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Cockroach Infestations Are Nasty & Annoying — Here's How To Identify And Eliminate Them

They're only slightly less awful than bedbugs.

Staff Writer
A medical worker sanitizing a room. Right: a row of Montreal buildings.

A medical worker sanitizing a room. Right: a row of Montreal buildings.

Bedbugs may be a Montrealer's least favourite houseguest, but there's no shortage of competitors fighting for that title, including the common (and commonly despised) cockroach. These brown, resilient bugs are most commonly German cockroaches in North America, and they love to nest in unsuspecting homes, especially if you're not keeping things nice and clean. Here are some basic tips and tricks for handling a cockroach infestation responsibly, no matter how many of them are plaguing your home.

How does a cockroach infestation start?

Some of the most common causes of infestation are hoarding and clutter, excessive, overflowing or days-old trash, and keeping open or improperly sealed food, according to the Office municipal d'habitation de Montreal (OMHM).

What are the signs of a cockroach infestation?

Spotting a roach indoors is perhaps the easiest and most obvious sign of an infestation. If you see many in your home over the course of several days, your home might be due for extermination. Cockroaches wandering outside are just minding their own business, though, so no need to panic if you see one on your way home.

What home remedies get rid of cockroaches?

Although cleaning your apartment and preparing it for extermination are good ways to deal with a cockroach infestation, pesticides like roach bombs should be avoided since they can spread harmful chemicals in your home. Using citrus and other essential oils can help deter roaches, and you can begin to tackle an infestation with glue traps or borax mixtures. Still, the best way to remove them for good is to notify your landlord and get professional extermination done — with proper preparation.

When should you call an exterminator? 

When you've repeatedly seen cockroaches indoors, you're catching several in your glue traps or borax traps and when you've given up on trying to solve it yourself. Exterminators will ask you to fully prepare your home by thoroughly cleaning, decluttering and organizing your things to make sure the exterminators can reach every hiding place in your home.

How can you prevent a cockroach infestation in the first place?

Keeping your home clean, free from clutter and taking out your trash regularly are great steps to avoid cockroach infestation. The bugs can also hitch a ride on discarded furniture, so be cautious when buying (or foraging) secondhand furniture so that you don't invite unwelcome guests into your cupboards and walls.

There's no shame in bug infestation, as they can happen in even the cleanliest of places. Just keep in mind that they were here long before us, and they will likely remain for far longer than we do.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Willa Holt
    Staff Writer
    Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused on apartments for rent and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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