Health Hazards caused by Cockroaches / Ways to get rid of them

By on April 19, 2013
Cockroach

A cockroach is an insect pest that is mostly found around homes. They are very nasty in terms of invading your home especially around the kitchen area and contaminating your food.

They feed on the remains of the food left lying around and hence it is advisable to keep your kitchen very tidy. Apart from damaging your belongings and contaminating your food, they are also a health hazard as they spread diseases. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) cautions it is known that their presence can cause the spread of harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, which can lead to asthma in children. Other than health matters, they interfere with your electronic equipments at home by chewing on them, which can lead to a major problem. There are however various ways on how to get rid of cockroaches once they have infested your home.

What are Cockroaches?

Cockroaches are large insects which range in size from 12-30mm. They have a long antennae and two pairs of wings. The most commonly found in this country are the German Cockroach and the Oriental Cockroach. They are very successful as they eat almost anything, breed rapidly, tolerate a wide range of conditions and can easily be spread from one place to another.

How do I know if I’ve got a cockroach problem?

Although cockroaches are generally seen at night, where there is a heavy infestation, cockroaches can be seen during the day too so careful observation is important. You may find their eggs, which are brown in color  approximately 10mm long and can sometimes be seen hanging of the back of a cockroach. You may also see cockroach faeces, which looks like black pepper. A strong sour smell is often noticeable where there is a serious infestation.

Sticky traps may be used to assess the extent of a cockroach infestation prior to a treatment.

where cockroach live

Where do they like to live?

Cockroaches can often be found in warm, indoor environments, usually where food is stored or handled, for example in the kitchen. They will spend most of the day hiding in cracks and around drains and service ducting. They are most active at night which is often when they do most of their scavenging, but if a light is turned on they will scamper away to hide. Cockroaches prefer warm, moist places with available food sources, so eliminating those attractive environments can help prevent cockroach infestations. NPMA offers tips to avoid cockroach infestations:

What is the health risk associated with cockroaches?

1) Cockroaches carry food poisoning germs on their bodies and are responsible for the spread of dysentery and gastro-enteritis.

2) They will feed on almost anything including fecal matter. Food contamination will occur when the insect comes in to contact with food, food preparation surfaces and utensils or through fecal contamination of foodstuffs. They eat our food but spoil much more with their droppings, cast off skin and dead bodies.

3) The saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies of cockroaches contain allergen proteins known to trigger allergies and increase the severity of Asthma symptoms, especially in children. They are also capable of mechanically transmitting disease organisms, such as the bacteria that cause food poisoning, and are known to spread 33 different kinds of bacteria, six parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens.

4) Even more serious is the possibility that they are spreading threatening diseases. They can potentially spread hepatitis A, cholera, dysentery, and a variety of bacteria or viral infections. Parasitic worms can also be transmitted through these pests. Symptoms such as diarrhea, pussy or bloody stool, and abdominal cramps are just a few of the problems that these insects can cause.

bug spray

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Steps to get tide cockroaches

Treatment of a cockroach infestation can be difficult because the eggs and egg cases are often laid in difficult to treat cracks and crevices. Egg cases provide protection from insecticides. Therefore, it is important that treatment is maintained for at least one month after you stop seeing cockroaches.

Carry out treatment as follows:

First you will need to find a place where the cockroaches live in order to know where to start. To find their place of habitat, you will have to wait for darkness to come in as they come out during the night to feed. This will help you to identify their place of hiding with ease and then you can know the place to concentrate the attack on.

Figure out where they’re coming from. If you see cockroaches, follow them to figure out where they go. You might need to do a little sleuthing. Check all around the house for cracks and holes through which roaches may enter. Roaches often enter through drains or vents, so you can’t seal up everything.

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