Cockroaches are considered a serious urban pest as they're known to spread disease, contaminate our food and cause allergies and/or asthma, particularly in populations of the very young and the elderly. Generally, they live in filth and as they travel looking for food and water they transfer germs from trash and/or sewage into our living spaces.
They are known to cause infection by carrying bacteria such as Staphylococcus spp. & Streptococcus spp., hepatitis virus, coliform bacteria, as well as causing food poisoning by carrying Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. bacteria. Historically they have also been linked to typhoid, dysentery and cholera.
For successful management of these notorious invaders it is imperative to correctly identify which species you're dealing with. There are 6 different species able to become a problem in California alone: German, Brown-banded, Oriental, American, Smokybrown and Turkestan cockroaches. The two most common species found in urban areas are the American and the German roaches.
If you suspect or have sighted bugs, call ExCimex or a Pest Management Professional (PMP) immediately for identification and treatment options. Managing cockroaches is not easy. Knowing the species, you will be better able to determine where the source of infestation is and where to place traps, baits, or chemicals. Treatment is not a one-time deal. Repeated steps and ongoing monitoring is necessary. Its important to determine where the roaches are located - the more hiding places you locate and manage, the more successful your control program will be. This is imperative for successful treatment; some cockroaches are outside dwellers like the Oriental who prefers cool damp, dark places like water meter boxes and ground cover, or the Smokybrown who are typically found in trees, shrubs and planter boxes, while others prefer indoors, like the notorious German roaches who are commonly found in your kitchen attracted to exposed food or leftover filth.
First, locate areas of cockroach activity, then identify the causes of infestation, and look for entryways for bugs to get into your home. The more hiding places you locate and manage, the more successful your control program will be. The key to managing cockroaches is exclusion and sanitation.
- Removing all food and unnecessary water sources
- Sealing cracks and crevices
- Vacuuming and removing harborage sites like cardboard, paper products, plastic bags and trash.
- Chemical application in select target areas. (Example: sprays, gel bait, granular bait.)
MONITORING - using sticky traps, pheromone traps, sanitizing and visual examination for weeks following a program.
The most important component of managing a cockroach infestation is to change the conditions that promoted infestation in the first place. Cockroaches, along with all organisms, are driven by survival and they are likely to reinvade as long as they find a suitable habitat (i.e, availability of food, water, and shelter).
All in all, don't let cockroaches get you down. They are common and they are everywhere, but there are ways to control them! Do the research and call for help.