This article is a personal triumph for me, because it took me over a year to figure out how to get rid of the tiny cockroaches that terrorised my kitchen.
We moved into a new house a few years ago and we were on the ground floor. Apparently if you live on the ground floor you are more susceptible to pests. I cannot verify if this is fact or not, but from my experience I am inclined to agree. I read up so many articles on the subject matter and even mentioned it to anyone that cared to listen just in case they had valuable tips. As strange as it sounds, I never knew I would have a “cockroach preference” but bigger cockroaches are better.
The tiny ones are a different species that learnt work from the devil. They are everywhere and multiply in hundreds possibly thousands.
I did the fumigation thing twice. The first time it was effective and 6k well spent, but after about three months they came back.
The second time the fumigation people had upped the price to 10k #blameitonthedollar and I started seeing the cockroaches the very next week.
After so much frustration and several cans of insecticide I decided to do the following to combat the problem:
Do not leave left overs lying around
If you don’t finish your pot of rice, please pack it up and refrigerate. There were times I had cooked late and was too tired to pack up the food, I’d just put the whole pot on paper towels in the fridge. I also kept bread, fruit and even plantain in the fridge.
Make sure you always sweep and mop after cooking. Clean your counter tops and sink to get rid of bits of food.
Food storage containers must be tight fitting and preferably latch shut:
I learnt this the hard way when I opened my container of Garri one day and saw a mini village of cockroaches. I had to bin the whole thing and replace my containers.
The point is to starve the pests as much as possible.
Dismantle your kitchen furniture, if you can
This discovery was by accident. Someone sat on my kitchen counter and when they jumped off accidentally broke one of the legs. In the process of trying to get it fixed we lifted the marble on top and low and behold we found their hiding place!
The cockroaches were lined bumper to bumper on the wood beneath. I quickly grabbed my insecticide and sprayed like a maniac. I voluntarily dismantled the other counter and the findings were the same.
Not all insecticides are the same
Since this is not an advertorial, I’m not allowed to endorse a brand but I can tell you the insecticide I used to combat this problem starts with S and ends with R. There is also a P somewhere in the middle. (**wink** Someone please type it in the comments). I was advised to dilute with kerosene, but I decided against that and diluted with water instead.
I used one part water to one part “miracle cockroach killer liquid” and it was amazing! It worked better than the fumigation and all other insecticides, I tell you. Since I have it to hand I spray nooks and crannies periodically.
Please be careful; this solution is very toxic like other insecticides. Do not spray near food or utensils. When I’m doing a thorough spraying I put my food stuff in the fridge and rewash all my crockery just to be safe.
Keep your fridge cold as much as possible
This is a difficult one, because of NEPA wahala, but I’d mention it nonetheless.
I lost a fridge to tiny cockroaches. In the middle of the cockroach wahala my fridge broke down and I paid a (insert nasty adjective) repair man to fix it.
2 days later it broke down again. It took him 3 months to come back after giving me so many cock and bull stories; but by then it was too late.
The dark dampness of the fridge was very attractive to the cockroaches and they moved in. I luckily saw a fridge online on sale for about 50% off so I replaced it. When he finally fixed it and it worked fine, I had to sell it at a giveaway price to another repair man for parts because the cockroaches never left.
Finally, do not eat in your bedroom
I’ll be honest I’ve never really liked the idea of eating in the room in the first place. Something about your blanket smelling like Efo riro when you’re trying to nod off is not appealing. Anyway, I started noticing the odd tiny cockroach in the room and I knew I needed to act fast. I banned all bedroom eating and filled all my wardrobes and drawers with camphor.
Luckily for me, they didn’t come en mass I suspect the ones I found were “scouts”. The kitchen was becoming inhabitable and they were looking for alternative dwellings. I made sure that didn’t happen and I am proud to say I have been cockroach free for over a year.
Not even one. I still see the odd big one, once in a blue moon, but they are easy to kill no biggie.
Whenever I remember I spray the floor of my kitchen entrance at night (cockroaches are nocturnal) with my insecticide solution to prevent them from coming in.
There were days I was literally in tears because of how defeated I felt about the whole situation. I would sweep and mop my kitchen several times a day to prove to myself that I wasn’t dirty. If you are going through something similar don’t be ashamed, you’d be surprised how many people are going through the same thing. These tips worked for me and I hope they work for you too.
Have you gone through a similar experience? Please share what you did to combat the problem.
Photo Credit: Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang) | Dreamstime.com