Cockroaches have been around for millions of years, evolving into some of the most adaptable pests on Earth. There are approximately 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world. About 70 of these species are found in the United States. Cockroaches are commonly found in buildings and homes because they prefer warm environments close to food and water. Unfortunately, cockroaches can cause allergies and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. They can also spread nearly 33 different kinds of bacteria.
EXTERMINATION AND COCKROACH CONTROL
Cockroaches have been long despised by homeowners due to their creepy appearance. Cockroach pest control and management are important for health and safety reasons, because cockroaches are known to cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. They also spread nearly 33 kinds of bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella. Visit one of our pest guides below to see various types of cockroaches, as well as find information on cockroach prevention and extermination.
HOW CAN I PREVENT COCKROACH INFESTATION?
- The first line of defense against cockroaches is sanitation.
- Cockroaches eat the same food as people and therefore sanitation is the most important control strategy. Clean up clutter, leftover food, crumbs, soft drink bottles, etc. Empty garbage before turning lights out at night or keep garbage in tied plastic bags.
- Cleaning is an extremely important aspect of cockroach control. In addition to storing foods properly, clean up after food preparation, and properly store and dispose of garbage.
- Kitchens should be given periodic thorough cleanings. Be sure to concentrate on areas where grease accumulates such as stoves, exhaust vents and drains. Keep counters clean. Pick up pet food between feedings. Clean up dirty dishes and do not allow them to set in water overnight.
- Habitat management and reducing access to food and water are very important in controlling cockroaches. All food should be stored in tight containers that roaches cannot penetrate. Cockroaches can chew through paper and cardboard (they are notorious for living inside of and eating paper shopping bags). Glass jars with screw-cap lids, and strong, tight, plastic containers are ideal.
- Common places for roach entry are cracks in walls, open areas around pipes, vents, and windows. Seal these entry points with caulk or another sealing compound.
- Place screens over vents and windows. This is particularly effective in apartments where roaches can easily move from apartment to apartment along pipes and ductwork.
- Habitat modification is very important in roach control. Roach survival is higher with high humidity and drinking water. Humidity can be reduced with a dehumidifier. Access to drinking water can be reduced by fixing leaky faucets and pipes. Reduce sources of moisture from condensation by improving ventilation.