Of those seven, our biggest problem is the American Cockroach, also known as a sewer roach. Despite repeated efforts to exterminate them, it’s difficult to prevent sewer roaches from coming back.
Roaches Coming Back Not Unusual
It’s not unusual to see a few roaches after your local pest professional has sprayed. But these hardy sewer bugs are difficult to prevent and if you discover roaches have returned, act fast.
Many people think Phoenix sewers are the only source of roaches. It’s true we have a problem: Every year, the City of Phoenix Water Services Department paints approximately 38,000 manholes with a latex-based insecticide. The paint is supposed to control cockroaches for two years.
The city says by “drastically reducing the cockroach population in the sanitary sewer/wastewater collection system,” it should reduce private property roach infestations as well. But they are quick to point out the city takes responsibility for public sewers only.
If you have a cockroach infestation, the problem may have begun because of sewer roaches seeking additional dark, damp places. The garden mulch and storage shed in your backyard are attractive to sewer roaches.
It’s a short trip from your yard to your house via drains and other modes of cockroach transportation. If your windows and doors aren’t properly sealed, roaches will use them to access your home. Regularly treating your storage shed, mailbox, meter box, and outside dog houses or kennels is a good idea. Compost piles are a terrific idea, but they need to be located as far from your house as possible.
Did You Know?
If you live in an area where cockroaches are problematic, you’re likely to bring them into the house in cardboard boxes. Cockroaches love the glue that binds books, cardboard, magazines, and pet food bags.
“I once had to fend off a very aggressive gecko that wanted my Diet Coke,” said a Caribbean visitor. Well, that’s how U.S. roaches feel about beer. Keep bottles of beer and other sugary alcohols sealed tightly, clean and drip-free.
You know to keep leftover food off countertops. And you clean the kitchen and bath thoroughly. But there are other areas cockroaches call home:
- Appliance motors (washer, refrigerator, etc.)
- Cupboards/cabinet cracks
- Electrical wiring “nests” behind walls
- Electronic wiring in radios/televisions
- Inside upholstery
- Loose baseboards/molding
- Under chairs/tables
Keeping bugs out of your yard – especially if you have a garden or a spa area – is difficult at best:
- Compost should be as far away from the house as possible.
- Get rid of any yard debris.
- Keep the area around your HVAC condenser unit clean.
- Keep backyard toys/play equipment clean and dry.
- Relocate woodpiles away from the house.
- Seal door/window/porch cracks.
- Seal foundation/exterior wall cracks.
Indoors, there are several basic protocols that will deter roaches:
- Clean kitchen/bath cabinets and drawers frequently.
- Don’t leave unwashed dishes, pots/pans, or utensils on countertop/table or in the sink overnight.
- Get rid of stacks of newspapers, books, etc.
- In-between feeding times, keep petfood bowls off the floor.
- Keep dry petfood in airtight containers and don’t store petfood bags near your family food.
- Pour bleach down toilets and sink drains monthly.
- Repair all plumbing leaks as soon as possible.
- Seal openings around:
- Electrical outlets
- Furnace flues
- Plumbing pipes/fixtures
- Store foods in airtight containers. (Because our humidity is so low, we use bag clips for chips, etc. Double-bag them or store them in sealed containers instead.)
- Wash or use spray cleaners in all trashcans, large and small.
Call Budget Brothers
If you’ve never had roaches and don’t want them, bi-annual or quarterly preventive treatments are recommended. In Arizona, roaches are problematic in some areas. But termite treatments are a fact of life for most homeowners. Some termite treatments will kill roaches, too.
Don’t be embarrassed if you suspect you have roaches, especially if you live in an apartment or multifamily complex. Even the cleanest homeowners here in the Valley can get roaches. What’s important is getting rid of roaches. Ask your Budget Brothers Termite & Pest professional for more information about roach infestations in Phoenix.