Louisiana are some of the most problematic pests you can encounter. Preventing them is often as easy as thoroughly cleaning your spaces. If you find yourself fighting off an unexpected infestation, you have a variety of natural and chemical solutions to try.
As a homeowner, one of the last things you want to have to deal with is a cockroach colony in your walls. The warm and humid climate of the Pelican State attracts these creepy-crawly garbage dwellers, and knowing which roach you may encounter is essential to getting rid of it.
To help you rid yourself of these unwelcome house guests,
home and car insurance super app
Jerry has put together this guide to recognizing and surviving roaches in Louisiana.
Louisiana cockroaches 101: How to recognize a roach
Cockroaches in Louisiana are, unfortunately, a year-round problem. Most roaches love hot and humid climates, and as a Gulf state, Louisiana checks those boxes.
Of the 4,500 species of cockroaches found all over the world, the Pelican State has five that are most common. We’ll go over how to differentiate them next.
One of the largest cockroaches in the US, the American roach can grow to be two to three inches long.
With shiny reddish-brown wings that can lift these bugs off the ground (admittedly not very well) and an appetite for nearly anything, these roaches are the stuff of nightmares. They are most commonly found in sewage and plumbing systems, basements, crawl spaces, and air ducts.
German cockroaches are highly adaptable and thus found all over the world. These roaches typically reach about half an inch long and are a light-brown or tan color.
Cold-sensitive, they prefer the warm and humid and love the tight spaces around your fridge, stove, and sink.
Glossy black or reddish-brown, Oriental cockroaches typically reach an inch in length. Because they prefer dark and damp places (think sewers, basements, drains, and woodpiles) they are sometimes confused with giant water bugs.
If their menacing coloring and hiding places weren’t bad enough, these roaches are also very smelly and are considered one of the dirtiest pests in Louisiana.
Brown Banded cockroaches
The Brown Banded cockroach is the smallest variant in Louisiana, but it has a huge appetite and will eat pretty much everything. Boxes, sewage, drapes, books, food—nothing is safe from their ravenous little mouths.
Unlike other cockroaches, the Brown Banded roach doesn’t search out excess moisture and can make itself perfectly at home in your cabinets or old appliances.
Pennsylvania Wood cockroaches
Although the name may suggest otherwise, Pennsylvania Wood cockroaches take up residence in Louisiana. But if ever there was a desirable cockroach, it might be this one.
These roaches are more solitary, so they carry less disease and are less likely to make you sick. They also like cooler temps and prefer to feast on organic matter, so they’re most likely camping out in hollow trees or piles of wood outside.
A guide to cockroach identification
Dealing with that roach you may have just seen scurrying across your bathroom floor will be easier if you know its species. Here is a guide to Louisiana’s most common cockroaches:
Basements, drains, crawl spaces
Kitchens, bathrooms, basements
Glossy black or reddish-brown
Alternating dark and light brown bands
Pennsylvania wood cockroach
Tree stumps, woodpiles, low tree branches
While they may scare you if they pop up, these roach look-alikes aren’t as destructive or dangerous as roaches:
Crickets are similar in size, shape, and color, but they jump and chirp instead of flying in silence.
June bugs are smaller than most cockroaches, and they’ve got a distinctive rotund shape.
Giant water bugs (as the name suggests) stick to bodies of water—so if you’re at the lake, you’re probably looking at a water bug. They also tend to be much wider than roaches and have large pincers.
How to get rid of roaches in Louisiana
If you’ve noticed a stray cockroach or (heaven forbid) an entire colony, you will understandably and advisably want to get rid of them right away.
First, thoroughly clean and sanitize your space. By cleaning up the dirty dishes, sweeping and mopping the floors, sanitizing surfaces, and emptying the trash, you’ll be taking away a lot of their food sources.
Cockroaches will be less likely to hang around if there is no filth for them to wallow in.
After a thorough cleaning, the next step is exclusion. Check around your windows and door frames for any cracks that may be allowing roach entry and seal them off.
You may also want to look for any leaky water pipes or cracks in the foundation because those sneaky bugs will come in that way too.
If you’re dealing with a whole infestation or simply sanitizing and excluding is proving not enough, you’ll want to get a little more intensive in your methods. There are natural remedies or chemical killers that you can use yourself before hiring an exterminator.
Five natural roach killers
If you have little mouths and hands or curious pets at home, you may want to try these natural options before grabbing the chemicals:
Boric acid: This is harmless to both people and pets, but it will attack the inner systems of roaches.
Baking soda: Likely in your pantry already, baking soda is a great roach solution. The roaches will eat it and it will mix with the gasses in their digestive systems to cause an internal explosion.
Borax: Mix a bit of this laundry booster with some white table sugar to draw the roaches in. Its toxicity should take care of the issue.
Diatomaceous earth: Fossilized algae! This powder will damage roach exoskeletons and dehydrate them to death.
Glue traps: The glue in these traps smells very enticing to a cockroach. They’ll wander in and get stuck.
These natural cockroach killers may be the best option for your fight if you’re worried about the effects harsher chemicals will have on your household.
Unfortunately, some of these methods are slow, and you’ll also have to go collect the cockroach corpses from their various hiding places.
Chemical roach killers—and when to hire an exterminator
Chemical roach killers might be your initial go-to if you’re not worried about children or pets, but remember to use them carefully regardless.
These chemical options are quite popular for their effectiveness:
Bait stations: Bait stations entice the roach to grab a (toxic) bite from them. Then they crawl back to their colony and die. When the others feast upon the corpse, they’ll also ingest the poison.
Insecticide gel: Most popular for vehicles, planes, and boats, insecticide gel offers more precision in hard-to-reach places like cracks or corners.
Roach spray: This is one of the most popular options for its long-lasting results and easy application. Just spray in high-traffic roach areas and watch it work.
If you opt for these harsher chemical solutions, just be sure to read and adhere to the safety precautions.
If you still find yourself plagued by these creepy little buggers, it could be time to call a licensed exterminator to the scene. They will be able to identify entry points, figure out where the roaches hide during the day, and effectively take care of your pest problem.
How to keep cockroaches from coming back
Hooray! You’ve won the fight and your home is cockroach-free. You’ll still need to take preventative measures so they don’t come back, though.
Here are some great tips:
Reduce moisture in your home by buying a dehumidifier. Most cockroaches love humid, damp spots.
Limit food consumption to one area of your home so you control where the crumbs go, or maintain a regular vacuuming and sweeping schedule.
Identify leaky plumbing and exposed cracks that tempt them into your home.
Create a regular cleaning routine by taking out the trash, keeping up with the dishes, sweeping or vacuuming food crumbs, and sanitizing your surfaces.
How to save money on home and car insurance in Louisiana
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