For many of us cockroaches are the stuff of nightmares! They are relentless, spread quickly, are disgusting, fast, and can survive almost anything. For most, they are synonymous with germs and dirt, and we all easily agree that these are pests to be avoided and that no one wants to see them in their home.
Their bad reputation is actually quite warranted! Serious diseases such as dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, infections with fevers, and significant allergies and respiratory conditions have all been attributed to the presence of cockroaches in the home. They even carry an antigen that is believed to contribute to or pose a health risk to those with asthma.
Why are they drawn to our homes? While it is important to know what attracts them and what we can do to reduce the risk of a cockroach infestation, it is important to note that sometimes it happens anyway and it may not be your fault at all, these pests want to infiltrate your home because it provides for all their needs. They want easy access to food, they need water or humidity, and warmth. Once they find these things, they set up shop, multiply rapidly and do what they do best….run, hide, survive, and spread everywhere! They come out at night primarily. In fact, if you are seeing them in the daylight, this probably means that the infestation in your home is extremely advanced and they are experiencing crowded conditions within their hiding places. Not a welcome thought, but true!
Probably the aspect of this particular pest that causes the most concern for homeowners is how well they survive almost anything! They are very difficult to eliminate or control once they have taken up residence in your home. This is due to several factors including the fact that they can eat almost anything to survive and can even go without food for a long time. This means that once they have been spotted, and homeowners begin being very vigilant with managing food, crumbs, and garbage, the cockroaches can simply wait it out. They will remain lurking and searching and soon find another food source. They also are expert hiders, and seek dark places behind or within boxes, books, piles, pipes, between wall voids, shelving etc.
Clearly prevention is key. There are some good basic practices which can discourage (but not entirely eliminate) the threat of a cockroach infestation. The first one that most of us think of is to keep things clean. Dirty dishes left to languish in the sink give out odors that are attractive to cockroaches, as does garbage that is not removed frequently. Crumbs or food particles left on counter tops, and even pet food that is spilled and ignored can attract them as well. Other attractive smells and locations include moist or leaky pipes, mildew, moldering or overgrown landscaping and yard debris. Good housekeeping and maintenance will go a long way towards preventing an infestation. Unfortunately, that isn’t always enough, as these bugs are opportunistic. If they find a way into the safe and plentiful haven of your home, they will take it, and they will do their best to spread and stay.
A very effective type of prevention involves regular visits from your local pest control company. They can help you to keep these pests at bay with professional products and knowledge. They can even point out trouble spots on your property so that they can be repaired or eliminated.