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Cockroaches

The cockroach is more than just a creepy nuisance pest that can survive freezing temperatures and a week without its head. This hearty creature can pose serious health risks to humans if it finds a way indoors. In fact, all types of cockroaches pick up germs on the spines of their legs as they crawl through decaying matter, which may be transferred to humans through food contamination. This can lead to illnesses such as E. coli and Salmonella.

In addition, cockroaches are linked to increased asthma and allergy attacks as their droppings, saliva and shed skin contain potent allergens known to trigger allergic reactions and exacerbate asthma symptoms, especially in children.

To remain safe and healthy from different types of cockroaches, pest control and management is key. However, with approximately 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world, and about 70 species found in the United States, it’s inevitable that some cockroaches will find a way inside homes. As a result, it’s important to pay close attention for signs of an infestation and take action if this pest is found.




American Cockroach (Periplaneta Americana)

BIOLOGY / CHARACTERISTICS

 

HABITAT

The American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, prefers warm and humid environments, usually with temperatures in excess of 82°F. Under the right conditions, they readily live outdoors and are common pests in zoos and animal-rearing facilities. They are also common in sewers, steam tunnels, and masonry storm drains. Occasionally they forage from sewers and other areas into the ground floor of buildings. American cockroaches are often found in sewers and basements, particularly around pipes and drains.

 

MANAGEMENT

To control American cockroaches, it is important to do a thorough inspection. A cockroach survey (trapping) is sometimes necessary to determine the extent of an infestation, as even a thorough inspection does not always reveal all cockroach harborages or foraging areas.

Modifying the interior environment—removing food, moisture, and harborages available to cockroaches—is the first step in treatment. Eliminating cockroach harborages involves caulking in closets and cabinets, caulking under the sink, etc., or making similar structural repairs in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of the house. To prevent the insects from establishing a breeding population, clean up all spilled food materials, including crumbs on the floor. Do not leave dirty dishes overnight.



German Cockroach (Blattella Germanica)

 

BIOLOGY / CHARACTERISTICS

HABITAT

German cockroaches can be found throughout structures but show a preference for warm and humid places. They are usually found in kitchens and secondarily in bathrooms, but infestations often occur in rooms where people eat and drink.

MANAGEMENT

To control German cockroaches, it is important to do a thorough inspection. Whenever possible, place survey traps either against a wall or in a corner of the floor, a shelf, or a drawer, or under equipment and counters.

A key factor in prevention is sanitation. Clean up all spilled foods, including crumbs on the floor. Do not leave dirty dishes overnight. Store items such as cereal, crackers, cookies, flour, sugar, and bread in airtight sealed containers. Empty garbage each evening into a sturdy container with a tightly fitted lid. Structural modifications such as caulking holes in walls where pipes pass through are necessary in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of the house in order to control German cockroaches.


Brown Banded Cockroach (Supella Longipalpa)

 

BIOLOGY / CHARACTERISTICS

 

HABITAT

Within a room, brownbanded cockroaches tend to prefer warmer, drier; preferring temperatures of about 80°F, about 5° to 10°F warmer than what German cockroaches prefer and higher locations than any of the other urban pest roaches. They are often found in upper cabinets or in rooms other than the kitchens or bathrooms. This species often hides its egg cases in or under furniture.

This species seeks out areas that are very warm most of the time, favorite locations include near the warm electrical components of appliances such as radios, televisions, and refrigerators.

They also infest animal-rearing facilities, kitchens, and hospitals.

 

MANAGEMENT

To control brownbanded cockroaches, it is important to do a thorough inspection, or survey. Cockroach surveys involve placing sticky traps at strategic locations within the building. Whenever possible, place survey traps either against a wall or in a corner of the floor, a shelf, or a drawer. One of the key factors is sanitation. Clean up spilled foods on the floor. Do not leave dirty dishes overnight. Store items such as cereal, crackers, and cookies in airtight containers. Empty garbage each evening into a sturdy container with a tight-fitting lid.

Brown-banded cockroaches can conceal themselves in many places that are inaccessible to larger species. Making structural modifications such as caulking (in cracks, crevices; around ducts, molding, etc.) is necessary in bedrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, and other areas of the house.