The season is upon us…so make sure you know what to do before you panic!

When the weather gets hot and the air gets humid, our homes develop nice, damp, dark hiding spots perfect for the dreaded cockroach. After many leisurely cool months of cockroach-free life during fall, winter, and spring, it’s easy to become complacent, so when summer comes around, most of us have forgotten to stock up on roach killers like the frighteningly effective Gokiburi One Push Pro Plus. When one dashes out from underneath your washer and scares the daylights out of you, you have to fight back your panic and think fast to kill it (then remember to add roach killer to the list for the next time you go to the store).

▼ You can hide all you want, but remember that they’re hiding, too.

Smacking them with the first thing you can find, vacuuming them up, blasting them with hot water, and spraying or dousing them with whatever solution you have on hand are all popular methods for killing cockroaches, at least in Japan. But are these methods actually effective? According to Earth, the biggest producer of insect repellant products in Japan, some are, and some aren’t.

Some people have concerns about killing cockroaches with a makeshift weapon like a fly swatter, slipper, or rolled-up newspaper, because they say it could spread bacteria or scatter the eggs a roach might be carrying. But according to the experts at Earth, as long as you don’t touch the roach with your bare hands, it’s a fine method for killing them.

Cockroaches carry their eggs in a type of egg pouch called an ootheca, which is covered in a hard shell, so, while it’s possible for the ootheca to fall from the body, it’s unlikely the eggs inside will scatter as a result. It’s easy to clean up a fallen ootheca, so you don’t have to worry about eggs lingering in your home.

However, because they’re in a protective pouch, insecticide won’t be effective against the eggs, so the best way to dispose of a dead cockroach is to put it in a plastic bag and crush it, or, if you can’t stomach that, double layer the plastic bags and put it in the burnable trash.

One thing you definitely shouldn’t do, however, is vacuum up your resident roach, dead or not. The roach may become dismembered inside the vacuum, which is unsanitary and can cause it to smell. Additionally, even if the roach dies inside the machine, any eggs it carries may still live. Young cockroaches that hatch from the eggs may be able to find a way out of a vacuum. I’m sure you don’t want to live that nightmare, so let’s agree it’s better to dispose of your roaches in other ways.

Of course, the most likely place you’re going to find a roach is in the bathroom, where you probably aren’t as inclined to use the vacuum anyway. In that case, is it better to drown it with hot water or dump some shampoo on it? According to the experts at Earth, cockroaches can be killed by water as hot as 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), so hot water is a viable weapon. However, you’d need a significant amount of water to get the job done, so it won’t be immediately effective, and you also run the risk of scalding yourself with that hot water, so it’s not the best method.

Body soap and shampoo can also be effective solutions, as they can block the roach’s spiracles, or the respiratory pores, and essentially cause the roach to suffocate. Such products also have surfactants in them, which eliminate the protective waxy outer coating of the roach’s shell. That waxy coating repels water and other particles from collecting on the roach’s body, which is why it’s so hard to drown them. But when the waxy coating is destroyed by a surfactant, the shell is unable to repel pollutants, which can block the spiracles all around the roach’s body. So even if it gets away, it probably won’t live long.

Typically, however, the nozzles of shampoo and soap bottles are not really conducive to aiming and spraying, so you could easily miss a roach, especially in the panic a roach’s appearance is likely to induce. The best option that you’ll probably have on hand in your bathroom is a bathroom cleaner. It performs the same function, also has surfactants, and has easy spray nozzles to aim and shoot.

▼ Alternatively, keeping a bottle of roach spray in the bathroom is also a good choice.

Now that you know how best to kill a roach, how do you get close enough to deal the death blow? Make sure to come at it from the front instead of the back, says Earth. Cockroaches have appendages on the backs of their bodies called cercus, which sense movement in the air, so they’ll run as soon as they sense you. However, roaches cannot run backwards, so you’ll have a better chance of hitting them with your weapon of choice if you approach from the front, terrifying as it may sound.

Once it’s dead, be careful when you’re getting ready to dispose of the roach. One thing to remember is that, even if it’s stopped moving, it may not be dead. Roaches faint, too. Be sure to operate with caution, lest it starts wriggling the instant you pick it up, and in your panic you throw it across the room.

▼ Feel free to outfit yourself however you need to when facing a roach, but gloves are a must!

Additionally, while cockroaches are not poisonous, they can carry harmful pathogenic bacteria, and their excrement and carcasses can cause allergic reactions. Be sure to safely and quickly dispose of the remains, using gloves when necessary. If you don’t want to touch it yourself, you can easily use tape to pick it up and dispose of it in a plastic bag without feeling its creepy-crawly legs or nasty jagged body.

Finally, you may find brown stains around your house, which are known as cockroach stains and result from the excrement discharged by roaches, and sometimes the stains will be accompanied by black or brown pellets one to three millimeters (.04 to .11 inches) in size. These are roach droppings. Roach droppings release a pheromone that attracts other roaches, and if left will cause even more problems for you. If you see any, make sure to use antibacterial alcohol solutions to clean them up right away.

▼ Regular cleaning is also key to preventing roaches!

Now you know the most effective ways to kill roaches, according to experts! Of course, the best way to deal with cockroaches is to prevent them altogether. You can try this natural method using peppermint, and there are always the old-fashioned roach bait traps. Good luck, and Godspeed to ya!

Source: Weathernews via Livedoor News via My Game News Flash
Top image: Photo-AC
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2, 3 [edited by SoraNews24], 4, 5, 6), Photo-AC

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!