If you have cockroaches in your house, and you also have a pet of some kind, perhaps a cat or dog, you have a problem. How do you get rid of the cockroaches while avoiding any harm to your pet? It’s difficult, but it can be done.
Of course, we need to point out that there’s no 100% pet safe roach killer, because there is always a slight percentage of risk, should your pet decide to test out the method you’ve chosen for exterminating cockroaches. If you avoid the particularly heavy-duty methods however, you stand a much better chance of solving your cockroach problem, whist avoiding any problems to your beloved pet.
First things first, we need to address the whole issue of cockroaches.
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We should point out another thing here – just because you have cockroaches, it doesn’t mean you have a dirty house. It’s a total myth that cockroaches only live in dirty places, because the truth of the matter is that they can appear anywhere, whether clean, dirty, or somewhere in-between. Cockroaches can be introduced into your house by accident, e.g. hitchhiking in a box delivery, or it can be totally deliberate, i.e. they simply want to come inside.
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Cockroaches like warm, dark, humid environments overall, however there are different species who do like certain conditions more than others. Kitchens and bathrooms are the two danger areas, because of the conditions we just mentioned, but also because there is food there – food scraps are a cockroaches’ banquet.
You may also find cockroaches are disturbed due to sewage works in your neighborhood. Certain types of cockroach love the dark and moist conditions that are found in the sewer pipes, and if any work is being done, it can cause them to come outside and then enter into your home or garden. Of course, in this case you will worry about the germs and bacteria that these cockroaches are bringing into your environment, and that is very valid and real concern to have.
The important thing to remember is that just because you have a cockroach or two, you should adopt the same way of thinking – you should look to get rid of them quickly. The reason for this is because cockroaches multiply so fast, that before you know it, one will become ten, and ten will become twenty. The story goes on from there Baby roaches are also a red flag you should be aware of. If there is a baby roach in your kitchen in particular, this means that the parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, and the rest of the extended family are not too far away
Pet Safe Roaches Killer Ideas
When thinking about pet friendly roach killers, you need to think outside of the box to a certain degree, but there are also a large number of different commercial products on the market which are designed to be safe for pet-dwelling households too.
A few ideas to look into include:
- Cockroach traps
- Cockroach bait
- Boric acid (with caution)
- Diatomaceous earth
- Adhesive traps (with caution)
- Coffee ground jar traps
You’ll notice that we added a ‘with caution’ mark on the boric acid and adhesive trap suggestions. These are fine to use with a pet around, but you need to keep your pet away from them. They can be harmful to your animals if they ingest them or come into contact with them, but they are also methods that should be placed close to the roach nest, so provided you’re careful with where you place it, you could still use these two methods.
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Cockroach traps work a little like mouse traps, but without the steel or metal hinge. You can buy these traps commercially and they come in various different guises, e.g. they have different ingredients within them, which are designed to not only catch the cockroach but get rid of them too. Of course, if you want to go down the DIY route and save money, while also ensuring that you’re keeping your pet safe, you can easily create your own cockroach trap.
You can do this by find a jar or a bowl which is high and has very steep sides – remember that cockroaches are quite agile, so you need to find something they can’t climb back out of. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you can add a little petroleum jelly to the insides of the jar or bowl, so even if the roach did try and get out, it would simply slip back down again. Of course, the roach isn’t simply going to go in on its own accord, so you need something to entice it inside. Try bread crumbs or other scraps, and place them in the bottom of the jar or bowl. Then wait, and empty it out regularly.
In terms of pet-friendly roach killer options, you do need to move towards bait with caution. Most baits you will find on sale are fine for pet households, but you will need to place them in areas where your pets aren’t likely to roam. In addition, the bait ingredients are usually placed in a container which is sealed, so again, your pets are unlikely to be affected.
Make sure you place your bait method close to where you have frequently seen the roaches, and it’s also a good idea to tuck them away under cupboards or furniture, so inquisitive pets aren’t going to try and investigate.
Boric acid is a method you can use if you have pets, but again, it’s about using caution. Boric acid is deadly to cockroaches; the idea is that they will walk across the powder and this will stick to their feet, body, and antenna. Then, when they are grooming later on, they will invest the powder that has stuck to their body that will then kill them.
While boric acid is poisonous, when using it for getting rid of cockroaches, this will only be used in very small amount, and will be placed inside cracks. Your pets are very unlikely to go into these cracks, and they are very unlikely to try and eat the powder.
You will find diatomaceous earth on sale at most commercial garden centers, and it is pet safe too, which is the ideal option for getting rid of cockroaches in your home. There are however two different types, so make sure you don’t get the one designed for swimming pools. The pool version is chemical based and therefore not great for households with pets.
The product works by destroying the wax-like layer which is present on the outside of the cockroach’s body. This works to dehydrate the insect, and it eventually dies.
Again, this is one you should use with caution if you have pets, but it is possible if you’re careful. Basically, adhesive traps are used to stick the insect to the tape. So, you place it close to the areas you have seen them lurking around, and the idea is they run out and then become stuck. From there, you can dispose of it.
While there is no chemical included, if your pet becomes attached to the tape themselves, it can be painful for them when it comes to trying to detach them. The glue in these traps is designed to be very strong, in order to catch a very fast moving cockroach; so if your pet becomes stuck, it could mean a trip to the vet. Having said that, if you’re strategic with our placement, this can be a very good, chemical-free way to catch and dispose of cockroaches.
Coffee Ground Jar Traps
This option is very similar to the bait type, but in this case, you use old coffee grounds. Cockroaches love coffee as much as humans, so this is the ideal way to trap them
All you need to do is find an old jar, wash it out, and cover the inside walls with petroleum jelly. As we mentioned before, the idea is to stop them from getting out. You will place the coffee grounds inside, which will entice the cockroach to enter the jar, but you will also place water in the bottom – enough to submerge the cockroach. You can guess the rest. Simply check the jar in the mornings and empty it out. You will need to continue with this method for a while, but eventually you should find the number of cockroaches is dwindling, provided there is no major multiplication of pregnant cockroaches going on somewhere else in the house/nest. In that case, it’s time to call the professionals.
Is There Really a 100% Pet Safe Method to Kill Cockroaches?
No. It’s really that simple. There is no 100% guaranteed pet safe way, because there is always a risk of some kind to your pets, be it a cat, dog, or anything else. What you can do is choose a method which poses less of a risk to your animals, and more of a risk to the cockroaches that have moved in without an invitation.
Most chemical killers on the market nowadays are less potent to pets than they used to be, but they are still chemicals, and anything chemical related should be classed as poisonous to any animal. If it is going to kill a cockroach, there is a chance it could harm your pets too. For that reason, trying to avoid chemical killers is the best way forward. Do check on the back of any products you buy in terms of how safe they are for pets, if you really do have to resort to a stronger option. If you do this, make sure that you only apply the killer in areas where your pet is not going to go, and keep them away from it at all costs.
Of course, the same can be said for any small children you have in the house. A toddler is just as inquisitive as a pet, if not more so Any type of cockroach killing method you employ within your home and garden needs to be kept away from small children and animals as a group.
What if You Need to Call in the Professionals?
If you find that you can’t get rid of your cockroach problem yourself, you may be left with no choice but to call in a professional exterminator to help you in your challenge. Cockroaches cannot be left to run riot in your home, because before you know it you will have a much bigger problem on your hands. We have mentioned a few times already that cockroaches multiply quickly and in large numbers – can you imagine the living conditions if your house was overrun with these horrible insects? It doesn’t bear thinking about.
For that reason, there comes a point when you may need professional help. In that case, you will be advised to keep your pets far away from any chemical killer products that are used, and you should do this very carefully indeed. Such products are harmful to animals, and doing everything you can to protect their welfare, while fighting the cockroach problem, is imperative. The good news is that once the problem is over and the area has been cleansed, your pet can run free once more.
So, the answer to our question, is there really a totally pet safe way to kill cockroaches? No, there isn’t, but careful thinking, careful placement, and taking care, will ensure that your pet remains safe and sound.