Everyone hates roaches. I hate roaches. I always scream and wait for my husband to “GET IT!” every time I see one. They are truly creatures that have no reason to exist other than to terrorize. But enough about describing the roach, why do I find them motivational?
Simple. They force me to clean. Another thing commonly loathed by many.
But lets get to it. Why clean? Cleaning is one of the best ways to proactively fight roaches.
While having your house/apartment sprayed for roaches monthly also works, this method is much more expensive. Furthermore, you are breathing in the same toxins the roaches are, and while these toxins will not kill you, they are still harmful.
After you see a roach, chances are, you will not be able to sleep until you have done something about it. Remember, in roach world, one roach means there are many more to come.
So here are my top ten tips for fighting roaches:
1. Do the dishes. I always begin with the dishes first. While it is one of the most obvious tasks, it can easily become one of the most neglected. Besides, there is really nothing more disgusting then a kitchen full of dirty dishes. Doing the dishes means putting everything away in it’s allotted space, not leaving any pans in the sink “for later”.
2. Clorox everything. After completing number 1, get out the Clorox wipes and begin wiping down counters. I personally love Clorox Wipes because they clean surface stains and disinfect at the same time. I use them to wipe down just about any surface from the kitchen table, to windowsills, the bathroom, or even my desk if it has acquired too much dust. Remember leave nothing behind for the roaches!
Please note: I fully realize that “cloroxing” everything may not be the safest way in regards to inhaling chemicals, but until I research to find a safer substitute or create my own natural cleaner, this is what I will be using.
3. Sweep and mop is the next step because crumbs have inevitably fallen to the floor while you were so carefully wiping your kitchen counters. While sweeping the floors, remember to shake out your rugs and sweep under them, you will be surprised what you find. Grab any flying dust bunnies. Finally mop your floors with the good old Swiffer and make your home smell fresh.
4. Invest in a hand vacuum. I recently did this – mainly because a regular vacuum was too expensive – but it has proved to be a wonderful investment and I would not think of looking back. Trying to sweep fine dust into the dustpan is the worst, but with the easy, lightweight, hand vacuum , it can be whipped out at any time to grab the cumbersome mound topped with dust bunnies. It is also great for small rugs, between sofa cushions (I don’t want to think about how many crumbs fall down there), and dusty baseboards.
5. Get organized. This could also fall under spring-cleaning or deep cleaning, and there will be more on this topic to come, but for now, think about de-cluttering (below) and investing in some storage bins. The less non-essentials you have, the more often you will use them and the easier you make it to access them, the more they will get used, all resulting in being more frequently cleaned and thus, no place for a roach to lurk.
6. De-clutter. In case you have not already done this, de-clutter. Just do it. Knickknacks are the essence of trapped dust and perfect for hiding critters. Now hold on, I’m not saying to get rid of all your treasured knickknacks, I love them too, but you can get rid of the ones “your Great Aunt Sally got you that one time, several years ago, when she went on a cruise with her long lost friend”-those are the kind I promise you don’t need. You probably don’t even remember you have them. Remember to check closets, throw away old receipts and papers, and finally pick up your water glasses and coffee mugs, they always seem to collect.
7. Mason Jars are your friend. I use mason jars for everything, but especially in the kitchen I use them to store my dried goods such as rice and flour that come in packages and can be difficult to seal and store. Using mason jars to store pantry items eliminates the possibility of finding a roach in your food. (Please forever forget about that image). It also greatly helps with organization and cleanliness.
8. No “sweeping crumbs under the rug”! You can apply this rule to anything, but I always think about in in terms of the microwave. While it holds the record for being one of the most frequently visited places in your entire home, it also holds the record for being the least frequently cleaned. Repulsive! Think about what your food is being heated in! Oh, what a good Clorox wipe could do every now and then, and how easy if it is routinely done!
9.Take out the trash. Once it starts to smell bad it is too late. I ashamedly admit that I made that mistake before, only to open the trash to take out the bag and find two roaches crawling on top. So take out the trash before it is too late! If you plan on throwing away fruit and vegetable remains or spoiled meet, grab a plastic grocery bag (so as not to waist an entire trash bag you paid for) and immediately dispose of it.
It can also help to frequently clean the inside of the trash bin to discourage odors from building up and roaches from hiding. If you are in between trashcan cleanings, try putting a few drops of essential oils at the bottom of the trash bag. It helps it stay smelling fresh for longer.
10.Deep clean. We have already somewhat covered this, but I will say it again, deep clean! The microwave (above) was my example, but there are plenty more such as tackling the fridge, pantry, shoe rack, or whatever that disgusting place is for you. Assess your home critically.
Finally, the golden rule that I propose about cleaning is this: it does not matter if it looks clean if it is not, in fact, clean. Remember, we are going for cleanliness to promote good health, and a safe living environment that is roach free. With these kinds of standards, appearance is not an indicator of clean, but only, perhaps, a result.
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