(image: Michelle Ho, The Straits Times)
Keeping your home clean and clutter-free is one of the best ways to keep lizards and cockroaches out.
However, if you see dark specks on your countertops, walls and/or floors, you may be hosting these unwelcome visitors.
Those little pieces are actually the poop of pests such as cockroaches and lizards. This means they’ve been lurking around when you’re not at home, or in the room.
Lizards help control the population of other insects such as mosquitoes and spiders, but nonetheless, they are still a source of psychological terror for many humans.
Cockroaches, on the other hand, can spread bacteria throughout the home. Their dead bodies and droppings contain chemicals that act as a road map for other cockroaches to find food and water. They are also a source of allergens that can trigger asthma and other allergic reactions. Large cluster of cockroach droppings indicate a possible infestation. Gack!
Here’s how to identify these creatures through their droppings, so you can clear them up and clear them out.
They are black with white tips on them. Reptiles expel their faecal matter (urine and stool) through the same opening, so the white tip is actually uric acid crystals, as lizard urine is concentrated.
The droppings of small cockroaches look like ground coffee or black pepper. Those of larger cockroaches might be brown or black, depending on the species and are cylindrical in shape with ridges from tip to tip.
How to Clean the Droppings
Vacuum them up with a cleaner that has a HEPA filter to avoid spreading as much of the allergens around as possible, and dispose with care. Or wipe them up with a damp cloth, without touching them directly. Clean the surface with warm soapy water and baking soda. Clean the whole area again with disinfectant cleaner.
Prevent roaches and lizards from entering the home by removing sources of food, and their possible habitats such as piles or newspaper, magazines and rags. Seal gaps around windows. Scroll down for more genius ways to keep these pests out of your house.
This article first appeared on Home&Decor, April 2016 / Last updated: May 2020
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