Integrated pest management eliminates more cockroaches and mice than repeated applications of pesticides can do.

Good housekeeping is better than using insecticides to get rid of bugs as a new study suggests that by following some simple pest control methods people can keep their homes free from bugs.

The study conducted in 169 apartments in Brooklyn and Manhattan concludes that making your home an unattractive place for pests by fixing leaky pipes, filling cracks in walls and gaps under baseboards and thoroughly cleaning pest hot spots like kitchens and bathrooms, people can keep their places safe from pests, reported journal Scientific American.

A single use of these techniques — named integrated pest management or IPM by pest control professionals — in these apartments eliminated more cockroaches and mice than repeated applications of pesticides in other buildings could do, said Daniel Kass, lead author of the study and director of environmental surveillance and policy at the New York Health Department.

In addition, presence of asthma-triggering allergens related to cockroaches were between 40 and 70 per cent less in the residences using preventive techniques than those using standard insecticides, Mr. Kass said.

Good housekeeping techniques not only minimise chemical use, but they are also even more effective at controlling pests than hiring an exterminator to spray powerful and toxic pesticides, the study concludes.