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Cockroaches are insects that are classified within the same order as termites, and are considered one of the more primitive insects in existence today. They are considered to be generalized insects, having developed none of the more specialized traits seen in many other insect species. That generalized nature also helps to make them extremely adaptable to a wide variety of environments around the world.

Cockroaches are considered a social species of insect, and tend to gather in groups in an exhibition of what scientists refer to as swarm behavior. Infestations that begin with a single cockroach can grow larger as others of their kind follow their fecal trails in an attempt to discover new food and water sources. Those fecal trails often contain pheromones that the insects use to identify different roach populations. Scientists have extensively studied this social behavior and discovered that populations of roaches appear to make decisions in a collective manner, apparently cooperating in complex ways to ensure that they organize themselves in a way that enables sustained exploitation of available resources.

Quick Facts About the Roach

  • Most roach species are winged, and they all have oval bodies that are relatively flat. Their heads contain antennae, and a mouth that chews in the same way many other scavengers consume food. Their legs have evolved in a way that facilitates surprisingly rapid movement, acceleration, and rapid turning.

  • Roaches are nocturnal in nature, preferring to hide within cracks during daylight hours.

  • There are some 4,000 species of cockroaches on the planet, with most of them found in warmer environments. They are a hardy species, however, and exist in virtually every climate – including the arctic and desert regions of the world.

  • Most cockroaches are not pests and instead fulfill an important role in nature. In fact, only a few dozen species are actually considered to be pests.

  • Cockroaches are omnivores, meaning that they will consume just about anything they find. While they gravitate toward sweetened food sources, they are capable of surviving on everything from leather and glue to grease, hair, and soap.

  • That incredible ability to survive on just about any item it eats is due to the cockroach’s complex relationship with certain symbiotic bacteria that exist within their fatty tissue. These bacteroides are present at birth within each cockroach, and manufacture nutrients such as amino acids and vitamins for the host, enabling roaches to eat even nutrient-free items.


       How to Know When Infestations Occur

  • One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with cockroaches involves their nocturnal nature. Like rats and mice, it is often possible to have cockroaches infesting your building for months before you ever become aware that there is a problem. Often times, the first indication is when a cockroach is seen in the early evening hours, or when a dead roach is discovered under a sink or near a drain. By that time, however, there is usually a larger infestation present.

  • If your property includes many areas with cracks, drains, or other confined spaces, or if you have a nearby garden, there is always the chance that cockroaches may make their way into your home or business. They are drawn to areas with food and water, which makes kitchens and bathrooms especially attractive. However, damp basements – either cool or humid, depending on the type of roach, are also attractive locales. They can also hide in the cracks of cupboards, in grease traps, or among newspaper and magazine stacks.

  • If you even suspect that your home or business might have a cockroach problem, you should begin with an effort to inspect the premises. Obviously, the best way to do that is to search those areas in which the creatures are most likely to live: cracks, crevices, and damp, dark spots throughout the building. If you have a good idea where roaches might be living, you can always leave out so-called roach stations or traps to see if you can catch some. These traps will bait cockroaches and trap them. While this is not a particularly effective way to deal with any infestation involving more than a handful of the creatures, it can be an effective way to determine whether you actually have a problem that needs attention.


        Preventing Infestation

  • Roaches have long been considered a sign of poor hygiene and a general lack of cleanliness. While this is not entirely the case – these creatures do seek out human habitations because they fulfill their primary needs, after all – there are certain things that you can do to help prevent infestations from occurring in the first place. And yes, these preventive measures tend to be centered around cleanliness.

  • Make sure that the home or office building is cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis, with particular emphasis given to bathrooms, kitchens, and anywhere food is either stored or prepared. Don’t forget those common areas of neglect like around and behind the stove, behind and under the refrigerator, and so on.

  • Don’t leave trash sitting around in your home. Be sure to empty trash bins daily, since many roaches can be drawn to that sort of decaying matter. It is also a good idea to keep outside rubbish bins some distance away from the home to discourage entry by roaches which might be out exploring and scavenging for food.

  • Avoid leaving pet food out when domestic animals are not feeding. Roaches can be drawn to the food and will invariably contaminate it. That can make your animals sick, and lead to expensive veterinary bills that are otherwise easily avoidable.

  • Seal up food in plastic containers. Roaches can chew through cardboard and bags, contaminate the contents, and cause illness for any humans who come into contact with the spoilage. Get into the habit of disposing of cardboard containers and relying on more effective sealing methods.

  • Make routine home checks to identify any cracks or other gaps that could be used by roaches as hiding places. Seal them up as soon as they are found to ensure that new roach populations don’t find their way into your home or office.

  • Keep compost heaps, gardens, and other roach attractions at a safe distance away from the home, to limit the enticements that might otherwise make them aware of your living space.

  • Contacting the Professionals

  • As effective as smaller trapping systems can be at capturing specimens to identify an existing infestation, it is often unwise to rely upon do-it-yourself methods to attempt to completely eradicate the problems. The better solution is to contract a competent, licensed pest control company and allow the professionals to come in and take stock of the situation. Qualified companies have the tools and expertise needed to identify the roaches, determine just how bad the problem is, and select the ideal solution to rid you of these pests once and for all. Remember, if you do it yourself and miss even a handful of the creatures, their rapid breeding will result in a renewed infestation in no time at all.

  • A professional pest control service will begin by conducting an evaluation of the problem. They will inspect the building to identify the extent of the infestation, determine the best range of options for resolving the matter, and make recommendations about what needs to be done to make your home cockroach-free. Once you approve the process, they will implement the roach removal strategy to ensure that your home or office is free from this disgusting pest.

  • Competent pest control doesn’t end with removing the infestation, however. If roaches found their way into your building, then there is every reason to believe that other roaches will be able to do so as well. To prevent that, roach control experts will work with you to identify the points of entry that roaches could be using to gain access to your home. They will then help you to ensure that cracks and other entry areas are properly sealed to ensure that no additional infestation occurs in the future. That can help to provide a more lasting solution than any do-it-yourself removal effort might produce.

  • That’s why it is so important to consider contacting professionals to deal with any pest infestation. And where roach problems are concerned, it is vital to contact the pros as early as possible. Remember, if you see a roach during the day, that is a good sign that the population is extremely large. The good news is that real help is always just a phone call away!

German cockroaches can be a major problem in commercial kitchens, restaurants, pubs, cafes and in our homes as they are prolific breeders, and can live in refrigerators and in ovens as well as the smallest cracks and crevices. They are a relatively small cockroach, ranging from nymphs (young insects) the size of a pinhead to adults up to 15–25 mm long.

Australian, American and to a lesser degree the smoky brown cockroaches can be found throughout buildings. They are much larger than the German cockroach, up to 30–55 mm, and they have the ability to fly at night.

Cockroaches typically are nocturnal, if you’ve seen one, you probably haven’t seen them all. The few cockroaches you see by day means they were likely forced out by overcrowding; a possible sign of severe infestation.

Cockroaches have been implicated in the spread of over 30 diseases such as Salmonella, which is a major cause of food poisoning.

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