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Cockroach CRUNCHtime

September 17, 2014

They secrete an oily discharge that can stink up an entire house, their feces contain a pheromone that attracts more of their kind, and they leave around little egg sacks called oothecae that hatch around your kitchen, leaving several running around and contaminating your food sources. Other than the fact that the egg sack thing is reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s movie Alien, there is nothing cool about cockroaches. I think we can all agree that they are gross! And for some people, nothing is more satisfying than hearing the CRUNCH of a dying cockroach under the soles of their shoes. And though you may think you have killed the only roach in your house, chances are that if you’ve seen one, you have MANY more.

There are 69 species of roaches found in the United States. They are decomposers by nature; feeding on dead plant or animal material outside. Some of the roaches you’ll see in South Florida include: the Florida woods roach, the American cockroach, the Smoky brown cockroach, the Brown cockroach, the Australian cockroach, the German cockroach, and the Asian cockroach. The German, Asian, and brown banded roaches are small. They typically are around 5/8 of an inch long. The bigger ones are sometimes referred to as Palmetto Bugs. They are 1 1/4 to 2 inches long and include the American, Australian, brown, and smoky brown roaches. The Asian roach is similar to the German roach except that it can fly. Imagine if Alien had wings…SCARY!

You may think that cockroaches thrive indoors but they actually have a difficult time surviving inside. When inside, they are basically looking for a small dark, sheltered place that offers a nearby food and water source. Can you think of any areas in your house that fits that description? How about your kitchen sink? Cupboards, cabinets, drawers, bathroom? So how do we get these creepers out of your home and back into their natural shelters in places like: palm trees, leaf litter, mulch, vegetation, tree holes, etc? It all starts with sanitation.

I already mentioned that their feces attracts other roaches. Did I forget to mention that they can also cause allergies in humans? Get out that vacuum! If you have roaches living in your house, you’d be surprised at the amount of feces and shed skin that is all over your counters and floors. And since you’ve got that vacuum plugged in, feel free to go to town on all the food particles hanging around your kitchen floors and counters. This eliminates their food source.

Without food, roaches can survive 42 days. Without water, 12 days. So even though eliminating food sources is a start, taking away their water is essential. That’s why roaches like to hang out around moist areas. Here’s how you can eliminate a roach’s water supply:

  • Repair all plumbing leaks.

  • Do not let water stand in sinks.

  • Do not let water pool in potted plants.

  • Empty all catch water from fridge condensation.

  • Don’t leave water in pet dishes all day long.

  • Eliminate standing water outside.

Limiting their food and water sources works great once they’re already in your home. But how are they getting there in the first place? Exclusion is the preventative act of blocking a bug’s entry to your home. Pretend like you are keeping your home secure from a burglar that is about an inch tall. Here are some general suggestions:

  • Keep all your doors and windows shut.

  • Make sure all vents are properly sealed.

  • Caulk or seal cracks and crevices by door frames and windows.

Now that you have the sanitation and preventative control of roaches on lock, how do you treat for roaches? Chemical treatments for roaches include baits, sprays, and dusts. Baits usually come in granular forms, in plastic bait stations, or in gel form. Though each form has its perks, the principals are the same. The baits act as a food source for the roaches, which is deadly for them and the sprays and dusts are also poison to them. Don’t try to get rid of roaches on your own. That do-it-yourself method won’t work. The only way to completely get rid of roaches and keep them out is with the help of the pest professionals here at Nozzle Nolen.

If you have a roach problem in West Palm Beach, Jupiter or elsewhere in our South Florida service area and would like to implement the best in professional pest control with our Integrated Pest Management methods, then contact us today!


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