Cockroaches have been long despised by homeowners due to their creepy appearance. They are especially common in the heart of the home – the kitchen and in larger commercial buildings such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, food processing plants, hospitals, etc., where they usually infest food storage and food preparation areas, boiler rooms, steam tunnels and basements. These pests can also infest homes by easily passing underneath doors lacking weather stripping or entering through basement windows and garages. Once inside a residence, cockroaches usually make their way into the kitchen, bathroom, basement or laundry room in search of food and water.
Effective 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. Cockroaches feed on many kinds of food, but they show a particular fondness for fermenting material. Outdoors, they tend to eat decaying leaves, fungi, algae and small insects. Indoors, they eat crumbs found under appliances, in drains, behind kitchen cabinets and on the floor.
Cockroaches are one of the most common kitchen insects and health code violations in restaurants and other commercial kitchens, but they frequently infest household kitchens, too. These skilled hitchhikers can make their way into the heart of the home or business via cardboard boxes, grocery bags and beverage cartons. Cockroaches are also common in commercial premises associated with the production or handling of food. Also in public buildings and domestic premises eg apartment blocks. Gregarious and nocturnal, they spend the day hiding in cracks and crevices around such areas as sinks, drains, cookers, the backs of cupboards and in refrigerator motor compartments. They especially favour buildings with service ducts and complex plumbing installations. Infestations may be introduced as egg cases or adults in incoming laundry, on raw materials, in crates and packaging, or arise as the insects enter buildings via such routes as drains or refuse chutes.
Cockroaches are potential vectors of diseases such as dysentery, gastroenteritis, typhoid and poliomyelitis. Their diet is omnivorous and includes fermenting substances, soiled septic dressings, hair, leather, parchment, wallpaper, faeces and food for human consumption. The latter may be contaminated either by the mechanical transfer of causative agents of disease from the insect’s body, or by transmission in the faeces and hence can cause outbreaks of food. Cockroaches and their faeces may cause allergic reactions especially amongst sensitive individuals eg asthmatics. Exposure may result from ingestion or through the inhalation of materials derived from cockroaches in airborne dust. In addition, food may be tainted with the characteristic smell of the cockroach, which is produced by faeces and salivary/abdominal gland secretions, or by the dead insects.
Successful control of cockroaches is a complex subject, and depends very much upon tailoring control measures to the species concerned by experienced professionals. We at Pest Web are tailored to do just that! An assessment of the infestation must be made to determine the species and extent of the infestation. Plans of the area will be required. The entire site should be inspected, including where appropriate adjoining premises, normally inaccessible places, drains etc. A night survey is useful as this is the time of maximum insect activity. The survey may be carried out using cockroach monitoring traps, searching for droppings, cast skins and egg cases etc. A pyrethroid-based aerosol sprayed around and into potential hiding places will flush out cockroaches (other than the Oriental cockroach).
Hygiene / Management: A high standard of hygiene is important in the control of cockroaches and involves the following components:
Insecticidal Control: These should be administered with caution and involve:
Cockroaches are some of the most resilient pests in the world. They exhibit unique survival tactics, including the ability to live for a week without their head. This makes getting rid of cockroaches a difficult task for homeowners to do themselves. People can take steps, however, to mitigate cockroach problems through barrier exclusion and cleanliness. Barrier exclusion involves preventing cockroaches from entering the home through small cracks in walls, gaps near electric sockets and switch plates, and up through drains. Use a silicone-based caulk to seal these openings. Having a clean and sanitary home will also make it less inviting to cockroaches. Homeowners should keep counters, sinks, tables and floors free of clutter and crumbs. Don’t leave dishes pile up in the sink or spills marinate on the counter. It’s also good practice to store food in airtight containers, and avoid leaving pet food out in the open. Some other ways to prevent cockroaches include vacuuming at least once a week to remove food particles, ventilating crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup and running water periodically in spare bathrooms to keep u-traps filled.
If a cockroach infestation is suspected, contact a PestWeb professional today for advice on cockroach control and elimination. Our pest professionals will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment plan to get rid of these filthy and notorious bugs and help prevent a future problem!