Pest Control

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Controlling Roaches

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Among home pests, the cockroach is probably one of the most undesirable. Not only are they associated with unsanitary conditions, they also are known to create a foul odor, cause allergic reactions, and even carry diseases.

Identification and Habits

In the United States there are more than 50 known species of cockroaches. Many other insects have a similar look to cockroaches, but roaches have oval shaped bodies with antennae that is roughly the length of their body. They have six legs and are covered in spines. Although many adult roaches have fully developed wings, there are few species that actually fly. As with many insects, immature cockroaches look very much like adults, but are wingless.

There are three stages in the lifecycle of a cockroach: egg, nymph and adult. Egg cases the size of a kidney bean can hold between ten and fifty roach eggs, and in some species, the female will carry the case around until just before they are hatched.

Primarily nocturnal creatures, roaches are mostly active at night, but daylight activity can be an indication of infestation in an area. Usually the number of roaches that are seen are evidence of a larger population. Depending on the species of roach, their preferred habitats tend to change. Oriental and American cockroaches are prone to areas like basements and crawl spaces because of cooler temperatures. German cockroaches are found primarily in dark humid places that are close to food and water sources.

Infestation Control and Prevention

It is extremely important that an area that is thought to be infested be cleaned thoroughly to reduce roach populations and keep them from coming back. Since the insects need water and food to survive (although they are definitely a resilient creature), and limiting their ability to get to these places decreases their ability to keep reproducing and living. Minimize infestations by practicing some fairly basic cleanliness methods and by eliminating areas where they may thrive.

  • Vacuum around cracks and crevices so that they are free of food and debris. Make sure floors are swept free of food.
  • Keep counters clean from spills, especially overnight.
  • Be sure not to leave food, including pet food, out overnight, and keep stored food in airtight, insect proof containers that are made of metal, plastic or glass. All containers should have well fitted lids.
  • Wash dishes, pots, pans and utensils as quickly as possible.
  • Where condensation may be a problem, ventilation should be increased where possible.
  • Keep trash cans clean of food spills and take out the garbage daily.
  • Fix water pipes and faucets that leak.
  • Make sure that spaces and cracks along walls where roaches may hide are caulked and sealed.
  • Remove boxes, newspaper, and other clutter that may create hiding places.
  • When storing containers, make certain there is adequate space between them.

No matter the species, all roaches are scavengers and will survive on nearly any food source that they can find, including non food items like glue, bar soap and leather. Roaches are known to make group decisions and congregate in corners in large groups traveling along wall edges. They spend their time in tight narrow cracks where the surfaces touch them on either side.

Pest Control - Interesting Facts

Termites do more damage per year to homes than all fires, earthquakes and storms combined.