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How to Get Rid of Waterbugs in Your House

waterbug

When people talk about waterbugs, they are talking about certain species of roaches that prefer outside environments. These pesky bugs are a horrendous sight, and they can cause a lot of trouble in your home. As soon as you spot one waterbug, there are likely many others elsewhere.

Unfortunately, getting rid of waterbugs can be a bit of a problem. These bugs are very resilient and not easily killed, but they aren’t as troublesome as domestic indoor roaches. Nevertheless, they are not indestructible, and you should be able to remove them from your house with a little bit of effort. Without further ado, here’s how to get rid of waterbugs in your house:

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What Are Waterbugs?

Before looking at treatment options, let’s discuss exactly what waterbugs are. When people talk about waterbugs, they are often referring to one of three different types of cockroaches: oriental roaches, american roaches, and smokey brown roaches.

The name “waterbug” comes about because they prefer to stay outside around water. They will sometimes come inside, however, to find damp places in your kitchen, bathroom, or home. To get inside, the bugs must have a motive and access point.

Even though waterbugs are not commonly found inside, they are still a problem, and you will want to get rid of them as soon as possible. Luckily, waterbugs are not the same as domestic cockroaches or those that you typically find indoors, making them easier to kill.

Why Did They Come Inside?

Since waterbugs prefer the outdoors, they are typically lured inside for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, waterbugs will opt to live in areas that are both warm and watery. If waterbugs find this sort of an environment in your home, they would like to live there.

Blatta Orientalis
Image Credit: Acrocynus, Wikimedia Commons

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Getting Started

Now that you know exactly what waterbugs are, we can start talking about how to get them out of your home.

Make Sure They Are Waterbugs

The first step to removing your waterbugs is to make sure that they are, in fact, waterbugs. As we mentioned above, waterbugs are a type of roach, making it easy to mistake them for a more serious issue, such as the typical domestic roach.

The easiest way to distinguish a waterbug from a domestic roach is in their appearance. Waterbugs are typically very dark in color, and they are often larger and more aggressive. A waterbug may try to bite or attack you, but a domestic roach will not.

Find the Nest

After you have determined that the insect is a waterbug, you need to find where the rest are located. You need to know the nest location to kill the majority of the bugs and prevent them from coming back. Most often, the nest will be around dark, damp entry points around the home.

For example, dark corners near gaps in the windows, floors, doors, and pipes are likely spots for the nest. You may have to look around quite a bit before determining the location. Areas that you don’t frequently clean should be your first stop.

If you are still having trouble finding the nest, look in areas at night, after it has been dark for a couple of hours. This is the time when the bugs will be the most active. Simply walk in and turn on the lights. If the nest is in that area, the light will cause the roaches to scatter. Pay attention to where the roaches go because that will tell you the location of their nest.

waterbugs
Image Credit: Heinonlein, Wikimedia Commons

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Select an Extermination Method

After you find out where the nest is located, it’s time to start the extermination process. You will have your choice between natural and synthetic chemical treatments. Below, we detail how to get rid of waterbugs using both methods.

Natural Options

If you are more concerned about chemicals in your home, you might want to select natural options. These natural options will pose less of a threat to your family, pets, and surrounding environment. You can either purchase premade natural pest killers or make your own. Premade option should be labeled eco or green.

To make your own natural killer, you can either use concentrated distilled white vinegar, a solution of equal parts sugar and baking soda, a solution of equal parts Borax and boric acid, or essential oils, such as citronella.

Most natural options kill waterbugs because it destroys their digestive tracks, though some may have different techniques for killing them.

Synthetic Chemical Options

Synthetic chemical options will likely be much more powerful at killing the waterbugs and easier to find at the store.

However, they also are more dangerous to your family, pets, and environment. Most often, synthetic chemical options kill the waterbugs by targeting their nervous systems.

Here is a list of the most common types of synthetic chemical options:

  • Gels
  • Sprays
  • Traps

Get Needed Supplies

After you determine which extermination technique you would prefer, it’s time to gather the needed supplies. Your supplies will depend entirely on whichever extermination method you select. You will also want to get safety wear, such as goggles and gloves, when dealing with chemicals.

pest control products
Image Credit: Alan Stanton, Flickr

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Exterminate the Waterbugs

With all of your needed supplies intact, it’s time to get exterminating. How you exterminate will once again depend on the method you selected.

Natural Options

If you opted for a concentration of white vinegar or any liquid product, apply the mixture by spraying them into the nest and all drains with a spray bottle. This includes spraying them into the nest, tub, laundry room, toilet, and dishwasher.

If you selected either powdered option, sprinkle the granules on and near the nest. Also, apply the granules to access sites. Only use a thin dusting layer because the waterbugs will avoid the powder if it is applied in large clumps.

Synthetic Chemical Options

For any synthetic option, simply read the directions and apply as instructed. You will likely need to remove any animals or children from the home and seal off the room.

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Prevention Tips

A Blatta orientalis
Image Credit: Syrio, Wikimedia Commons

Once you have gotten rid of your waterbugs, you need to prevent them from coming back. The easiest way to do this is to repair the access point. This will likely involve caulking or sealing some gap or crack in a wall or floor.

More so, keep your home clean so that they don’t want to come in again. As we mentioned already, waterbugs would prefer to be outside and they only come inside whenever the environment is tempting. Store and seal all food, be diligent in taking out the trash, and vacuum or clean rugs/carpets regularly. More so, fix any leaks throughout the home.

By caulking any gaps, eliminating their food, and fixing any leaks, you prevent the bugs from being able to get in and prevent them from wanting to get in in the first place.

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Conclusion

Waterbugs are pesky creatures, but they are not impossible to get rid of. If you follow the instructions above, you will likely be able to get rid of your waterbug issue, no problem. If the infestation is serious and you cannot get rid of them yourself, contact an exterminator to do the job for you. Hopefully, you catch the insects before that’s necessary!


Featured Image: Syrio, Wikimedia Commons

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