It’s been said that cockroaches could survive nuclear winter.
When all other life on the planet is decaying and crumbling, cockroaches will be there to skitter around in the dark, climbing out of sewer drains and rampaging through kitchens in search of whatever morsel of human food they can find. It’ll be business as usual.
It’s a wonder, then, that modern extermination services can successfully rid your home of these gross bugs before they spread illness throughout your family. Let’s see exactly what makes cockroaches dangerous to have in your home, and then look at ways to kick them out for good.
Where do cockroaches come from?
Cockroaches can gain entry into your house through the sewers. They nest in warm, humid places like drains and heating vents and from there can access most any room in your home.
Still, you’re likely to find them in your kitchen or pantry; after all, that’s where the food is.
What do cockroaches eat?
Your burger, your macaroni and cheese, your Caesar salad with freshly baked croutons — cockroaches will climb over all of it in search of something they find appetizing. Herein lies the problem: when a cockroach climbs over the food you left laying on the counter (or the crumbs behind the oven you can’t reach) it leaves microbes, mites, and other toxic substances behind.
As these toxic substances fester, the chance that your kids will pick up a heinous illness increases quickly.
Can cockroaches make my family sick?
Yes they can. If you forego professional pest control in favor of store-bought traps and poisons, sure, you might kill a few roaches. But you’re not killing the generations of cockroach eggs and larvae that are already growing, so your problem will only return later on.
Cockroaches can cause asthma, allergic reactions and even dysentery from the microbes they leave behind as they crawl around your kitchen.
What do cockroaches look like?
There are several varieties of cockroaches in the United States: the American cockroach, the German cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. Although the methods to get rid of cockroaches are more or less the same, it still helps to know what each variety is capable of.
For example, Oriental cockroaches lack the type of feet that allow them to climb vertical surfaces, so you’ll almost always see them on the ground. They grow to about an inch in length and also sport a crooked set of wings.
German cockroaches can have a golden hue to a near-black appearance. They are the smallest variety at less than an inch in length, but they are known to be voracious eaters. If they can’t find meat, starch, or sugar products, you’ll see them feasting on your soap or toothpaste.
American cockroaches are the largest variety at 1.5 to 2 inches in length. Most people are familiar with this type due to their prevalence in the continental States. To make things worse, the American variety can fly.
How do I get rid of cockroaches?
The best defense is always a clean home. Call your local exterminator to set up an appointment for a thorough treatment that will not only kill the adult insects, but the immature eggs as well.
Keep food off of countertops overnight, especially in the summer (the warm environment makes cockroaches even more prevalent). And remember, even though they may be able to survive nuclear winter, cockroaches are no match for a good boot.