The cockroaches lurking in the walls of your building hate the smell of peppermint. They are also much smarter at night than they are in the morning. This news about the critters’ behavior was recently published by the National Academy of Sciences. And it could have practical applications for killing bugs in your apartment. “Morning is when you’ll find them collected in one place, possibly sleeping—it’s debatable whether cockroaches actually sleep—so if you wanted to nail them with insecticide at that time, that might work,” suggests Terry Page, the Vanderbilt biology professor who wrote the report and has studied roaches for three decades. But your best bet, according to Andy Linares, president of Manhattan’s Bug Off Pest Control Center, is a new version on an old standby: Maxforce FC Magnum, a pesticide approved for use by state regulators just last month, kills roaches on contact. “It’s getting dramatic results,” Linares says. And what about the time-of-day stuff? “That sounds too goofy to believe.”
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