I had the pleasure of spending the holidays with my sister and her family, who visited us from Georgia. Interestingly, they were very cautious when unpacking their luggage upon arrival.
She explained later that they had been dealing with a roach infestation in their home in Atlanta and didn’t want to transfer any bugs or eggs to our home.
Luckily, they didn’t. However, it didn’t stop me from trying to help. Over the next few days, I learned about the cockroach problem in Georgia and prepared my sister a list of ways to keep roaches away.
My sister has used it effectively, taking control of the roach infestation and keeping them at bay.
Although the geography and climate in Georgia are highly favorable for cockroaches.
They can be kept away using repellants such as vinegar, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), baking soda, boric acid, borax, various essential oils, and chemical roach treatment.
Maintaining clean and dry surroundings and removing food, water, moisture, and hiding places also help keep cockroaches away in Georgia.
Let’s learn about the most common cockroaches in Georgia, how to repel them, and ways to stop attracting cockroaches to Georgia homes.
Why Are Roaches Common in Georgia?
Cockroaches are a common pest problem for people living in Georgia. They make life difficult for those who are scared of these creepy insects and anyone who takes health and hygiene seriously.
Data from the American Housing Survey reveals that 29.35% of residents in Atlanta experienced roach sightings against a national average of only 11.3%.
Accordingly, residents of Georgia are almost three times likelier to encounter roaches than most places in the United States.
Georgia is home to over 20 roach species, arriving there on ships on the Atlantic trade route and settling down and multiplying thanks to the favorable conditions.
The humid subtropical climate in Georgia is excellent for roaches who love the long humid summers and short winters there.
The altitude, climate, vegetation, and expanding metropolitan and urban areas combine to create the perfect breeding grounds for cockroaches.
As a result, roach infestations are common in homes, apartments, restaurants, hotels, and even highrises in Georgia.
Types of Common Roaches in Georgia
Georgia is home to over 20 species of cockroaches, but only some of them are common. Although all types of cockroaches cause similar problems to humans, identifying the species makes countermeasures more effective.
These are the most common roaches found in Georgia. American roaches are also known as “Palmetto Bugs,” earning the nickname since they are often found underneath the leaves of palm trees.
They are the largest roach species in Georgia, growing more than two inches long over a lifespan of two years. American roaches are light brown with a pale yellow stripe behind their head.
American cockroaches have wings, enabling them to fly in addition to less-terrifying means of transport. They prefer keeping close to water sources, often found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements.
These are tan-colored with dark brown bands on their backs. German roaches are also smaller, growing up to half an inch in length and living up to a year.
However, the smaller size doesn’t stop them from producing more eggs than any other roach species in Georgia, making it difficult to control them.
German roaches usually frequent areas with food, such as kitchens, pantries, and garbage cans.
These are usually found outdoors and often observed feasting on decaying plant matter. They grow up to 1.25 inches and have a glossy, dark appearance. Oriental roaches have a lifespan of approximately six months.
Asian roaches have tan-colored bodies with two parallel dark stripes behind their head. They prefer to live outdoors, feeding under moist leaves, mulch, and tall grass.
However, they might come indoors by attracting bright light sources or upon losing their usual hiding places.
How to Keep Roaches Away From Georgia Homes
Encountering a roach or two might be nothing from the ordinary for someone living in Georgia. However, given the friendly climate, it can quickly become a full-blown infestation if preventive measures aren’t in place.
Here are some effective methods to eliminate cockroaches from homes in Georgia.
Roaches do not like the pungent smell of vinegar. Mix equal amounts of water and vinegar to create an excellent natural roach-repellant.
Apply in surfaces and areas frequented by cockroaches by spraying the mixture, wiping with rugs, or soaking cotton balls and placing them in potential hiding places.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
This natural substance kills any roaches that touch it by dehydrating its exoskeleton. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth, creating lethal perimeters around different parts of the house to kill and control cockroaches.
This common baking ingredient contains sodium bicarbonate is a lethal weapon against cockroaches.
Mix baking soda with some water and a spoon of sugar to create a roach bait and place it somewhere with high roach activity. The sugar in the mixture will attract roaches to the toxic mix, with the baking soda taking care of the rest.
Here’s another natural insecticide that does wonders against roaches. Boric acid sticks to the roaches’ legs and wings, quickly killing an insect that ingests it. Create a DIY roach bait by mixing boric acid with peanut butter.
Place the trap where cockroaches were seen to kill any roaches that feed on the mix.
This standard laundry product kills roaches by dehydrating them upon ingestion. Mix some borax with sugar water to create a natural roach bait trap and place it somewhere cockroaches usually hang out to eliminate them.
Cockroaches have an excellent sense of smell, enabling them to find food sources. However, certain scents can irritate and overwhelm these senses, preventing them from areas with such aromas.
Wiping surfaces with essential oil, placing cotton balls soaked in them, or diluting essential oils in water and spraying the mixture around the house are some ways to use essential oils to repel cockroaches.
Here are some essential oils that keep roaches away.
Menthone in peppermint oil gives it a unique fragrance and 100% effectiveness against both American and German roaches, according to a 2001 study.
Mix five to ten drops of peppermint essential oil with a cup of water to create a natural roach repellant.
A 2009 study reveals that Limonene is a roach-repellant chemical. It is abundant in orange, lime, lemon, and grapefruit peels. The citrus essential oil also contains Limonene, making it an effective cockroach deterrent.
Kaffir Lime Oil
Researchers in a 2007 study found Kaffir Lime has a 100% repellency rate against American and German cockroaches.
A concentration of as low as 2.5% of Rosemary oil has 100% efficacy when repelling cockroaches, according to a 2016 study.
Ingestion, inhalation, or direct contact with essential oils can cause irritations in some people and pets. Therefore, practice caution when using them, paying careful attention to children and pets.
Ingesting substantial amounts of essential oils can be dangerous. Therefore, store crucial oils away from the reach of children and pets to avoid accidents.
Chemical Roach Treatment
Natural methods for repelling cockroaches might not work with larger infestations, requiring more potent chemical treatment. Here are some DIY chemical roach treatments Georgia residents can use to eliminate roaches.
These chemical baits contain substances that attract and eliminate upon contact. Any cockroach that touches a contaminated bug or feeds on its carcass will also die, eventually infecting the entire colony.
The insecticides in the gel have similar effects to chemical baits.
Applying the gel into roach hiding spots such as cracks and crevices, underneath appliances, closets, and sinks, roaches that touch it will contaminate the entire colony resulting in a rapid drop in the infestation.
Roach sprays contain lethal insecticides, eliminating any roach that comes into direct contact with the chemical or a contaminated bug.
Cover cracks, crevices, garbage bins, and other openings to prevent roaches from escaping. Then, spray the specialized roach insecticide in areas frequented by cockroaches to eliminate them.
Insect Growth Regulator (IGR)
Roaches breed and multiply rapidly. Their nymphs and eggs are also challenging to eliminate, even with insecticide.
Insect growth regulator sprays help control infestations by disrupting the development of nymphs, preventing them from breeding.
The fast-acting and easy-to-use sprays and devices help control roach numbers, increasing the likelihood of solving roach infestations in Georgia.
Chemical baits, gels, and sprays are dangerous for humans and pets. Always follow label instructions and avoid using them in the presence of children and pets.
Hire a Professional Exterminator
Even a minor roach problem can quickly turn into a severe infestation due to the cockroach-friendly climate in Georgia.
Therefore, consulting a local pest control service is wise when dealing with a widespread or persistent cockroach infestation, especially if most of the techniques mentioned above are ineffective.
How to Prevent Cockroaches in Georgia
Preventing roaches from creeping into homes in Georgia takes stern measures.
However, taking preventive measures and keeping them at bay is worth the trouble due to the difficulty of eliminating roaches once they set up camp in a house.
Here are some effective ways to make houses in Georgia less attractive to cockroaches.
Remove Food Sources
Avoid leaving food out in the open and keep food covered at all times, including leftover pet food. Vacuum areas that might contain crumbs and traces of food, ensuring that cockroaches have nothing to feed on.
Eliminate Sources of Water
Roaches love moisture. Maintain a cold and dry household as much as possible.
Attend to spills immediately and keep bathrooms and laundry rooms dry. Place wet towels and clothing in sealed plastic bags. Repair water sweating pipes, drips, and leaks to avoid attracting cockroaches.
Remove Hiding Places
Cockroaches hide and nest in tight spaces. Seal cracks and crevices and apply natural repellants in cupboards, drawers, closets, electronics, and underneath furniture. Declutter the home to reduce ideal hiding places.
Be careful when applying liquid roach repellants on electronics. Unplug devices during application and avoid using liquids on circuitry, which might malfunction upon getting wet.
Roaches invade homes through openings such as gaps and cracks in walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, pipes, and electrical cables. Inspect for openings and seal them to stop cockroaches from gaining easy entry.
Check doors and windows for gaps big enough for roaches to fit through. The warm environment indoors attracts cockroaches, so avoid leaving doors and windows open during cold weather.
Additionally, install mesh screens to stop flying roaches from getting inside and start colonizing.
Maintain a Clean Home
Establish a proactive cleaning routine to maintain a clean household with daily cleaning chores, frequent sweeping and vacuuming, inspections, and employing natural roach-repelling techniques.
Pay extra attention to areas that might contain food and water sources for cockroaches.
Be Careful With Luggage
Roaches often gain entry to houses by hitchhiking in luggage during travel.
Thoroughly inspect luggage for unwelcome travel buddies and their eggs before packing and unpacking. Apply a natural roach repellant to bags before packing and storing them away.
Maintain a Clean Garden
The Oriental Cockroaches and Asian Cockroaches are common in gardens and yards in Georgia, hiding in fallen leaves, mulch, and overgrown grass and bushes.
Prevent them from invading homes by maintaining a minimum 18-inch perimeter free from trees, shrubs, and grass. Apply a layer of stone, cedar mulch, or pine straw on this perimeter to repel cockroaches.
Clean fallen leaves and gutters to prevent decaying plant matter that provides food and nesting places for cockroaches. Trim bushes and mow the lawns regularly to deter roaches from infesting yards and gardens.
Cover Garbage and Compost Bins
It is common for roaches to infest trash cans and compost bins in Georgia, extending indoors and infesting homes later.
Cover garbage and compost bins, preventing cockroaches from feeding on their contents and finding shelter in them.
Check the Lighting
Although roaches are nocturnal species that operate in the dark, some cockroach species are attracted to light.
The Asian Cockroach and Banana Cockroach (Cuban Cockroach) are two roach species in Georgia that might enter homes upon following bright light.
Therefore, maintain dim lighting in yards, patios, and balconies to avoid attracting them.
Georgia’s climate, geography, and ever-expanding urban and metropolitan areas provide excellent breeding grounds for roaches.
However, my sister managed to eliminate a budding roach infestation and maintain a roach-free home by using various natural cockroach repellants, including vinegar, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), baking soda, boric acid, borax, and essential oils such as peppermint oil and rosemary oil.
Establishing a more proactive also helped her avoid repeat infestations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it normal to have roaches in Georgia?
Georgia’s warm and humid climate, altitude, and urbanization offer cockroaches excellent conditions to breed and multiply.
The residents of Atlanta recorded the second-highest percentage of roach sightings in a US city, hinting that they are three times more likely to encounter cockroaches.
How do you keep roaches away in Georgia?
Maintaining clean and dry surroundings without easy access to food, water, hiding places, and entry points helps keep roaches away from houses and buildings in Georgia.
Will roaches go away on their own?
No, roaches usually do not go away on their own, preferring to remain in a building once infested while feeding on almost anything, including clothing.
They also multiply rapidly, with each mature female producing hundreds of nymphs who also start contributing to the expansion of the colony in around 100 days.
What attracts roaches in a clean house?
Water and moisture usually attract cockroaches into clean houses. Repairing leaky or sweaty pipes, keeping kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas dry, and attending to spills help maintain less attractive conditions for roaches.