Cockroaches! Gross!

Roaches. The word alone can bring forth the heebie jeebies in many people. And no one wants to admit that roaches have taken up residence in their home. This state of denial generally comes from the bad reputation roaches have. They are usually associated with unsanitary conditions, filth and clutter.

However, these remarkable little insects are actually able to adapt to just about any environment. They have but three simple, basic needs: food, water and harborage. Pretty much any home, office, apartment or building will qualify.

The really bad thing about roaches is the number of diseases that they carry. Dysentery, streptococcus, salmonella, hepatitis B, E coli, cholera and other disease pathogens are carried by the roach. Southern California sees its fair share of roaches, particularly four species: American, Oriental, German and Brown-banded roaches. None of them are pretty.

What are the signs of roaches in a person’s home?

Of course, the most obvious way to tell if you have roaches is if you see roaches in your home. Actually seeing a live cockroach is a pretty good indication that you have them. If you see roaches, particularly German cockroaches, during the day or out in the open around people, then that is a pretty good in

dication that you have a serious roach problem. If you live in an apartment, it could mean that a neighbor has the problem, but roaches can get in the walls and move from apartment to apartment.



Another way that you can tell if you have roaches is if you find dead roaches in your home, particularly in cabinets, under the sink and under the refrigerator. Finding roach droppings are another good indication. The droppings have the appearance of black grit. You are most likely to find evidence of roaches in the kitchen and bathroom, but they can inhabit any space.

What are the typical treatments professionals typically use?

Roaches are hardy little insects. Their life cycle only spans about 100 days, but during that time a mating pair can produce more than one million offspring. The German cockroach (the smaller, brown roaches, sometimes referred to as “kitchen roaches”) are able to survive for more than a month without food. However, without water, they perish in less than two weeks. But because they are so prolific, a pest control professional will treat affected areas to eradicate adult roaches, usually with residual pesticide sprays. But that does not affect the eggs that are yet to hatch. For that, the pest control professional will put down a paste that will render the young sterile so that they are unable to reproduce.

Is a person’s home dirty because they have roaches?

While roaches do like areas where food is left out and water is left standing (such as a dirty kitchen), they can actually live just about anywhere. They are highly adaptable and can live off of the tiniest crumbs. When they run out of food, they can live off of their own feces. But if you have roaches in your home, it does not necessarily mean that your home is dirty. It just means that roaches have either been carried into your home, usually via cardboard boxes or paper containers, or you have neighbors with an infestation.