DIY : Waterbug Prevention – Navigating Human – Medium

Water bugs do bite, they are feared sometimes. Their bite is painful and could potentially cause an allergic reaction, though it is highly unlikely. Because they are known to carry disease you need to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Depending on whether or not you have a sewer or drain, water bugs usually find their way into the septic tank/sewer, usually crawling through drains and pipes, and eventually make their way into your home. They generally prefer to live outdoors but can invade into basements or other damp, dark areas. They may be found in bathtubs and in kitchen sinks, and even can crawl in through sewer drain pipes. Yes, it’s possible for waterbugs to come up through the drain in your washer (washing machine). Water bugs can also enter your house through opened windows, doors, canalisation, ventilation ways, ducts or any cracks in the walls, which connect your rooms with outdoors.

The first step to get rid of water bugs is to clean your house, especially your kitchen. Clean the inside and outside of your house properly. Cleaning is key to keeping water bugs out of your commercial property.

Cleaning Inside The Home

  • Clean the inside of your house, remove any food particles gathered in the corners. Clean the floor under all surfaces, where it is possible to do: under tables, sofas, chairs, bed, wardrobe and so on. You will possibly move your furniture in order to do it. You should treat this tip seriously, since there is no sense in taking these steps if you are providing attractive dwellings for insects.
  • Kitchen. Be sure to clean your kitchen thoroughly. Deep clean the kitchen with a disinfectant. Be sure to pay special attention to areas where tiny food particles can go unseen such the toaster, toaster sides, the oven, oven sides and areas where these tiny creatures can find stale bread and crumbs. Make sure you include other kitchen appliances like the food processor, juicer, grill and other areas where food particles become trapped.
  • Sink. Learn to wash the dishes before going to bed. Even if you are rather tired, remember that cockroaches are waiting for you falling asleep and then they will be able to come out and start their dinner on your dirty plates.
  • Bathroom. It is also advisable to check your bathroom, since cockroaches are normally attracted with moisture and food, which is also available in this room. You will probably be surprised, but these insects can enjoy eating your soap or other cosmetics. It is highly recommended to wipe all the water in your bathroom. Not only do you wipe the water on the floor, but also on the walls or even in your bath or sink. In case there are no normal sources of water for cockroaches, they can search for several drops in your bath or even in the dirty dishes in your kitchen sink.
  • Clean your house thoroughly with detergents. Pay your attention on all the hidden places, which can’t be cleansed easily. Remember, that cockroaches are active at night, which means, that they will use dark corners for their breeding spot.
  • Clear all the bins and replace open bins with tight-fitting-lid bins. Don’t forget to clean the area under and around the bin as you may drop small food particles when throwing away trash.
  • Don’t forget to throw away all the trash you have in your bin and clean the bin with a detergent.

Cleaning Outside The Home

  • Clean your gutters and make sure there is no build-up of leaves and debris.
  • Pick up around your house and yard. Water bugs live in places that are rarely cleaned and moved. Outside, and around your house, certain areas that offer the right conditions (damp areas with high humidity) create the perfect home for them. Areas they prefer include: hollow trees, wood piles, compost piles, mulch
  • Spraying outside with a roach spray also helps. Stopping more from coming in and killing the water bugs already in your house is what it’s going to take to get rid them. Don’t wait around and give them a chance to settle in. Take the steps needed to eliminate them quickly.

As your waterbugs probably came in from the outdoors, search for nests and likely entry points into the house. This means you’ll have to poke around in those dark corners of the house that you rarely clean (and perhaps used only for long-term storage). Look for gaps around windows, doors, and pipes that penetrate the home’s exterior. Check for cracks in concrete floors and walls.

Identify where the nest or nests are located. This will help you get rid of the water bug problem in a quick and targeted manner. If you’re having trouble finding a nest, search at night in rooms that have been dark for a few hours, giving the bugs time to become active. Enter every room where you suspect they’re living, and turn on the light. If cockroaches are there, you’ll probably see them scatter. Watch where they go, and concentrate your eradication efforts there.

Look around your property and see if there are any standing water sources. They have a demand for water. Denying water and food can discourage water bugs. Look for standing water in and outside of the house. Pet water bowls, tarps, glasses of water, plant saucers, bird baths and rainwater can produce inviting places for water bug hatching. Note: Although they can exist for a week without drinking, they will actually leave the place if there is no water.

Examine your house for signs of ill-fitting doors or windows. Replace these items with tight-fitting items, so that bugs cannot enter.


  • Seal with caulk. Check all the cracks and the pipes and make sure there is no entry way for the waterbugs. You can use sealant to close any holes in the walls and floors. You may need to fill the holes with concrete so that the water bug finds no way to enter or leave. Moreover, you can also caulk the gaps in the insulation or the walls. Seal up all cracks, gaps, and openings that invite roach infiltration. This will reduce the number of water bugs in your house and remove ways for the water bugs to get in and set up a nest. If you examine any hole or space in doors and windows, you can fill the space with tight fitting items.
  • Fix water leaks. Fix leaky interior and exterior faucets, and repair basement walls where water is seeping in.
  • Roach Motels and Gels. Product application also may be used such as cockroach baits if needed. Success of products often relies on proper selection and placement.The traps are small boxes with a poison of high concentration. Water bugs are attracted by these traps, thus, they enter them and die after the first contact with the poison. They can be used effectively only in case you know where the nests of cockroaches are situated. In addition to it, highly infested places can still have the eggs of water bugs. Consider Advion bait stations.
  • Pesticides. If a waterbug makes contact with a pesticide, whether natural or synthetic, the insect will consume it while cleaning itself. In other words, whatever is on the roach will soon be in the roach.
  • Natural pest killers include concentrated distilled white vinegar; a mix of equal parts sugar and baking soda; borax and boric acid, which destroy the insects’ digestive tract; and essential oils like citronella. Apply liquid products — usually labeled “eco” or “green”) — to the nests and to all drains (tub, toilet, laundry room, and dishwasher), using a spray bottle. To apply powders (such as the longtime homeowner favorite Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder, available on Amazon), sprinkle the granules on, and near, nests and access sites. Hint: Use only a thin dusting, because these wily insects avoid large clumps.
  • Distilled White Vinegar. Pour 2 to 4 cups (0.4 to 0.9l) of distilled white vinegar down all of your drains. Include your dishwasher, bathtub and toilet as well as sinks.
  • Vinegar Spray. Another classical home remedy used for getting rid of water bugs is a vinegar spray. Not only does vinegar kill water bugs, but it also eliminate population of harmful bacteria spread by these insects. In order to use this remedy you just need to fill a spray bottle with vinegar. Pay your attention on the concentration of vinegar, since a higher concentration will give more positive results of the procedure.
  • Baking Soda x Sugar. Create a mixture of half powdered sugar and half baking soda. area of the water bug infestation. Wait for the bugs to die and remove them. You can make an effective trap for the pests by mixing equal amount of powdered sugar and baking soda. Don’t create dumps of powder when applying as bugs can easily avoid it. Sprinkle a thin dusting of this mixture near target areas and places where you have seen waterbugs. The critters will be attracted by the substance, thus, they will have a contact with it. When bugs come in contact with the baking powder mixture, it will attach to their legs and wings. As a result, there will be harmful reactions on their bodies, which will lead to the death of waterbugs. Over time, desiccation will occur and insects will dry-out. Although these reactions won’t kill your unwanted guests immediately, the injured cockroaches will bring the harmful substance to their nests and damage other insects. Eventually, they will die, and you won’t have any bugs in your home to worry about.
  • Boric Acid. One of the most popular home remedies and best ways for getting rid of waterbugs is using boric acid. This method is so popular, that one can even call it a traditional one. It can help you fight even the worst infestations. When water bugs come in contact with boric acid, it attaches to their legs and antenna. Bugs will ingest the acid that will eventually kill them. Boric acid attracts waterbugs, which are gradually killed by the contact with this substance because of its inflammatory properties. The acid also destroys the eggs and larva of water bugs. In addition to it, this remedy will kill the bacteria provided by pests. You can take boric acid and cover the surfaces of breeding spots or the entrances, which can be used by water bugs. Remember not to make thick layers of the acid powder, since the insects will simply avoid it. You can easily find boric acid at your nearest bug store.
  • Detergent Spray. You can also prepare a very simple and effective spray by diluting several tablespoons of antibacterial liquid dish detergent in water (the best proportions are 1 to 4). Spray the infested areas with liquid detergent as well as the entrance to your house, for example, window seals. You should leave the mixture even if the area is already wet. The detergent will damage the shells of water bugs. Moreover, it will disinfect the area from harmless bacteria.
  • Garlic x Soap. Consider a spray made of garlic and soap. This remedy is particularly powerful since it devastates the shells of cockroaches. In addition, this liquid has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. In order to prepare this mixture take a cup of water and boil it. Peel up to 7 cloves of garlic and put them into the boiling water. You should leave this “soup” for 20 minutes. Now you should take the garlic from the water, which should be left for cooling. When the water is not hot anymore, fill a spray bottle with it, adding liquid soap (a couple of teaspoons). You should shake the bottle in order to mix the substances very well. Now the remedy is ready for use. You should spray it in the infested places regularly in order to get rid of waterbugs.
  • Garlic x Cayenne Pepper x Onion. Another recipe for a homemade insecticide is a mixture of garlic, cayenne pepper and onion. Mixing all these ingredients together will give you a powerful weapon, which will kill all the pests in your household. Mix six cloves of garlic with one peeled onion in a blender. Then you should add 400–500 ml of water. Spread 20g of cayenne pepper in the liquid. The insecticide can be used directly to kill water bugs in their nests, or you can also strain the mixture and wipe all the surfaces with the water taken of the mixture.

To prevent a future bug infestation, it’s important to take certain preventive measures. Some simple steps you can take are below.

  • They are attracted to food and water, so the best way to prevent them is to make sure food and water are not left out in the open.
  • Confine meals to one part of the house.
  • When something falls on the floor or any liquid is split, you should wipe it immediately. Water bugs are attracted to moisture. Keep all the areas dry to discourage the water bugs.
  • Remove all food scraps regularly.
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the kitchen overnight.
  • Vacuum regularly to eliminate crumbs and other debris, and thoroughly clean the kitchen, including all appliances, with a disinfectant.
  • Use preventive home remedies every once in a while to fend off any potential infestations
  • Never leave uncovered food in the open. You should carefully seal and store all the food you have in the refrigerator or, at least in the containers with airtight-fitting lids to avoid attraction of water bugs or any other insects towards the food. Don’t leave any food out overnight. You shouldn’t leave any attractive food sources for pests.
  • Avoid keeping garbage and trash inside your home overnight as this can attract water bugs and many other kinds of pests. Take the trash outside daily. Keep garbage out of sight and covered using tight-lid recycling bins or trash cans. Empty them at least once a week. Remove garbage daily, if neighborhood covenants permit.
  • Clean up any clutter like old newspapers, cardboard boxes, or food containers from around your home and yard.
  • You should learn to wash the floors at home at least once a week, and twice a week in your kitchen.
  • Carry out the deep cleaning of your kitchen once a month to keep away cockroaches, waterbugs, and other insects.
  • At least once a month move the furniture of every room and clean properly behind it.
  • Clean rugs and carpets annually with a steam cleaner.


  • Tight-fitting food storage containers
  • Vinegar
  • Pesticide (natural or synthetic)
  • Covered recycling containers
  • Baking soda
  • Powdered sugar
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Cockroach/waterbug traps
  • Borax or boric acid
  • Vacuum
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Screens
  • Concrete sealant
  • Garbage cans with lids
  • Exterminator

It takes commitment and vigilance to keep waterbugs from staging a counterattack, but it’s worth the effort to purge your home of these creepy crawlies.


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