Cockroaches Are Destructive and UnhealthyCockroaches are destructive and feed on books and their bindings, and damage paper products, and clothing. Additionally, the cockroaches’ fecal material can contaminate food and it stains. Cockroaches leave pellets or secrete an oily liquid. The oily liquid has a very foul, offensive odor. This oily liquid can ruin food and stain your belongings. Additionally, cockroaches produce allergens, which include their feces, shed skins, and body parts such as antennae and legs and can cause mild to severe rashes, other allergic reactions, and asthma attacks.
Cockroach LifecycleCockroaches have three life stages – egg, nymph and adult. Cockroach eggs are deposited in groups in a capsule called an ootheca. This capsule is usually dropped or glued to a surface by the female. However, the female German cockroach carries the capsule protruding from her body until the eggs are ready to hatch. There are 30 to 48 eggs in the capsule of the German cockroach, but capsules of other cockroaches may have only 10 to 28 eggs. The newly hatched nymphs have no wings and shed their skins several times before becoming winged adults.
Cockroach Hiding PlacesCockroaches hide in dark, moist places during the day and come out at night to feed. Tight spaces such as stacks of newspaper or cardboard, piles of clothing, or cracks and crevices are ideal hiding places for cockroaches. Cockroaches can be found around the kitchen sink or greasy appliances, in cracks around or underneath cupboards and cabinets or inside them (especially in the upper corners), behind drawers, around pipes and plumbing, behind window or door frames, behind loose baseboards or molding strips, on the underside of tables and chairs.
Having Cockroaches Doesn’t Mean Your a Bad HousekeeperCockroaches infest the cleanest of living spaces when brought in by hiding in the folds of paper bags, clothing or cardboard boxes. They also sneak in through backpacks and briefcases and crawl through tiny crevices and cracks in the wall or base of the floor. They enter your home through open windows and doors and through screen vents, door and window frames, weather stripping and through plumbing.
Cockroaches can easily travel from one business or apartment to another. Structures that are separated by a common wall are particularly difficult when controlling a cockroach problem. An infestation can travel between apartments through the plumbing within a common wall.
Cockroach SurvivalCockroaches need water to survive. German cockroaches can survive only 12 days with food but no water. However, if only water is present with no food, cockroaches can survive for about 42 days. Cockroaches often come indoors during periods of drought because they are looking for a water source.
Sanitation – The key to repelling and preventing infestations
- Store and dispose of garbage properly. The highest concentration of cockroaches in a home is usually around the garbage can and around the refrigerator.
- Dump sink strainers frequently to prevent food buildup.
- Wipe off counters tops often.
- Wash dishes immediately after use. Dishes left unwashed are a major source of food for a kitchen infestation.
- Keep kitchen appliances such as toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, stoves, ovens, and refrigerators free of crumbs and other food debris.
- Reseal all food after opening, place in a tightly sealed container or store in the refrigerator.
- Seal pet food tightly. Do not leave food and water out all the time.
- Regularly vacuum or sweep under and around furniture where people eat, such as the dining room table. Vacuuming can also remove cockroach egg cases that will not be killed by insecticides. Promptly dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in an outdoor trash container.
- Pull mulch away from the house. Cockroaches thrive and breed in mulch.
- Keep shrubs and ornamentals well-trimmed and away from the house.
- Keep clutter such as newspapers, bags, and clothing from accumulating.