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How to prevent cockroaches

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Your property could be an ideal breeding ground for cockroaches. There are multiple ways they can gain entry to buildings: through cracks, crevices, vents, sewers, pipe drains, open windows and doors and in goods brought into premises.

Cockroaches are attracted by food, moisture and shelter, so the most effective way to prevent an infestation is to deny them access.

Preventing cockroaches can be successfully carried out with a few basic measures. When it comes to prevention and control of pests, simple things such as keeping doors and windows shut and good standards of cleaning and tidying that can make a huge difference.

Here are four ways to prevent a cockroach infestation:

1. Eliminate food sources

cockroaches on slice of bread

Cockroaches are amazing scavengers. In an urban environment, roaches rely heavily on the food humans leave behind. Like us, their diet mainly consists of sugar, protein, and carbohydrates. The best way to prevent cockroaches is to remove any potential food sources lying around your home or business.

Eliminate cockroach food sources by:

Removing liquids:

  • Although like rodents, cockroaches can last a week or two without water as long as the moisture content in their food is high, it is still a vital part of their diet. Removing standing water from buckets and sinks can help prevent cockroaches from entering your property in search of water
  • It’s also worth noting that cockroaches are attracted to moisture and love to live in damp places. Eliminating standing liquids can make your home and/or business seem less appealing

Remove standing food:

  • Removing leftover food sitting on tables, kitchen counters and desks can help reduce the appeal of your home to cockroaches. Cockroaches only need minute amounts of food for a meal, so any crumbs, powders, liquid foods spilled on floors, worktops, shelves, cupboards, food containers, packaging, etc will provide enough for a meal

Store food away:

  • Smell is an important factor in cockroaches finding your home or business inviting. You can help reduce this attraction by storing items of food such as cereals and pet food in airtight containers

Rinse and remove cans, bottles, and plastic containers:

  • Leftover residue in empty cans, bottles, and plastic containers will attract cockroaches. Even though these items are usually found in a bin, there’s nothing stopping roaches from making the transition from your garbage into your property. A good prevention tip is to rinse these containers out thoroughly before disposal

Empty bins regularly:

  • Bins are a prime cockroach attraction. They offer cockroaches a whole range of different food to consume. Emptying your bins regularly, preferably on a daily basis, will help prevent roaches from entering and breeding in your property. Commercial premises need to ensure that waste is disposed of before it builds up and overflows containers

Although you can take the necessary procedures to limit the food accessible to cockroaches, this will not remove them 100%. Cockroaches are known to consume other forms of food that may sound strange: they eat paper, glue and even turn to cannibalism when normal forms of food are not available.

2. Clean

As with other forms of pest prevention, one of the best ways to reduce the risk of accumulating a cockroach problem is keeping kitchens and food handling and storage areas clean.

Ensuring that work surfaces are clear of food debris, as well as clearing up all waste and spillage will help prevent cockroaches. Cockroaches are more active during nightfall so removing pet food, drink, and litter trays is also a good method.

In businesses such as hotelsrestaurants, healthcare facilities, retail stores and food processors, adhering to food hygiene standards is an essential part of keeping pests such as cockroaches from damaging and contaminating food.

When it comes to offices and workplaces, keeping your office clean as well as limiting eating and storing food at your desk can help prevent cockroaches from moving in.

hotel room with opened suitcase

3. Declutter

Cockroaches release a pheromone in their droppings which signals to others that they have found a safe place to live? Removing excess clutter such as packaging, cardboard, stacks of old newspapers and magazines.

This will prevent cockroach droppings accumulating by eliminating areas for them to be distributed. Removing clutter from your business or home also reduces the amount of areas where cockroaches can hide.

4. Maintenance


General building maintenance will deny cockroaches routes into and around your property and access to places to hide.

Pipes and Drains

As already stated, cockroaches are quite fond of damp and moist areas. Because of this when it comes to your home or business they can usually be found near pipes and drains. Regularly checking this area for signs of cockroaches and taking the necessary procedures such as repairing damaged pipes and clearing blocked drains is a good cockroach prevention measure.


Wooden shelves provide a great spot for cockroaches to live on. The cracks in the grains of the wood provide a great hiding spot. A good roach prevention tip is to paint or varnish wooden shelves. This seals all these cracks and crevices reducing the places a cockroach can hide. Alternatively, you could replace your wooden shelves with ones made from plastic or metal.

Seal entrances

There is a handful of cockroach weak spots around a property that provide roaches with an easy way in. These are:

  • Walls
  • Skirting boards
  • Electrical sockets
  • Under kitchen sinks and bathroom cabinets

Check these areas for cracks and crevices and seal them using products such as cement or expanding foam.

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