Avoid bringing roaches when you move

Question: Hi. I am moving from a roach-infested apartment into a new apartment. I want to be sure that I do not take any roaches or roach eggs with me when I move. Can you tell me what I need to do in order to ensure this doesn’t happen? Thanks.

Answer: You can avoid taking cockroaches with you when you move by doing some simple things to control them now, and when you get to where you are going.

Before you move and as you pack, you should inspect your items for any presence of cockroaches. As you pack your checked items, remove them from your current apartment. You’ll want to launder your clothes and linens, shake out shoes and electronics, and vacuum everything as you pack. If you are washing your laundry in a place outside of the apartment, pack it there. Do not take it back to the infested apartment to pack.

It is preferable to use plastic bins with lids that can be sealed, as opposed to cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes provide great places for roaches to hide within the manufactured structure of the box. Also, if you use boxes you obtained from outside sources, say a supermarket or store, you have no guarantee that the boxes aren’t already infested. Stick with plastic bins with lids.

If the infestation is very large, it may be best to discard small electric and electronic appliances such as coffee pots, alarm clocks, etc. These provide excellent hiding places for roaches, and it is virtually impossible to treat the appliance with any treatment product. If you are set in taking these with you, thoroughly inspect them, seal them in clear plastic bags and keep them there until it is time to unpack. Check them before taking them out of the bags (this is why you want clear bags).

Do the same for computers, televisions, audio and video equipment, etc. Inspect them before bagging, and inspect before taking them out of the bags.

Make sure you wash and dry all pots, pans and cooking utensils. Pack them immediately after drying. Check any food items and discard anything that is suspect.

If you are taking plants with you, inspect them! Look at the dirt in the pots for signs of movement, check the leaves, stems and the pots themselves. If you are unsure about them, it is better to discard the plants rather than using them as a transport for roaches to your new place.

Again, the moving preparations are rather lengthy and involve a lot of work on your part, but checking your items, cleaning them, packing them correctly and discarding suspect items will go a long way to preventing the hitchhikers from moving with you to a new home.

When you get to the new place, inspect the apartment before moving anything in. You should be aware of signs and evidence of cockroach infestations from your previous apartment.

Inspect items as you unpack them. If you used boxes, discard them quickly. Check the clear bags where you may have packed any electronics for signs of roach activity inside the bags.

Continually check your apartment for evidence of roach problems, and ask your property manager to make sure it is being treated on a regular basis. If your new complex does not have a current service, Orkin will gladly work with them to come up with a scheduled treatment program for the apartment complex.

Related Questions

Orkin used the information above to also answer the following questions submitted by Orkin.com users:

Question: We moved into this duplex and no one lives in the other side, and I know for a fact that we didn’t have these at the place before this place. I have bought boric acid for cockroaches, but it seems like ever since I put this down, I am seeing more and more. What can I do?

Question: I was wondering if cockroaches are a problem in Wheaton, Ill?I am moving into an apartment building on the first floor. Are cockroaches more likely to get in on the first floor?

Question: We are moving from a house that received cockroach treatment. Is it safe to take our television and other expensive electronics to our new home?

Answer: I would guess that if your home is not heavily infested, has few if any cockroaches, or you never see cockroaches in the areas where you have your TV and game systems, then the likelihood of taking cockroaches to another place is slim. However, to be sure, take some basic precautions such as:

  • Inspect your electronic equipment for the presence of cockroaches. Doing an effective inspection may require you to remove the outer case, if that can be safely done. Also, use a strong flashlight to inspect inside the equipment. Look for telltale signs of cockroaches such as dead bodies, live cockroaches, egg cases, feces and musty odors. If you can safely do so, tightly encase your electronics in clear plastic while not in use. If there are cockroaches inside, they will in all likelihood be visible inside the plastic encasement after a few days.

  • After you inspect the equipment and do not see any cockroaches, pack up the inspected items and remove them from the current apartment. If possible, pack the electronic items in plastic bins with tight fitting lids rather than cardboard boxes. Also, look closely at the bins and lids you use to make sure they are not cockroach infested.

  • When you get to your new apartment or house, inspect the plastic bins to see whether any cockroaches are in the bins. Also, inspect the new apartment before moving your electronics or other items into the new apartment. If the new place has cockroaches, do not move in your electronics or other household items until the new place has been properly and effectively serviced for cockroach control.

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