Getting Rid Of Cockroaches In My Compost

I. General Facts about Roaches

No pest is more ubiquitous than the cockroach. Cockroaches have been with man since the dawn of humanity. Knowing their immunity to radiation, among other things, they may even outlast human existence itself. Certainly then, how to get rid of roaches is no easy task.

This ultimate survivor insect has roughly five common pestiferous species in North America, and each species differs to some extent in predilection to habitat and appetite. The German cockroach, for instance, is as comfortable indoors as it is outdoors and will eat anything, while the smoky brown cockroach prefers to live outdoors and is considered primarily an herbivore.

II. Roaches as Pests

how tall is the german cockroachTo say the cockroach is resilient is like saying water is wet-obvious and understated. That’s not to say getting rid of cockroaches is an exercise in futility. It might take time, but the best ways to manage roaches are really quite straightforward and applicable to all species of cockroach. Then again, there are some subtle differences in the approaches to cockroach control based on the species.

The first step in achieving roach control is to set out some sticky traps (like the ones used for mice) around your house. This will achieve two things. First, it will help you get a better look at the roaches that have infested your house so that you can identify them. Second, it will give you an idea where the "high traffic" areas are for cockroaches in your home. If you choose to use roach sprays, roach baits, or roach poison, you’ll know where to apply it.

III. How To Kill Roaches – Precautions

* The German Cockroach

They can thrive in just about any environment and are less reliant on moisture than other roaches. For these reasons, the German cockroach has become the most common pest and roach species in the American household; ironic, considering their moniker.

The German cockroach has one flaw: its preference for warm air (like that of its native North Africa). Heating vents and furnaces are some of their most common hiding places. Cleanliness is, of course, one of the most effective ways to get rid of German cockroaches, but simply putting out borax-laced roach bait will usually take care of the problem.

* The Oriental Cockroach

This type is less common than either the German or brown-banded cockroach, and prefers very wet environments. You will often find the Oriental cockroach feeding on decaying food, in garbage containers, and anywhere else food has been dropped.

Because of the Oriental Cockroaches’ affinity for sewers, drains, refrigerators, basements, cellars, and any other cool, moist environment, your best option for comprehensive roach control is to keep your home warm and dry.

A dehumidifier set to "high" in a basement or in the first floor of your home will help take much of the moisture out of the air, leaving the floors and other surfaces dry enough to dust with boric acid as a secondary precaution.

* The American Cockroach

They prefer dampness and warmth, which is why they’re so frequently found in basements, boats, bathrooms and sewers. The American cockroach is one of the bigger species of pestiferous bugs in the States, but luckily for you, it’s less common in homes and apartments.

In spite of this, if you’ve identified the American cockroach as your problem pest, perhaps the best way to get rid of the American cockroach is to cut off access to your home and reduce the amount of residual moisture in it.

Use a dehumidifier to keep your humidity down. It will also help deter American cockroach populations from getting uncontrollable. Applying boric acid (borax) on the areas where you notice the most roach activity will help finish off your more stubborn roaches.

* The Smoky Brown Cockroach

This type is primarily an outdoors roach that will wander indoors only if there is a food source. The smoky brown cockroach prefers plant matter as its primary food source, so you will often see these roaches in gardens and greenhouses-rarely in areas where humans tend to dwell.

Because of the smoky brown cockroaches’ appetite for rotting fruits and vegetables, it’s a good idea to begin a roach control regimen by cleaning away any organic matter from doorways, windowsills, and the edges of buildings.

Ground level walls and foundations should be inspected and caulk should be used to seal any cracks that are observed. You may even want to consider lining the perimeter of your home with an organic desiccant like diatomaceous earth.

Guest Blog Feature
A good balance of worms, slaters, ground beetles, bacteria and fungi are welcome visitors to a compost. However creatures such as ants, cockroaches, flies, spiders, mice or rats are not so welcome.

Until we got the house in Ukiah and there was no way to avoid creepy crawlers. I got to be as casual around them as I’d always been (like any true New Yorker) around cockroaches.

Smart Composting Tips for Urban Gardeners & Apartment Dwellers
Don’t freak out if you see some bugs in your c fef ompost. They’re helping. What you don’t want are cockroaches and potato bugs or flies and other large scavenger insects. But worms and all those tiny, hard-working soil critters are OK.

Do maggots help or hurt a compost pile?
On that same thought – does anyone have problems with cockroaches and a compost pile? I haven’t seen them lurking around ours yet… but wouldn’t be surprised. Thanks. 

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  1. […] Getting rid of cockroaches in my compost. Don’t be shy with the boric acid. Placed effectively and consistently, you will find you have a major roach apocalypse on your hands. However, for some people, this might not even work. At this point, you may feel safe in going ahead and calling up an exterminator. The only other option is to get a cat that will hunt and eat the roaches for you. This can be quite effective, but if you’re not interested pet ownership, this isn’t a good option. […]

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