Pest control: Summer cockroaches

cockrachesIT’S one of the downsides of a Sydney summer – the cockroaches.

Sydney is home to several species, including the German, the American, the Australian cockroach (actually introduced) and native species.

German cockroaches are drawn to warm, humid spots such as kitchens and bathrooms and are often found in cupboards and in and under electrical appliances.

They eat almost anything whereas the Australian one is attracted to food left out and is often found around garbage or pet food bowls.

Native species are less likely to come indoors, according to the Australian Museum, and none of the 400-or-so native species is a serious pest.

So what can you do?

Bombs, sprays and baits: There’s a broad range in the supermarket or hardware store – the standard bomb, surface sprays and station and gel baits. Ongoing treatments are generally needed to get rid of an infestation.

The ‘Vegas Trap’: Apparently named for its appearance on a Las Vegas news broadcast, this is a simple DIY trap that doesn’t involved insecticides. The general idea is to use wet coffee grounds to bait cockroaches into a larger jar or container with water in it, where they drown. When you’ve collected enoughcockroach corpses, tip out and repeat.

The natural approach: Continuing on the “no-insecticide” theme, you could try sticky baits or essential-oil based repellents. They can also be handy in working out cockroach distribution.

For essential oils – tea tree, cyprus and peppermint have all been suggested to discourage cockroaches and, if nothing else, they’ll make your house smell nice.

Borax and an onion: As detailed at boricacid.net备案老域名, you can make home-made cockroach baits using the humble household onion and borax or boric acid. If you don’t want to sacrifice a whole onion, using spare bits and ends from the onion. Boric acid is toxic to humans and animals so exercise caution.

Encourage an ecosystem: Cockroaches do have natural predators, including everybody’s favourite spider buddy, the large, flat and not-that-venomous huntsman. Killing your household spiders can lead to an increase in pests, so rather than taking to them with a thong and a sense of purpose it may be better to let them roam. Ditto lizards such as the blue tongue, which might help itself to your backyard cockroach population.

Hit them with a shoe: Depending on how good your reflexes are, resorting to that most Australian of weapons, the trusty thong, might work best for the odd non-native cocky wandering in from outside. Magazines and rolled up newspapers are also popular weapons.

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