Cockroaches are fascinating creatures in the pest control world. These ancient scavengers were already roaming the earth alongside dinosaurs millions of years ago and have survived virtually every major extinction event since then. They can live for a month without food and derive nourishment from non-food items like feces, hair, and cardboard. Cockroaches are also incredibly resilient. They can hold their breath underwater for 40 minutes or so. And because their exoskeletons have grown stronger over many millennia, they can survive treatments that were once effective in treating infestations. As incredible as it sounds, they can live for several days without their heads. And finally, if you've spotted one cockroach in your home, you are sure to have more very soon as they release a smell that attracts other cockroaches in search of food, water, and shelter. Being nocturnal, you are not likely to see them during the day unless you have a severe infestation on your hands, as they prefer to come out at night when the house is dark and quiet, and they are free to invade your food supply and spread dangerous pathogens in the process. Based on all these cockroach facts, you can understand how getting rid of cockroaches can be very difficult and why homemade cockroach treatments like ground coffee, fabric softener, or essential oils are unlikely to eliminate an established group of cockroaches. In fact, wasting time on DIY solutions often allows these unhygienic invaders to reproduce. Cockroaches reproduce very quickly. Each female can lay over 200 eggs yearly, and each one will reach sexual maturity in less than four months. If you have spotted cockroaches on your property, it is time to learn what cockroaches look like, understand why infestations are such a health hazard, and discover the factors that attract these scavengers. If you are struggling with a cockroach infestation, Haskell Termite & Pest Control provides top-rated pest control in Tampa that you can rely on to keep your household safe year-round.
What Do Cockroaches Look Like?
Cockroaches are usually easy to identify if you know what to look for, although some bugs, including crickets, June beetles, and giant water bugs, look like cockroaches. Cockroaches are generally oval insects with six spiny legs and long antennae on their heads. They vary in color but are generally a shade of red, brown, or black. Some cockroaches have wings, but most are non-functioning; even if they are, they rarely take flight. Instead, they usually run very fast, especially if they sense danger or the presence of people, which makes them hard to catch as they can swiftly get under heavy appliances and furniture. There are many types of cockroaches around the world. Still, the ones you might find in Florida homes tend to carry various dangerous pathogens that can make people very sick, including salmonella and giardia. You will usually find them in areas with high humidity or which provide easy access to food, usually in bathrooms and kitchens. The largest types of cockroach you might find in your home are the American cockroaches which can reach two inches in length, followed by the Oriental cockroach. You might also encounter the brown-banded cockroach, which, as its name indicates, has dark stripes on its lighter-colored body. All cockroaches in the area are invasive and resilient and can transmit pathogens. If you have seen signs of a cockroach infestation, you must understand why cockroach infestations are such a health hazard.
Why Cockroach Infestations Are Such A Health Hazard
No one wants pests indoors, but some, like cockroaches, are more dangerous than others. Cockroach infestations are a health hazard for various important reasons. For instance:
- Cockroaches can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks: Cockroaches secrete substances through their saliva and more that can cause allergies and asthma in people with sensitivities, especially children and the elderly. Symptoms of cockroach allergies include wheezing, coughing, and sinus infection.
- Cockroaches can transmit dangerous pathogens: Cockroaches are one of the most dangerous pests you could have in your home because they spend a considerable amount of time on feces and in garbage cans, where they pick up all kinds of fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Cockroaches can transmit cholera, dysentery, gastroenteritis, giardia, listeria, and salmonella.
- Cockroaches can cause skin infections: While cockroaches would rather stay away from humans to avoid getting crushed, it is still possible for them to brush against people with their spiny legs, which harbor all kinds of pathogens. You must clean the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and watch for symptoms of inflammation. If you seem to be developing an infection, seek medical help as soon as possible.
- Cockroaches can contaminate your food supply: Cockroaches are scavengers that can survive on feces and glue, but they are more likely to get into your food supply if it is easily accessible. When they do, you will have no choice but to throw it all away as it is likely contaminated with pathogens that can make you very ill. It is best to store your food safely in sturdy containers they can't access.
- Cockroaches can cause property damage: They will often leave smear marks along your floors and walls as they drag their bodies throughout your house. These can be hard to clean and can stain wallpaper more permanently.
If cockroaches have invaded your property, you probably wonder what attracted them. Read on for a list of factors that tend to draw cockroaches indoors.
Factors That Attract Cockroaches Into Homes
Because cockroaches are opportunistic scavengers, it does not take much for them to try to get into homes. However, the following factors are known to be important reasons why:
- Water and humidity: Like many pests, cockroaches are attracted to high-humidity areas. Be sure to run fans after showering, keep humidity levels down with dehumidifiers, and fix all leaks and clogged drains as soon as you notice them. Check your yard as well, as sources of stagnant water outdoors can attract cockroaches too.
- Food, edible or non-edible: If there is easily accessible food in your home, like leftovers, compost bins, pet food, and more, you might be inadvertently attracting cockroaches. But these scavengers will also go for non-food items like hair, soap, glue, and feces. You must always keep your home clean to prevent an infestation and take out the trash regularly. Keeping garbage cans far from your home's structure can also help.
- Shelter and warmth: Cockroaches prefer warm and humid climates. If the temperature drops, they will likely try and come inside our homes. To prevent them from invading, it is essential that you seal off as many access points as possible, including cracks in walls and foundations, damaged window frames, gaps under doors, and more. Fine-mesh screens and door sweeps can help keep all kinds of pests at bay, including cockroaches, and fixing structural issues in your home can also help lower energy costs.
- Other cockroaches or pest infestations: Live and dead cockroaches attract new ones searching for food and shelter. They will also prey on easy-to-catch insects like bed bugs. You must exterminate a cockroach infestation properly as soon as you notice it, as even cockroach exoskeletons release a chemical that attracts more of these nasty invaders.
Getting rid of cockroaches can be very difficult without the right tools. Fortunately, an experienced pest control company can exterminate them fully while keeping your household safe.
Call The Professionals For Total Cockroach Elimination For Your Home
The best way to kill cockroaches is with professional pest control products that can reach every part of the infestation. At Haskell Termite & Pest Control, we proudly provide commercial and residential cockroach control in Tampa that you can rely on to exterminate them as fast as possible while keeping you safe. Our service team members are trained to identify many types of local pest infestation and have the tools needed to eliminate them while preventing them from coming back. We strive not only to make your home pest-free after the first treatments but do what is required to ensure your home remains safe year-round. Contact us to request your service today. After a thorough inspection of your property, we will show you exactly how and why cockroaches were able to take over and what you can do about it. Using a selection of cockroach control products based on your unique situation alongside follow-up visits and prevention strategies, our licensed service technicians will take care of all these unhygienic scavengers swiftly.
Cockroaches are dangerous carriers of pathogens that can easily contaminate the food you eat and the surfaces you touch regularly. They can also cause allergic reactions, asthma, and physical injuries. And because they have had millions of years to adapt to living with humans, they can be very difficult to get rid of, especially in the long term. Do not wait for them to reproduce exponentially and threaten to take over your home. Instead, get rid of them today with control methods that are safe and effective. Request service today from Haskell Termite & Pest Control; we provide free estimates.
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