Learn How to Keep Cockroaches out of your Drains

If you find cockroaches in your drain, take these steps to control them.

Cockroaches contaminate food, spread disease-causing germs and even trigger asthma attacks. If you see even a single cockroach in your home, you may have an infestation on your hands. Getting rid of cockroaches can be challenging, because they’re hardy creatures that can live without food for a month.

Related:  Whats the cost of Ecofriendly Pest Control?

Cockroaches often live in bathroom and kitchen drains, where they have a good source of water and food. If you find cockroaches in your drain, take these steps to control them.


Methods of killing cockroaches in your drains

Use boric acid to kill the cockroaches. Boric acid, a white powder available at hardware or home improvement stores, can be an effective tool against roaches in your drains when used correctly. Be sure to follow the directions on the label for appropriate use. While it’s lower in toxicity than other insecticides, you still want to keep boric acid away from children and pets. Replace the mixture every two weeks.

Use diatomaceous earth to kill cockroaches. Sprinkle it underneath your sink, in cupboards or along baseboards to kill cockroaches. Diatomaceous earth is not poisonous but you should still exercise caution when using around pets and children.

How to eliminate cockroaches’ water sources and entry points

Seal your drain pipes. Use a flashlight to locate any cracks or holes in your drain pipes. If you find cracks or holes, seal them with appropriate caulk.

Fix leaky faucets. Standing water attracts cockroaches. Seal crevices and holes around your drain pipes with caulk, plaster or cement.

Seal crevices and holes around your drain pipes. You can use duct tape as a quick fix for cracks and crevices. For a longer-term solution, use silicone caulk, plaster or cement.

Look for gaps around the pipes under your sink. Fill these gaps with silicone sealant or urethane foam. You can fill larger holes with steel wool or copper mesh before you seal them.

Address holes in your walls. Use expanding insulation foam to seal any spaces around the pipes where they come through the walls.

Cease the condensation. Wrap insulation foam and tape around any pipes that produce condensation. When you remove their water source, the roaches will go elsewhere for water.

How to prevent cockroaches from infesting your drains

Move or remove the garbage cans. The garbage cans under your kitchen or bathroom sink can attract roaches.

Cover drains with a stopper at night. You can use rubber drain covers or metal drain screens. Cockroaches are nocturnal, so it’s most important to block their entry at night.

Clean your kitchen drain. Rinse your kitchen drain with an approved kitchen sink cleaner to remove food particles that attract roaches.

Keep counters and appliances clean. Don’t leave food on the counters or in the kitchen sink, especially overnight.

Use roach monitors (“sticky traps”) to locate roaches. It may not be the most pleasant of tasks, but monitor what kind of roaches your traps catch. This can help you understand where they’re coming from. Note:

Baby cockroaches usually stay within two feet of their hiding places.
Adults usually stay within about 10 feet of their hiding places.

Use bait or insecticide to kill cockroaches. Do NOT use sprays, foggers or bombs. In addition to safety concerns, they repel the roaches, causing them to avoid the insecticide, and may cause the cockroaches to scatter to other areas.

let us say no

THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS are famous for exotic birds, tortoises, and iguanas, but recently the archipelago had become overrun with more prosaic animals: rats and mice. Rodents that came on old sailing ships. Rodents that stowed away on modern cruises. Wherever they came from, rodents that eat the eggs and chicks and hatchlings of the animals that so dazzled Charles Darwin.

The same story plays out on islands all over the world. So Island Conservation, a nonprofit that rids islands of invasive species, has come up with a daring plan: genetically engineer the rodents so that they all turn into males, shrinking the population one lonely pest at a time.

This plan is far from going into effect, but it gets a serious airing in a report out today from the National Academy of Sciences, a prestigious group that often makes recommendations on controversial areas of research. The make-all-rodents-boys idea is one of seven case studies for the use of “gene drives”—engineered pieces of DNA that spread more quickly through a wild population than any normal gene would. You might say gene drives are a way to cheat evolution. Gene drives could also be dangerous and unpredictable; once a manmade DNA sequence gets into a wild population, it’s hard to get back out again. The National Academy’s report lays out guidelines for scientists to responsibly study this method of genetically altering wild plants and animals.

“Environmentalists have long decried genetically modified organisms, but will they embrace them for conservation?”

Gene drives have gotten a lot of attention as a way to prevent mosquitoes from spreading disease: Scientists have engineered mosquitoes with gene drives that kill the parasite behind malaria, and they’re working on gene drives that either eradicate the mosquitoes that spread dengue, chikungunya, and Zika or make them resistant to the viruses. The recent rise of Crispr gene-editing technology has made it easier than ever for scientists to construct gene drives.

But using gene drives not to benefit humans but to restore natural habitats—like tropical islands beset with invasive rats—forces you to answer a very basic question: What is natural? What does it mean to engineer animals to restore nature? Environmentalists have long decried genetically modified organisms, but will they embrace them for conservation?

A New Natural
Kent Redford, former director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Institute, has questioned the working definition of “natural,” and in 2013 he wrote about the lack of dialogue between synthetic biologists and conservationists. The reaction among conservationists he says, was “a range of anger and disgust to enthusiasm and excitement.” Since then Redford, along with Ryan Phelan, executive director of Revive and Restore—an organization that promotes synthetic biology for the “genetic rescue” of endangered and extinct species—have held meetings to get the two groups talking about specific problems, like invasive rodents on islands.

No matter how you feel about genetic modification, the current approach to killing island invasives might make you understand the “enthusiasm” for gene drives. It is not pretty. Recently, on the British island of South Georgia, pilots spread 200 tons of bait one helicopter load at a time, blanketing the island in a rat poison called brodifacoum. Brodifacoum keeps blood from clotting, so the rodents die of internal bleeding—as can birds and other mammals at high enough doses. But gene drives? “We could do it in the most humane way possible by having them just turn to an all-male population and live out their natural lives,” says Heath Packard, communications director for Island Conservation.
Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up.
Islands are also well suited for gene drive solutions because the ocean is a natural barrier against their spread. And invasive rodents are a critical problem: As Darwin discovered, islands are hotbeds of biodiversity, and 40 percent of the critically endangered species in the world live on islands. Plus rats and mice are an easy genetic target because scientists have long tinkered with their genetics in the lab. The downside, of course, are unintended consequences. Ecology is complicated, and nobody has put a gene out in the wild before.

Island Conservation’s scientists were investigating gene drives as a possible “game-changing” eradication technology even before Crispr became hot. Their research partners at Texas A&M University and North Carolina State University are studying a naturally-occurring gene drive in mice that doesn’t even require Crispr technology. Island Conservation has also partnered with the US Department of Agriculture and Australia’s national Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation so when the time comes, it gets regulatory approval for field tests in the future. That’s all years away, says Packard, though the group is now planning to fundraise for the gene drive research.

The National Academy report considers other conservation scenarios for gene drives: killing off mosquitoes that spread avian malaria in Hawaii and controlling invasive knapweeds in US forests. But reading the report, you get a sense that the scientists realize they are out of their depth. “Questions about how to define ‘nature’ and how to understand the value attached to nature raise a number of difficult philosophical and social problems,” says the report. “They are left here as open questions, and are part of a growing and heated debate among environmentalists about the values that underpin environmentalism.” Consider this: Gene drives may be “unnatural,” but how natural is dropping tons of rat poison out of the sky?

In any case, if scientists can construct such a gene drive, if conservationists can get permission to release mice carrying them, and if everything goes as planned, then islands like the Galapagos stand to benefit. A huge rat poisoning campaign from 2007 to 2014 rid the Galapagos of most of its pests, but with so much boat traffic there, rodents could make their way to the islands again. Where Darwin first made the observations that led him to understand the laws of evolution, scientists could use the technology that will try to cheat the game.

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Yellow jackets (genera Dolichovespulaand Vespula) are a type of predatory wasp that can quickly put a damper on summer Yellow-Jacket-300x216picnics, backyard barbecues, and outdoor playtime. They may be beneficial to gardens because they feed on insects that can be harmful to plants, but these stinging pests can prove problematic for people—they become aggressive when they feel threatened or their nests are disturbed. It’s a good idea to make your yard a no-fly zone if you plan to enjoy outdoor fun this summer.

Know Your Foe: How to Identify Yellow Jackets

Named for their yellow and black bodies, yellow jackets are often mistaken for bees or hornets, but there are ways to tell them apart.

Yellow jackets:

  • Normally have alternating black and yellow body segments, but some may have black and white bodies.
  • Fold wings lengthwise when at rest.
  • Have thinner waists than bees. (Bees are usually fatter and hairy.)
  • Range in size from approximately 1/2” to 3/4″.
  • Tend to live underground in grayish, papery nests.
  • Have smooth stingers. (Bees have barbed stingers.)
  • Can sting more than once because their stingers don’t come out. (Bees can only sting once and then they die.)

Getting Rid of Yellow Jackets

Besides eating insects, yellow jackets also dine on foods that people eat, like meats, soft drinks, or sweets. To prevent yellow jackets from lingering close to your home you have to eliminate their food sources.

  • Keep trash cans and recycling bins clean and sealed shut.
  • If you have fruit trees in your yard, be sure to clean up fallen fruit regularly since that can attract pests.
  • When grilling or dining al fresco, keep uneaten food covered.

Another way to eliminate yellow jackets is to destroy their nests. Look for nests during the day when it’s easier to see the insects flying in and out, but wait to destroy the nests until the evening. Yellow jackets return to the nest at night and you’ll be able to kill most of them. Also, they have poor eyesight and are less likely to sting you if they can’t find you.

Some people have had success with pouring boiling water on the nests, but it’s a dangerous method since the insects that don’t die can come after you. There are also numerous sprays, like pyrethrin aerosol, which you can purchase to poison the pests. Be sure to follow the directions carefully. There are baits and traps available, but set them up away from porches or play areas where you or your family spend time.

Yellow jackets live in colonies that may be populated with thousands of insects, so taking on the task of removing them may be bigger than you think. If you have an infestation, call NWA Ladybug Pest Control at 682-557-6743 right away.


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What’s the cost of ecofriendly pest control?


“How much does ecofriendly pest control cost?”    This is a  question that I am often asked.  Much to the dismay of the inquiring person, they usually don’t get a straight answer.  Many times the beginning of a response starts with, “Well, it depends…”  Pest control is situational based.  These services have evolved and adapted over time to be customized based on the dynamics of your home.  With a customized service, safer, more effective, and longer-lasting solutions to pest problems can be applied.

When considering pest control companies, don’t put too much emphasis on price.  Okay, you may be on a tight budget and you certainly don’t want to spend a whole bunch of money for someone to spray for bugs around your home, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that all pest control companies are the same and go for the cheapest one.  You can save yourself a lot of frustration and money in the long run by choosing a reputable company that emphasizes the service that it provides rather than the products that are used.

All pest control companies have access to the same chemicals, reputable ones use knowledge, experience, and customer service more so than simply spraying pesticides.   Consider these two responses to the questions posed above:

“I’ll come spray your house for $50 every 3 months”


“I will come inspect your home at no charge and then discuss treatment options based upon the findings of my inspection”

Which response sounds more professional?  Do you want to pay someone to come spray for bugs, or, do you want to hire a trained professional to inspect, evaluate, and implement a pest management program.  You want someone that is trained, knowledgeable, and can answer your questions honestly.  You want a company that provides the right tools and resources necessary to get the job done.  A professional pest service will strive to provide you with a pest free environment, and help protect your home, its contents, and the health of your family.  Can you really put a price on that?

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