It is no mystery that humans generally do not like bugs. However, there are some bugs that just rank a little higher on our “nasty scale” than others. Most folks would agree that cockroaches would definitely be on our list of bugs we hate. People have a general idea that cockroaches are gross, but do you know specifically how they are a danger to your health?
Many bugs find the scent of essential oils repellant. Roaches are no exception. You can create your own homemade roach spray using completely non-toxic essential oils. The most effective oils at repelling roaches are cypress oil and peppermint oil. To make a non-toxic roach spray, mix 8 drops of cypress oil and 10 drops of peppermint oil to half a cup of water. Spray the mixture anywhere you have roach issues. The added benefit is that these oils smell lovely. No gas masks required. Make sure you use a glass spray bottle (such as these) because essential oils are potent and can melt the plastic.
Asthma and Allergies
Surprisingly, the biggest threat posed by roaches is their effect on our breathing. A majority of people are allergic to roaches to some degree. When there are a large number of roaches present in a home, roach by products, if you will, such as eggs, outer shell particles, saliva and even their feces, become airborne. These contaminates become a part of the dust in your home. When breathed in by individuals that are allergic and sickness to varying degrees can occur. Individuals with asthma are especially sensitive to these type of airborne contaminates and when exposed can have increased difficulties breathing.
Roaches also affect our health in that they can carry many different types on bacteria on their body. Roaches are not very picky about where they hang out. Once they have exposed themselves to something gross, they can then carry any bacteria they picked up into your living and eating areas. It is uncommon for a human to directly contract a disease from a cockroach, but because cockroaches live in such large groups and multiply so quickly, you can understand how being exposed to many roaches means you are being exposed to more and more bacteria.
Another surprising risk posed to humans would be the chemicals we will voluntarily expose ourselves to in an effort to get rid of the roaches. Some of the most toxics substances people allow in their homes are for the use of pest control. Many of these chemicals have warnings that advise you not to touch or inhale the substance and yet we will spray and smear these products in areas where are children and pets will be wandering around on a daily basis. Thankfully, there are safer alternatives.
This seems like a no brainer, but roaches love dirty environments. They like a sink full of unwashed dishes and trash cans that should have been emptied yesterday. You can do yourself a great service by simply keeping the house, especially the kitchen, as clean as possible. Since roaches are very active at night, washing up the dishes and taking out the trash before bed can go a long way toward decreasing the roach population in your home.
Get Rid of Cardboard
Cardboard is a roach’s favorite place to hang out and breed. It’s like a roach nightclub. Any cardboard items in your home should be properly disposed of to cut down on roach activity.
Seal Up Cracks
Roaches generally come in your house from outside, so it is a good idea to seal up as many cracks as possible in your walls and floor boards. This can easily be done by purchasing an inexpensive caulking gun and simply following the directions. The fewer access points that roaches have to your house, the fewer roaches you will have in your house!