There are obviously tons of great things about moving out of your parent's house and moving into your own place. But with all of that freedom comes a big price: responsibility. One of the worst things about being in your own place is having to deal with the gross stuff that comes up, and that includes pests. Every home, no matter how small or how clean, gets bugs once in a while. This is an unfortunate truth about being an adult! Sometimes those bugs are annoying but relatively harmless, like ants or cave crickets (which are actually horrifying). Sometimes they're terrifying, but at least a little useful like spiders, which eat the other stuff. But sometimes they're terrifying and not useful at all, like waterbugs. These are not fun to see, and they can lead to a big infestation, so you'll definitely want to know how to keep waterbugs out of your apartment.
A waterbug is often confused for a cockroach, and in fact, sometimes people say "waterbug" when they really mean cockroach. It's not hard to see why, as they are quite similar in both appearance and habit, but they are not technically the same bug. Waterbugs are attracted to damp, moist areas, and they are also very attracted to old food and garbage. In other words, if you're noticing waterbugs in your home, that's probably an alarm that you aren't cleaning enough. Preventing them requires some basic home maintenance, and is easy enough — and doing so is more simple than trying to get rid of them once they're there!
1. Seal Everything Up
Waterbugs live outside, but they come inside when they're attracted to food or damp areas. One important step in keeping them away from the get-go is to seal up everything to make it nearly impossible for them to come in. Keep your windows and doors closed at all times, and if you want or need fresh air, always use screens (that do not have holes in them). Take a look around your apartment and use caulking to seal up any openings, like wall cracks.
2. Maintain Your Lawn
An overgrown lawn doesn't just look messy, it can actually lead to more bugs. If you have control over the lawn by your apartment, mow it often to keep it at a shorter height. Waterbugs can live in long grass, and cutting it can get rid of their natural living environment near your home.
3. Use Traps
If you're really worried about the possibility of waterbugs getting in, then set traps so that if they do manage to get through a hole, they won't get much further. There are plenty of chemical roach-bait traps you can try, and you should put them all around the outside of your apartment, like near your windows and doors. Just be careful putting them inside if you have pets - you don't want them accidentally getting near the traps.
4. Clean Often
One really important step in preventing waterbugs is to keep your apartment as clean as you can. Waterbugs are attracted to food that has been left laying around, and that includes little bits of food you drop and forget to clean up, or anything like that. Vacuum rugs regularly, make sure to move couches once in a while to get under there, clean up any food that falls, and just be wary of how everything is being stored.
5. Eliminate Moisture
Waterbugs obviously love a moist environment, so if there is an easily accessible one in your home, they'll be attracted to it. Fix leaky pipes, and don't leave sinks wet. You should also pay attention to the trash area outside near your apartment. Don't let leaking trash bags or boxes sit out there for a long period of time!
6. Remove Garbage Regularly
Waterbugs are attracted to garbage because of all the leftover food and the moist environments in the bags and such. Make sure you get a good garbage can with a lid that closes tightly and snugly. Take the garbage out regularly, once it's full - or even if it's not full, don't let it sit for days on end. Once the garbage is outside, make sure it's being taken away regularly. Don't let garbage bags sit for weeks, even if you don't have a lot — take it to the curb!
7. Get Rid Of Standing Water
Again, you really want to eliminate any damp environments in and around your house, and that means also making sure there's no standing water laying around. If you recycle bottles and cans, make sure to dump out the food inside, rinse them, and then be sure they're dry before going outside. Check the outside area around your apartment for standing water and always dump it (that also attracts other bugs). Look around your apartment for it as well.
8. Try To Contain Eating To A Certain Room
It might seem a little extreme, but one way to keep waterbugs out of your home is to be really vigilant with food. Containing eating to just one room makes it a lot easier to clean up any messes and makes it less likely that you're going to accidentally leave food out somewhere. This might be something to consider if you know of a waterbug problem in your apartment.
9. Clean Hard-To-Reach Areas
You probably spend a decent amount of time cleaning the obvious spaces in your apartment, but what about the hard-to-reach spots? Most people neglect areas like behind an oven, underneath a large appliance, behind a couch, underneath a bed; they also usually save these deeper cleanings for once every few months. Get into the habit of cleaning these areas more often, like once a month at least. These hard-to-reach spots might be easy to forget, but for waterbugs, they could be the perfect home.