Lien Pieterse from Pretoria asks:
Have a lot of cockroaches in our townhouse in Pretoria East, how can we get rid of them in a natural way?
Much like moles in the garden, cockroaches are a recurring theme in questions about house and garden pests. And, if you happen to live in Natal or Zululand, you have a serious problem since the tropical climate suits them ideally.
Cockroaches are insects that are closely related to termites, both in the Order Blattoidea, and out of the 4600 species worldwide, about 30 are considered pests in the home. This group has been around for at least 350 million years and are considered to be highly successful.
They are, like termites, social insects, kept together by pheromones, and although they prefer warm conditions, some have developed “antifreeze” in their bodies and can survive arctic conditions. They are omnivorous and can feed on practically any food remains, as well as leather and books
To control these insects, cleanliness in the home is of utmost importance. Without food leftovers, even hidden in cracks and crannies, they will not survive. An effective home remedy is to mix borax with flour and sugar, make little balls and hide in cupboards and behind appliances.