Bug-off: how to deal with cockroaches in your appliances

May 1st, 2012

Appliance Talk Dishwashers Fridges & Freezers Kitchen Small Appliances Small Appliances

We’re probably going to sound a little prejudice here, but we don’t like cockroaches in our appliances. Okay, cockroaches are a fact of life – hey, in Sydney’s Inner West some of our best friends are cockroaches – but if you see one walking out of your microwave it’s enough to put you off your reheated left-overs.

Cockroaches dig warm, moist hiding spaces – hence, they tend to be attracted to appliances like  fridges, washing machines and dishwashers.

Not the sort of things you want to be spraying liberally with insecticide (there’s all sorts of pesky health-problems associated with poison and stuff). So how to get rid of the little (insert appropriate expletive here) – and ensure they stay out?

Firstly, clean-up, you lazy fool! Cockroaches love a mess. And when you’ve done, come over and tidy up my place, it’s filthy.

Aside from that, here are some tips we’ve picked up – some or all of ’em may be applicable to your infestation.

  • Spread a thin layer of boric acid around your appliances. When the ‘roach walks over it – the acid will stick to its body. Lethal to them, but safe (in moderation) for people and pets. You can also try dusts such as silica and diatomaceous earth, which drys out their waxy coating and kills them. Hey presto – you’re a killer, buddy!
  • Here’s a (slightly odd) remedy we found on the internet: put your appliance (we’re assuming they’ve got to be of the smaller variety) in a sealed plastic bag. Then place the bag in the freezer. ‘Roaches don’t like cold and will express their antipathy for it by dying.
  • Use non-toxic traps. Sooner or later the little blighters will succumb to these lures and – we pause to laugh evilly – fall victim. Lo-Line traps, for example, attract their prey with a scent (more-or-less undetectable to us), which get stuck on their ultra-sticky surface. Their victims then proceed to starve to death. You can watch them slowly drift off the mortal coil while tangling with the moral dilemma – are you being environmentally friendly or just a cruel b*stard?
  • A similar DIY solution is to put a small piece of onion on a length of duct tape, leaving the tape with the sticky side up near the infected appliance/s overnight. In the morning, you’ll discover a rich crop of trapped ‘roaches. Fun for the whole family!
  • Another interesting tip we came across … if you’re looking to evict six-legged tenants from your microwave, place a small glass of wine in the microwave cavity. Cockroaches are notorious alcoholics and will fall into the glass and die. We assume with a smile on their faces (depending on the vintage).
  • And to keep them out – we recommend applying a thin line of sealant (something like caulk) to cracks and crevices around the kitchen. Look out for access points such as around pipes under the sink. You are gonna have to be thorough with this – the little (insert that expletive again) can fit into tighter spaces smaller than fifth of an inch.

We have to note that a truly implacable horde of cockroaches may require the use of professionals. Or you can leave the country.

If you have any other ideas to deal with unwanted guests (of the six-legged variety) – please let us know!



Richie is a Sydney based writer with sophistication, flair and hair. Aside from blogging and writing for Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he is also a new playwright who had his first play, ‘The Local’ performed last year at the Sydney Fringe Festival. He is also the wicketkeeper for the Gladstone Hotel Cricket Club and his favourite appliance is any 3D Blu-ray Home Theatre System that can be delivered to his house free-of-charge in the near future. He was the lead singer of Van Halen in 2002. Google+

One response to “Bug-off: how to deal with cockroaches in your appliances”

  1. Keri Algar says:

    They also love half empty cups of coffee!

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