When you think of cockroaches, you envision a nightmare infestation in a dirty and heavily cluttered house. While this may be an extreme case, these creepy crawlies can come in, unannounced, into your spotless home as well. While they do not create much structural damage in the house, they can be a big health hazard and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
Who is Mr. Roach and why should he not live in your house?
Cockroaches are insects from the order Blattodea. While there are over 3,000 types of cockroaches around the world, roughly 30 species are household pests. The most common are the German, American, Oriental and Brown-Banded cockroaches. They measure anywhere from one to five centimeters long and have six legs. They have a flat body, which is perfect for squeezing through cracks and crevices and into your home. The hindrance starts from there.
While roaches are ugly and prove a nuisance in the house, they can spread disease and bacteria, such as salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus. They pick up these nasty germs by crawling through garbage and then scuttling onto food preparation surfaces. Roaches will generally live where food, water and shelter are available.
Do I have cockroaches? How would I know?
Just because you don’t see cockroaches does not mean they do not live comfortably in your house!
A sure sign of a cockroach infestation, besides actually seeing the bugs (which are nocturnal), is their feces. This resembles coffee grinds or specks of pepper. Cockroach feces act as allergens and are harmful to asthmatics. Children who are exposed to the feces can also develop respiratory problems, as the allergens become airborne.
Are all cockroaches the same?
No. There are different types of cockroaches!
Here is a breakdown of the most common roach species and where they can be found in the home:
- Brown Banded: prefer warm, humid environments and can be found in ceilings, attics and inside and around appliance motors.
- German: prefer wet and humid conditions and can be found in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Oriental: prefer cool, damp areas and can be found in basements, drains and underneath porches.
- American: prefer dark, humid and undisturbed areas and can be found in subfloors, basements, kitchens, roofs and bathrooms.