If you see cockroaches scurry into crevices whenever you turn on the lights in your garage, you know that you have an infestation on your hands. Garages are common sites for cockroach infestations, as they tend to have numerous small openings that allow roaches to crawl inside. Cockroach infestations are more than just annoying—the spines on a cockroach's legs pick up great amounts of bacteria while they crawl through sewers and rummage through garbage, and this bacteria can be dangerous to humans. Cockroaches will spread harmful bacteria wherever they go, creating a health hazard.
Because of the threat it poses to your health, it's important to eliminate a cockroach infestation in your garage as soon as you notice it. Here's how.
1. Keep Your Garage Spotless
Cockroaches often invade garages looking for food and water. If you have a neglected trash can in your garage that you don't empty very often, it can be a major attractant for cockroaches. Remove any food from your garage as soon as possible in order to avoid providing cockroaches with an easy meal. You'll also need to clean up any water spills so that cockroaches won't enter your garage looking for something to drink.
2. Block Roaches From Entering Your Garage
However, even a spotless garage can still end up being infested by cockroaches. Weather events outside—for example, a heat wave or a severe storm—can cause cockroaches to seek shelter indoors, and they're likely to choose your garage as a safe haven.
You'll need to seal off your garage against cockroach entry. The best way to do this is to go into your garage during broad daylight and turn off all the lights. Look for any areas where sunlight enters into the garage—if sunlight comes through a crack, it's likely that cockroaches can enter through the crack as well.
Pay special attention to your garage door, as many contain gaps at the edges of the door that cockroaches can squeeze through. You may need to install weatherstripping on your garage door in order to seal these gaps. You also need to make sure that your garage door is fully flush with the ground when it closes—if it stops slightly short, cockroaches can use that gap to enter your garage.
You should also examine the ceiling of your garage. There may be gaps near the walls that cockroaches can crawl through. You can seal these spaces using wire mesh in order to prevent roach entry.
3. Use Bait Traps to Eliminate Your Infestation
Once you've barricaded your garage against cockroaches to the best of your ability, it's time to eliminate your current infestation. The best way to accomplish this is through poison bait. Avoid pesticide sprays or bug bombs—they can leave pesticide residue all over your belongings, which can potentially be harmful to your health.
Lay bait traps around your garage or apply poison gel bait to flat surfaces. If you have pets, make sure they can't access your bait traps—either put the bait on an elevated surface or keep your pets out of your garage until the cockroach infestation is eliminated. Cockroaches will eat the poison bait and then die. Even though it may seem strange, you shouldn't remove the dead cockroaches from your garage—other cockroaches will eat them and become poisoned themselves.
Bait traps are generally effective at eliminating a cockroach infestation. If you can't seem to get rid of yours, call professional pest control services. You may still have entry points that cockroaches can use to access your garage. In this case, it doesn't matter how many cockroaches are killed by the poison—there are always more coming from the outside to replace them.
Professional pest control services also have access to stronger pesticides that can be safely sprayed into tiny crevices in your garage, which will kill any cockroaches that try to use them as a hiding space—this is typically the most effective way to control an infestation and prevent cockroaches from sheltering inside your garage.