I’ve chosen to illustrate this post with photos of my sister Amy’s cat in her sink because pictures of a cat in a sink are much cuter than pictures of cockroaches in a sink.
Cockroaches love dark, cool, moist places with rotting food, so the kitchen drain is a popular hangout. Roaches also hang out in bathtub drains, but they prefer to live close to food.
I don’t like to use pesticides or roach motels in my home. Besides, pesticides and roach motels kill roaches after they’ve invaded your home, which is too late for me. I don’t want them in my home at all. Here are 6 green/eco friendly tips so roaches won’t get into your apartment in the first place.
1) Pour boiling water in the kitchen drain often. I make tea every morning and boil more hot water than I need so I can pour the rest down the drain. Boiling water kills roach eggs as well as any living roaches. If you don’t like tea, use a pan to boil water and pour it down the drain as part of your daily routine.
2) Keep a plug in the kitchen sink drain and in your bathtub when you’re not using them, so the roaches can’t crawl out of the drain pipes.
3) Keep the sink clear of dirty dishes, pots and pans. Don’t let things soak overnight no matter how tired you are or how much burnt food is stuck to the pans. Leftovers are like a roach’s picnic.
Click here to read tips 4-6.
4) If you don’t a have garbage disposal (which were illegal in NYC until 1997, so most apartments don’t have them), keep food scraps out of the kitchen trashcan. I separate my garbage and put food scraps into plastic shopping bags and keep the bag(s) in the freezer until I am ready to dump them in the building’s trashcans. (I have never lived in a building with a hallway trash chute. You’re so lucky if your building has one.) I’m not much of a cook so my freezer is usually pretty empty. If you don’t have space in your freezer (or refrigerator), hang your garbage bags on a doorknob until you throw it in the building trash. The idea is to keep the garbage elevated — NYC roaches have wings but they’re not good fliers.
5) Make sure the drain pipes in your kitchen and bathroom sinks don’t have leaks and are sealed where they attach to the sink and the exit point in the wall. Also check the toilet pipes for leaks and gaps. If your building Super can’t fix these problems right away, stuff steel wool (SOS pads) in the gaps as a short-term fix. Roaches will eat the steel wool but they’ll die soon afterward.
6) Don’t keep stacks of newspapers or magazines. Paper is good food for roaches. If it takes you awhile to your dump papers in the building trashcans, then all I can say is it’s good to get in the habit of doing a daily trash run. When I lived on the 4th floor of a walk-up, I tended to procrastinate and save my paper trash in stacks until one day, I saw roaches scurry from my pile of newspapers. Ewww. That made me change my habits pronto.
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