Nobody likes the idea of finding a cockroach in their home. Bugs may give you the creeps, or you may just have an unsettling feeling about the cleanliness or sanctity of your apartment. In any case, it’s a troubling sign – and one that practically requires you to take action.
What should you do if you encounter a cockroach here?
Different Types of Cockroaches
First, you should understand that there are different types of cockroaches, some of which are bigger problems than others. One of the most common domestic cockroaches is the German cockroach, which is small, light brown, and frequently found in kitchens and bathrooms. American cockroaches, by contrast, tend to be bigger, while smoky brown cockroaches tend to have a darker color and curved antennae.
Fortunately, even though different types of cockroaches sport different appearances and behavioral patterns, most can be dealt with the same way.
What to Do If You Find a Cockroach in Your Apartment
If you discover a cockroach, these are the most important steps to take:
- Remain calm. Many people are afraid of cockroaches, or at least uncomfortable around them. However, it’s important to remember that while cockroaches may be unsettling or gross, they’re not especially dangerous. Cockroaches aren’t going to bite you, sting you, or transmit diseases to you in most circumstances. They’re annoying, but relatively harmless, and you’ll be much better capable of dealing with this situation if you remain calm. Take a deep breath, realize that this isn’t the end of the world, and proceed with your next steps.
- Document the incident and incidents to follow. Document this incident and any incidents that follow. If you can, take a picture of the cockroach in question so you have a reliable visual you can use to identify it. It’s also a good idea to write down when and where you saw the cockroach, so if you see more cockroaches in the future, you can establish a pattern. It may also behoove you to have a record of pests you’ve encountered if you ever get into a conflict with your landlord about resolving this problem.
- Notify your landlord/property manager. Before you start doing anything on your own, let your landlord or property manager know that you identified a cockroach in your apartment. They may instruct you on what to do next or they may send a team out to you start taking care of problem. If your landlord or property manager takes it upon themselves to resolve the conflict, you may not need to do anything further. Otherwise, there are some convenient and straightforward steps you can take on your own to resolve this issue.
- Inspect your kitchen and bathroom. Inspect your kitchen and bathroom thoroughly, as these are usually the places where cockroaches like to hang out. Most cockroaches are drawn to moisture as well as food particles, so if you notice any excess moisture in these areas, or any unclean areas littered with crumbs, you can rest comfortably knowing that this is the root of the problem.
- Clean everything. The cleaner and drier your apartment is, the less habitable it is going to be for cockroaches. Move all your appliances out of the way and give your entire apartment a deep cleaning. Wipe all surfaces dry at the end. This step alone may resolve your cockroach problem entirely, since cockroaches will no longer have food or water to rely on in your apartment.
- Seal cracks and holes. Bugs typically make their way into homes through holes and cracks. You can prevent cockroaches from coming in by identifying and sealing these cracks and holes. This doesn’t require much time or expertise, so there’s no reason not to do it.
- Make use of commercial cockroach control products. If the cockroach problem persists, or if you have a handful of cockroaches that just don’t seem to go away, consider making use of commercial cockroach control products. Traps, poisonous bait, and deterrents may all be effective in killing off the cockroaches that remain and preventing them from coming back in the future. Sprays tend to be especially effective.
- Keep your apartment clean and dry in the future. Finally, remember that the best way to deal with a cockroach problem is to avoid having one in the first place. As long as you keep your apartment completely clean and dry, cockroaches won’t want to live in your apartment. Make a commitment to making your living space free of any food-related debris and free of any excess moisture. Preventatively spraying, at least occasionally, can also help prevent the problem from coming back.
There’s nothing that can make you feel good about finding a cockroach in your home, but you should understand that this is a temporary and controllable problem. As long as you’re willing to invest in the right materials and take cleaning seriously, you can rid yourself of a cockroach problem in a matter of days.