Everyone’s heard the joke. In the event of a nuclear war the only two things left alive would be cockroaches and Keith Richards.
While the radiation withstanding abilities of the Rolling Stone’s lead singer are a little doubtful, the cockroach is an amazingly resilient insect.
Studies show that the little beasties really are more radiation proof than humans. So, what does this mean for your extermination efforts?
How can you get these pests out of your home and keep them from coming back? There are several ways.
There are almost 4,000 species of cockroach in the world, but, of these, only a handful are actually considered pests.
The most familiar species are the American cockroach, the Asian cockroach, the German cockroach and the Oriental cockroach.
All of these species are relatively small, not usually measuring over 1 ½ centimeters. There are species which grow much larger, like the Australian burrowing cockroach; these critters can attain 80mm and 30 grams in weight.
Creepy, huh? That’s over 3 inches long, and over an ounce in weight. Prehistoric cockroaches were immense, thankfully they are all extinct now; could you imagine battling a foot long cockroach?
The household pests are nowhere near that stature, but that doesn’t mean they can’t impact peoples’ lives in a big way.
A study in ’05 showed that the presence of cockroaches in a home was one of the primary triggers for asthma attacks.
The same study showed that only 10% of the US population knew that cockroaches could affect their family’s health in any way.
Cockroaches cause problems other than health concerns as well. Many species like to dine on wood, much the way a termite colony does.
These rarely infest buildings, preferring to remain in the wild, munching on dead trees and other detritus, but they have been known to enter buildings.
Cockroaches also spread disease through their droppings, which they leave in trails behind them. Cockroaches also breed at an astounding rate; a female needs to mate only once in her year long life to lay over a million eggs.
Treatments and insecticides are available to treat cockroach infestations. These treatments range from baits to sprays and powders to traps.
Expert extermination is also a popular choice. If you decide to go with a do-it-yourself approach, it’s best to use more than one treatment method at a time.
Sprays- Sprays work well as far as killing on contact goes, but this will only treat the cockroaches you can spray immediately.
Many sprays say that they keep working once the spray has dried, and this is true; the problem lies with the fact that roaches can smell the treatment and will avoid it. Roaches can live for a month without food if necessary.
Gels- Many companies make cockroach bait in gel form. This product works well and can be placed anywhere, in cabinets, electrical switch covers and along cracks and crevices.
Follow the directions on the tube for best results.
Powders- Powders are another treatment that works well. These usually contain boric acid or another product which is poisonous to cockroaches.
When using powders, make sure you follow the directions on the container closely; these products can be harmful to people and pets.
Preventing a cockroach infestation is the best way to keep your home free of roaches. Once they’re in the house, they can be incredibly difficult to get rid of, and may require the assistance of professional exterminators.
You can prevent cockroaches from multiplying in your home by keeping food and other debris cleaned up as much as possible.
Roaches can live on anything that humans can, so food debris is a big concern when battling or preventing these beasties from invading your home.
Vacuum several times a week, wipe down counters frequently and clean any mess up as soon as possible.
True cockroach prevention starts outside, though. Frequently, they like to breed around trash cans and dumpsters; anywhere that there is a likely food source.
Keep these areas as clean as possible, removing any food debris quickly. Remove any wood or other debris that may be lying near the house and keep grass and weeds trimmed short.
While this may not sound like much, it’s the best way to keep roaches from entering the home.