid of them.
The natural reaction by most people on spotting a cockroach is to be surprised and move away. Some people try to squash them by stepping on them, but this is not recommended because roaches are very fast and hardy.
Even if we kill them, they can release toxic and allergenic substances. Also, we only get rid of one roach at a time that way, while they live in colonies.
Also, if the house is relatively clean, the crushed cockroach can serve as food for the rest of its family. After all, cockroaches are creatures that feed on decaying organic matter and are not known for their selective approach.
Fortunately, there are much more effective methods that do not even require us to leave the house to buy poison. In most homes there is a product that has proven to be profoundly effective in making them disappear once and for all – baking soda.
A simple recipe is all that is required. Make a mixture of sugar and baking soda, in equal parts. Then, distribute the product in several containers around the house. They should be placed in the parts of the house that are most susceptible to hosting cockroaches.
The roaches will be tempted by the sugar, and when they feel that there is no danger, they will quickly go for it. However, they’re not just going to eat the sugar, they’re going to eat the baking soda as well.
That is lethal to their systems. The effect of the bicarbonate is unleashed in their body once it is in contact with water. It is therefore convenient to leave another container with a little water next to the previous one.
This method is much more advisable than other types of poisons on the market, because – unlike them – baking soda is not toxic to children and pets, plus it is also much cheaper.
Boric acid is also deadly to cockroaches. An equal measure of boric acid, flour and sugar can be mixed to create a type of dough. This can then be broken up into small balls and placed around the home.
Once the boric acid is ingested, a cockroach will die. The dead bugs need to be suitably disposed of afterwards. It should be remembered though that this method must never be used in a home that has children or pets, as it is poisonous.
The smell of citrus is also known to repel these creatures. Of course, it will not kill them but it should do enough to make them decide not to inhabit a home that has a citrus smell. For some more tips on getting rid of cockroaches, it is well worth visiting tomsguide.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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