Cockroaches, not what I need now

My household went through a catastrophic event this year. While sitting on the couch watching the movie Django Unchained my husband had a stroke. He was in the hospital for a week. We lives thousands of miles from any family and during that time my house stayed in complete disarray. The dishes weren’t done. The loaf of bread I had made that night stayed on the counter. I lived at the hospital praying that he would get better.

After seven long days in the hospital I was able to bring my husband home. I was so happy. However, during that time our mess attracted cockroaches. I don’t believe that we got an infestation in one week, but I think the lack of housekeeping definitely encouraged the infestation. I was beside myself. Already terrified of the critters it was just one more issue I didn’t need to deal with at the time.

I called an exterminator immediately. The price was far beyond my budget. With my husband just having a long hospital stay, no medical insurance, and him being the only one who worked there was no way I was going to be able to afford to have a professional job done. I kind of feel like I am not the only one in that predicament. I think many have a cockroach problem but can’t afford a professional. I set out on a journey to rid our home of cockroaches in the most cost effective manner possible. This is how I succeeded in only three months.

The first step I took in solving our cockroach problem was cleaning the entire house, specifically the kitchen and bathroom where I had seen them. I made sure that all food items were packed away and that dishes were done as soon as they were dirtied. I swept the floors every night to ensure there were no food droppings on the ground. I continued this process everyday. I wanted to ensure there was as little food for these roaches as possible.

After getting my house clean and my cleaning routine solved I researched what kind of cockroaches I had. I found that we had German cockroaches. I found an article online that said that the bathroom and kitchen must be clean and dry as possible. I borrowed a dehumidifier from a friend. This took away the humidity so the cockroaches would know they were not welcome in my home. I created the cleaning plan of champions. I made sure that no food was left around. Every kitchen appliance was cleaned, inside and out, not a single crumb for these little guys to feed on. I cleaned the cabinets to make sure there were no crumb spills. I swept and mopped every night. I took the garbage out every night before going to bed. I kept all of our food in sealed containers.

In addition to my crazy cleaning I also made a rule that until our infestation was over we would only have food and drink in the dining room and kitchen. This helped me keep the deep cleaning down to a few rooms and to keep the infestation from spreading. Before going to bed every night I made sure everything was dry, the sinks, bathtub, dish drain, and dishwasher. All of this work however did not effectively rid our home of the roaches.

I decided to invest in a can of spray for the roaches. I sprayed it every night before bed, however, after two weeks of using the spray I saw very little change. I then decided to use the gel bait. I four of the gel baits at a local store and set them out. Within two nights I saw a huge difference. The roaches were no longer quickly scampering across my kitchen floor, but rather they were very lethargic, I found several lying dead scattered across my kitchen. I was very excited that I was nearing the end of the whole episode.

One day while strolling the aisles of the Dollar Tree I saw these sticky traps for roaches. I decided that would give these a try as well. I actually bought four of them, but I assumed they would not work because they were so cheap. However, these were the most effective traps I’ve ever seen. The next morning the sticky trap was filled with roaches. I was ecstatic. The next night I got up at 3 am to see how many roaches out. There was a point when I would get up that various sizes of the roaches would be crawling all across my kitchen floor and I would stand there are cry because everything felt hopeless and disgusting. However, on this night I saw two very lethargic small roaches crawling. I killed them and disposed of them. I did the same thing the next night, there were only three. I continuously woke up to see how many roaches I could find. Then three weeks after starting the gel bait and sticky boxes I woke up to find no roaches anywhere. I thought at first it was a fluke, but then I woke up the next night again and to my surprise there were none again.

I decided the best test would be to buy new sticky boxes to see how many roaches I caught. I set it out and said a little prayer I would wake up to an empty box. I woke up to a box with only one roach in it. I was so ecstatic. It’s been six months since this incident and I feel very confident that we have conquered our roach infestation. The whole ordeal was stressful and made me feel like a dirty person, but something I have learned through this process is that you can be the cleanest person in the world and the roaches will still find something to munch on. So if you are having the same problem, please don’t’ be embarrassed. If you can’t afford professional treatment you can do this yourself, it takes dedication and hard work, but you can do it.

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