How to Deal with One of the World’s Fastest Insects
Cockroaches are everywhere in New York, both in the city and on Long Island, especially during this time of year. Clean up your crumbs, take out your trash, seal up your cracks, and unless you get unlucky, you should be in decent shape, but even so, there’s only so much we can actually do.
In some ways, though, we should seriously respect these creepy-crawlers. Yes, they’re disgusting; yes, they spread disease; and yes, they take over without much trying, to the point that professional services are necessary to eliminate them.
Facts About Cockroach
Read the following facts about the German cockroach and American cockroach, America’s most common varieties, and tell us you don’t at least respect the hustle:
- A cockroach can live without its head for up to a week!
That’s an honest-to-goodness fact. Eventually, it will die of thirst because it needs its head to drink water; if not for that, they could live for up to a month without eating.
- Cockroaches tend to die on their backs because they can’t turn themselves back over.
Most pesticides cause muscle spasms that cause cockroaches to involuntarily flip over onto their backs. Once in that position, without help from something close on which their feet can gain purchase, they aren’t able to right themselves.
- Cockroaches can reach adulthood in as little as 36 days.
An adult female cockroach lays on average between 180-320 eggs in her six-month lifespan. If only a fraction of those eggs mature to adulthood, look out!
- Scientific studies have shown American cockroaches are among the world’s fastest insects.
They can reach speeds of up to 3.4 miles per hour. They can pivot quickly, dart across ceilings and then vanish into tiny cracks and crevices in your home or building.
How to Identify a Roach Problem in Your House
Whether or not you respect them, any cockroach infestation needs to be dealt with pronto, for both health and general cleanliness reasons. To tell if you have a cockroach problem, look (and smell) for the following five signs of cockroach infestations.
1. Live cockroaches
This may seem too obvious to include in a list of signs of the cockroach infestation, but many people may not realize that seeing even just one cockroach in your home during the day likely means you have an infestation.
Cockroaches don’t like the light, so if one has been bold enough or lost enough to venture into the light, it means they were already nearby. Also, if your lights are off at night but you turn them on and notice roaches, this is another clear indication of a roach infestation.
And cockroaches don’t live alone. If you see one in the daytime, many more are probably lurking in the nest somewhere in the dark, waiting for the lights to go out. Many people with a cockroach infestation are shocked to enter their kitchen at night, turn on the lights, and see the horde of cockroaches swarming for cover.
Needless to say, if you see a lot of cockroaches, the problem has reached a critical stage.
2. Dead cockroaches
It would be nice if that dead cockroach you found just wandered into your home on its dying legs. But don’t count on it! It’s much more likely that’s it’s just one member of a nest who simply happened to die.
3. Cockroach droppings
Some feces will resemble pepper and coffee grounds, while larger roaches expel cylindrical feces, like mice droppings but tinier.
4. Discarded shell casings
Cockroaches shed their skin as they mature, and so if you find small, dark-brown oval exoskeletons, they could well be signs of infestation.
5. That smell!
Many species of cockroaches emit pheromones that will create a distinctive, powerful, and unpleasant oily, musty odor. The worse an infestation is, the worse the smell. It can get pretty bad.
“Many people may not realize that seeing even just one cockroach in your home during the day likely means you have an infestation.”
DIY Method or Professional Pest Control to Get Rid of Roaches?
You probably don’t even like the idea of one cockroach in your house, let alone a full-blown invasion of the disgusting pests. Cockroach infestations can be a nasty business if you don’t know how to get rid of them.
These household bugs are especially resilient, but luckily, there are a number of ways to exterminate them; all it takes is a little know-how. Let’s take a look at a few proven methods.
Method #1: Use good ol’ pesticides
A can of bug spray is typically the first thing a homeowner reaches for when they notice a cockroach in the house. While this can be effective, there are a few drawbacks. First, it could create a bad reaction to the toxic chemicals found in most over-the-counter pest control products. The effects could be damaging to you for many years. These products can even affect your children and pets.
Second, over-the-counter pesticides don’t have much of a residual effect, which lowers the number of insects that will be killed by the spray. Using store-bought products doesn’t treat the cause of the problem, which means you’ll still have a problem on your hands. And finally, cockroaches are known to build up an immunity when exposed to pesticides.
Method #2: Set up cockroach bait
This is a popular method that is often utilized by professionals. The bait can come in different forms, but the way they work is basically the same. You line the edges of your counters, corners of your cabinets, and various other locations with the substance, and the cockroaches are drawn to it.
They then carry the poison back to their nest and feed it to their young. This helps spread the poison inside the nest, which can have a huge impact on the number of cockroaches.
Method #3: Call a professional pest control company
Sometimes, cockroach infestations can be more than a homeowner can handle. If you’ve tried other methods, with little or no success, it would be wise to let an expert take care of the problem. A pest control professional can evaluate your home, and then advise you on what your best strategy will be.
They will take pets, children, time constraints, and other issues into consideration. They will also guarantee their work so that you can rest assured that the bugs will be gone.
Method #4: Take steps to prevent future infestations
Getting rid of cockroach infestations is rather pointless if you’re not going to change your habits to keep it from happening again. These insects, much like others, are drawn into your house because you have food and shelter. It is important that you keep all of your leftovers in sealed containers and take out your garbage on a regular basis.
Also, take a look around the perimeter of your home and see if there are any cracks or gaps that the cockroaches could fit through, and make sure you seal them right away.
It Happens, but It Can Be Fixed
If you see any of these signs of the cockroach infestation, don’t get down on yourself. Cockroaches can be a problem in even the best-kept of homes. And certainly, don’t resign yourself to living with the infestation. Cockroach problems can easily be brought under control by pest control specialists.
The pest control company can then regularly treat your home to keep it free of the nasty pests, which can spread disease, contaminate food, cause allergic reactions, and exasperate breathing problems–not to mention creep you out. Help is only a phone call away.
Cockroaches breed very fast and if you do not quickly get the problem under control, you may have a really big problem on your hands. Don’t wait, act now to rid yourself of this problem.***
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