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Old 10-21-2009, 07:46 AM
156 posts, read 310,843 times
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We came across a home with what appeared to be roach traps (bait?) in the kitchen (I thought they were mouse traps but later checked the store and saw that they looked more like roach traps). Our realtor told us that a lot of folks have this problem (and also palmetto bugs??) and that even she exterminates quarterly.

I'm used to ants but would rather not live with roaches. We have a conundrum because I'd also rather not have pesticides in my home due to our 3 year old with developmental issues, food allergies and outdoor allergies...we just like to have a mostly chemical free environment (I mean, I clean my tub with baking soda and wash my windows with a vinegar solution...).


1. Are roaches the norm in most homes here (this home was in the $400,000-$450,000 range)?

2. Do you have any suggestions for pest control that don't require poisonous sprays/gases?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:09 AM
Location: San Antonio, TX - Displaced Michigander
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Unlike in other places, where roaches are only found in filthy homes, roaches can be found here in any home. Of course, there will no doubt be more of them if the house is really dirty, but I think they are unavoidable.

I'm from Michigan originally and didn't even seen a roach until I was in my late teens/early twenties! I lived in TX though for 7 years and had the house sprayed ever three months. They were worse there than they are here in the upstate, IMO. I can go months and months without seeing one here.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:11 AM
Location: Simpsonville
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Unless you live in an airtight bubble or have regular pest control visits, I think you'll have the occasional roach. Roaches don't discriminate. They like $450K houses just as well as $50K ones. They can get in anywhere, like your dryer vent or the vent for a downdraft cooktop or your fireplace flue. Or just about any crack anywhere. I keep a very clean house, don't leave food out and we still have them on occasion. For us, it's been more seasonal. There were some earlier this fall but we haven't seen any in a while.

I, also, avoid most chemicals, especially pesticides. I'm willing to live with a few ants and the occasional roach in order to avoid toxic products. Yeah, you see a roach and think "Yuck, roach!" But I'd prefer that to the invisible, long-term effects from pesticides, etc. I think you'll have a hard time finding a pest company with a non-toxic approach. It helps to seal up the house as best you can. We also found it very useful to make sure our dishwasher was latched every time we closed it. Roaches love the dishwasher. Yuck. If roaches become a problem, I'd get a few of the baits. The roaches carry the product and it destroys the entire nest. I've had very good success with the ant baits. Plus, the baits are self-contained, so there's no residue. And you can tuck them under the dishwasher or fridge to keep them away from your child.

Good luck. If you are new to the area, welcome! Yep, we have plenty o' bugs but lots of good things too. Like fabulous weather.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:22 AM
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Palmetto Bug = Roach, they are huge roaches, just a fancy way of saying it.

Also, I had a ton of "palmetto bugs" in my former rental home, but haven't seen any in my current home or in any of my neighbors homes where I live now, so apparently you can avoid them, of course I did take precautions when I moved in(spraying a barrier, etc.) plus its a new home, i'm sure that makes a big difference.

Last edited by NoodlesKnowles; 10-21-2009 at 09:15 AM..
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:56 AM
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Palmetto Bug just has a nicer ring to it LOL, not so nasty
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:02 AM
Location: Dallas, TX
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We've been in our current house 8 1/2 years, and I've yet to see a roach or palmetto bug. Occasionally we'll see ants when it's really dry or wet outside. I grew up on the Gulf Coast, and was used to seeing them regularly there (and my Mom was a clean freak!).
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:31 AM
Location: Wandering.
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There are a number of different types of roaches. The ones that you usually see where cleanliness is an issue are German roaches. The "Palmetto Bugs" or "Water Bugs" are actually either Smokey Brown or American roaches and usually eat decaying plant matter. These two tend to live outside especially in landscaping and other moist places, but will come in if they find a way (any very thin crack).

I would consider them to be like spiders or other "occasional" bugs in that we see one every now and then in the house. but they really aren't linked to your housekeeping . I know that in FL lots of companies will do an outside treatment only, and that it will keep most of the pests out. Also keep the shrubs and trees trimmed back off of the house as much as possible.
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:09 AM
77 posts, read 197,463 times
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sodium borate in a fine dust will keep roaches away. just drag a small paint brush through the powder and make a line at baseboard. this you can buy as '20 mule team borax' at target. however, borax is toxic to babies if eaten. so you have to put the fine dust in places baby will never ever go, lick, crawl, or play near. behind washer/dryer, under fridge. we do not use chem's either. i would rather see a roach or two than use any pesticides. borax is enviro friendly but def. toxic to humans IF EATEN. google for more info...but there's a jumping pad for you.
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:45 PM
156 posts, read 310,843 times
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Thanks guys.

I am not a neat freak so this will be interesting...lol. Altho since some of you say neatness has nothing to do with it we shall see.

I grew up visiting my grandmother in a small rural town near Rock Hill and there were more roaches than I could count. Sigh... Where I'm from in Ohio we were used to the big black carpenter ants getting into every doggone thing. Mostly in the kitchen though. Come to think of it, my other grandmother -- who I used to visit in the projects in Ohio had so many that when she moved in with us, my mother left all of her furniture in the garage for several weeks thinking that would help them stay out and not in (it worked). Roach stories...who knew!?

Do they leave any signs of infestation so we know what we're dealing with during a home inspection???

Thanks again! And yes I am new here and we absolutely love it so far! :-)
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:10 PM
Location: NC High Country
3,856 posts, read 6,627,265 times
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We bought an 8 year old townhome in December, 2008, moved in Feb '09. Before we bought it, the home had been vacant for several months. Knock on wood, but I haven't seen a roach yet. Our HOA does have a exterior extermination contract, but we haven't done anything specific inside to keep vermin away.
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