The World Health Organization has called cockroaches “unhygienic scavengers in human settlements.” The resilient pests move into human homes and build their nests. Then, they do their best to stay hidden.
Once cockroaches move into your house, it is difficult to get rid of them. The best resource for prevention and extermination is a pest control company like Stampede Pest Control. This way, you can keep your family safe from the health hazards these pests pose.
Cockroaches: The Basics
Cockroaches have flat, oval-shaped bodies with distinct heads. They also have six spiny legs that they use to run and climb. Roaches have wings, though only some species use them for flight.
More often, male roaches can fly when females cannot. Young roaches look like the adult versions, but they don’t have wings. Most roaches have a pair of antennae.
The most common species found in the U.S. include German, oriental, American, and brown-banded cockroaches:
- American cockroaches are the largest of the four common species. They measure up to three inches and are reddish-brown.
- German cockroaches and brown-banded cockroaches are similar in length — about half an inch long. Both are light brown, but the brown-banded roaches have brown lines on their wings.
- Oriental cockroaches are black insects that measure about an inch in length.
The Dangers of Cockroaches
If you see a cockroach, the odds are good that there are more. Homeowners don’t have to worry about roach bites, but they do need to worry about pathogens, viruses, and bacteria.
You might see skins or egg sacks before you see the roaches. Roaches know how to hide, and most are active at night, so homeowners usually do not see them. Sadly, this means that a cockroach infestation can stay hidden for a long time.
When roaches move in, they can contaminate your home, including kitchens and pantries. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 63% of homes in the United States have cockroaches in them. Many homeowners do not realize it.
Cockroaches as Disease Carriers
Because cockroaches crawl around in dumpsters, sewers, and other filthy areas, they pick up pathogens on their legs, bodies, and feet. When they enter homes, they crawl over countertops, in cabinets, and on floors, where they spread diseases.
Diseases associated with cockroaches include:
- Typhoid fever
Cockroaches also carry pathogens like:
According to the Journal of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Research, cockroaches are a common allergen. The enzymes from their droppings, skins, and egg sacs trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
The allergy attacks make sufferers start sneezing and coughing. They also trigger watery eyes and itchy skin. Asthma attacks cause wheezing, making it difficult to breathe. People who are allergic to cockroaches can take antihistamine medications to reduce the severity of their reactions and asthma attacks.
To help with allergic reactions, people with roaches in their homes need to exterminate them. Then, decontaminate the area where they set up their nests.
How to Prevent a Cockroach Infestation
The best method for preventing a cockroach infestation is to keep your home clean. Sweep daily and vacuum weekly to prevent crumbs from attracting roaches.
Roaches enter homes through cracks in the foundation and gaps around utility pipes. You can keep roaches out by using caulk to seal openings and installing door sweeps. Roaches also like to hide under appliances, so clean under and around those.
Another way to prevent roaches from entering your home is by removing clutter. Paper bags, cardboard boxes, piles of newspapers, and other items give roaches great hiding spots. Don’t forget to clean dirty dishes and store food in airtight containers, as well.
It is also important to fix leaking pipes, water heaters, and gutters. They create standing water for roaches to drink. To remove moisture, install dehumidifiers in your laundry room, basement, and bathrooms.
Cockroaches can pose a threat to human health, and getting rid of them is difficult. The best solution is to keep them from moving into your home in the first place. For additional help, turn to Stampede Pest Control. With our highly effective techniques and top-of-the-line treatments, you can rest assured that roaches will be gone for good.
Call today for a free quote!