Cockroaches are nocturnal insects that prefer to live in dark, moist places such as behind stoves and refrigerators, under sinks and floors, and inside drains, motors and household appliances. Their flattened bodies enable them to fit in narrow spaces which means these insects can also hide in wall cracks, under the wallpaper and beneath rubber mats.
These loathsomeinsects will cause a number of problems when they invade your home. Roaches will contaminate food and surfaces which poses the risk of diseases, produce an offensive odour that taints everything they touch, and their excretes could trigger allergies and worsen asthma for some people.
Roaches are hardy
Cockroaches have been identified as some of the hardiest creatures around. These insects can go for a month without food and can survive for up to seven days without a head. A roach submerged in water can hold its breath for up to 45 minutes, and scientists suspect that the insects would be one of the few surviving species in a nuclear holocaust.
This hardiness,combined with their ability to breed rapidly, make a cockroach infestation difficult to control once it has taken root.
Signs that you have a cockroach infestation
Here’re some of the more prominent signs that you should look out for to catch cockroach infestations before they spread (source Pestrol Australia):
- Live and dead insects. Although cockroaches are pretty hard to spot alive since they’re nocturnal, you can see the insects scampering away when you flip on the lights at night. You might also stumble upon dead roaches as you clean your house.
- Egg cases.Roaches reproduce by laying numerous eggs contained in one large brownish case called the ootheca. You’ll find these egg cases in your house if you have an infestation.
- Offensive odour.Cockroaches produce an offensive odour that taints food and surfaces when they gather in large numbers.
- Cockroach droppings may appear as raised smears on different surfaces or resemble coarse coffee grounds or ground black pepper.
How can you prevent a cockroach infestation?
There are several things you can do to ensure cockroaches do not invade your home. These include:
- Keeping your home clean. Wash your dishes and vacuum and sweep your floors regularly to get rid of food crumbs that could attract roaches.
- Seal entry points. Inspect your home and cover any gaps in the walls that could let in pests. Also, install door sweeps to prevent roaches from squeezing in under your doors.
- Cover your garbage. Make sure your garbage is covered tightly to prevent access for cockroaches scavenging for food.
- Fix leaky plumbing.Fixing your leaky plumbing denies pests access to water and moisture giving them one less reason to want to stick around.
- Protect your food. Store your food in secure containers to ensure pests such as cockroaches cannot get to it.
If you identify a cockroach infestation in your home, you can use the following methods to get rid of the pesky pests:
- Using an insecticide to control roaches is one of the most commonly used and effective ways of getting rid of these insect pests. Just make sure that you reapply the insecticide several times to ensure that all roaches are killed including the newly hatched nymphs. (Roaches are tough, so it takes a bit of persistence to get rid of them.)Using an automatic insecticide dispenser will help reduce the work for you as the device will respray the insecticide at set intervals to keep your home continuously protected.
- You can also control a cockroach infestation using traps. These are especially ideal for situations where you do not want to use an insecticide. Cockroach traps can also be used as an early detection mechanism to identify infestations early for easier control.