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Cockroaches are a health problem - cockroach infestations increase the likelihood of childhood asthma.
Getting rid of cockroaches without pesticide
Pesticides are effective, and pyrethrin-based pesticides are relatively harmless to humans, but most sprays contain other toxins and other ingredients. If you want to minimize indoor air pollution, minimize your use of pesticides.
Cockroaches and ants don't like powder, e.g. talcum powder. It won't eliminate cockroaches by itself, and isn't a complete barrier but it can give you an advantage, and make the cockroaches less at home. Sprinkle it around, especially where you don't walk and where you don't want cockroaches or ants to pass:
- along the edge of walls
- around the legs of chairs
- the back of the kitchen bench
Add fresh powder frequently - if you see pests starting to cross it more easily. Frequency will probably depend on humidity and the seriousness of the infestation, but an application should last at least a few days.
A newspaper is an effective weapon if you have the stomach for it. (Tip: remember not to breathe in when picking up the dead cockroach with plastic bag or newspaper - they stink!). A thick wad (say 20 pages, more or less), folded (pressing along the edges) to made a flattened weapon about 6-10 cm wide. Chasing down and swatting every single cockroach you can - pull out furniture if you have to. If you live in an area where cockcroaches come in from outside, or if you don't wipe down surfaces and keep them dry, you'll want to always keep your folded newspaper within reach for occasional use - but by and large you'll have a cockroach free house, without chemicals!
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