Let’s start with this troubling subject by stating categorically that of course, no one likes cockroaches, but they are a fact of life and if you have them in your property – or even your appliances – then you are not alone. They do harbor disease though, breed at a ridiculous rate, smell awful and get everywhere, so if you’ve seen them you need to take action NOW. Fortunately for you, there is a lot you can do to remove the cockroaches from your refrigerator and the rest of your home.
The bad news is that cockroaches love appliances, particularly fridges. They like darkness, warmth, food supply, humidity – be honest, the fridge is starting to look like heaven on earth, isn’t it? Although they are not restricted to our food, they will even chow down on leather or wallpaper paste!
To get rid of the blighters you are going to have to be disciplined, and systematic. That’s not to say you weren’t clean and organized before, but now we really need to hit top gear to get them gone and make sure they stay gone. The problem is that once you have them in the property it is a tough shift, it can be done through:
- Check it out visually.
Pull out your refrigerator, get at the underneath and check out all around the appliance. If you can find live cockroaches it will inform your decisions on how best to deal with them if you can identify exactly which breed you have.
- Get cleaning.
Scrub and clean down all surfaces. In particular, check out the motor casing and the underneath for egg cases, and make sure that you are getting all residue and evidence from the outside of the fridge. Clean away any food or other dirt that has found its way underneath the refrigerator and make sure there is no cardboard or paper around. Clean and empty any residual water collection points – you are aiming for a sterile area with nothing to support them.
Do exactly the same inside – put all foodstuffs into plastic containers for storage, wash it out thoroughly and make sure there is no residue on the shelving or food crumbs left in the bottom.
- Check out your seal.
Fridge seals can be replaced fairly easily, and often the problem is caused when the seal is old and worn or damaged. Regularly cleaning extends the life of your seal, but if yours is damaged then get yourself a new one fitted.
- Look further afield.
It is worth taking inspection of your foundations, exterior walls, and any points where cables enter or exit the house. Anything measuring more than around 1/8th inch needs sealing up, once you have killed those inside you don’t want their cousins moving in.
- Spray the area.
Sprays are available for domestic users as well as professionals – like this one. Follow the instructions, but you will find this very effective and fairly long-lasting.
If you are not a fan of killing cockroaches there are even humane traps available – like these
- Trap Them.
Place cockroach traps around. These often have a sticky surface, so not only will they trap them so you can dispose of the bodies, but it will also help you monitor whether or not you have got on top of the problem. There are many on the market, but they look like this. No cockroaches in the traps? No more problem.
You may wish to repeat the clean down several times – always worth finding eggs before they hatch. Cockroaches lay eggs in groups and have ‘living areas’ so you need to make sure that you hit all of it at once – otherwise, you are just moving them around. Cupboards, underneath cupboards, appliances, all are fair game for cockroaches so you really do need to take a scorched earth approach.
If you really can’t get a handle on the problem and don’t see a reduction in numbers after the first week or so you may want to call in the professionals. Pest controllers see this all the time, they will not judge you, and they do a fabulous job.