You wake up in the middle of the night and stumble into the kitchen for a glass of water. You flip on the light and scream as hundreds of creepy crawly cockroaches scatter into every Crack and crevasse. The horror hits you as you realize, with all your worries, now roaches will be on your mind as well. But why are we so grossed out by these little crawlers. They are only bugs after all. What harm could a cockroach do right? This article will hopefully shed some light on the reasons no one ever wants cockroaches in their home.

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Health and Hygiene

German cockroaches like to crawl around toilets, shower drains, sink basins, and of course, our kitchen counters and food. They will track many types of bacteria including salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus. Their droppings can agitate asthma and cause one with emphysema serious medical complications. Newborns, with their still developing immune systems, can get very sick from cockroaches crawling over them while they sleep.

I had a customer once who’s child was called into the nurse’s office at his school. He had been complaining about a pain in his ear so the nurse took a look and when she looked into his ear she found that a cockroach egg had hatched and little baby roaches were crawling in his head. The nurse was able to wash out his a ear but DSS was called and the parents were threatened that if their roach problem wasn’t taken care of the child would be placed in a foster home.

Roaches are not something to smirk at. Once someone notices they have roaches they should call an exterminator right away and schedule a service call.

Breeding and Hatch Cycle

Cockroaches can breed in less than a month. It takes eggs about 28 days or less to hatch and a German roach can lay as many as 35 eggs in one oothecae (egg casing). The speed at which they reproduce is so fast that it can only take a couple months before your home will be overwhelmed by their numbers.

A cockroach, as it grows, will shed it’s skin 6 – 7 times. This is called an instar. A nymph, as it grows over a period of about 100 days, will need to shed it’s skin. When a roach sheds, it’s skin may appear white for a few minutes. Many will call these roaches albino cockroaches but they are only newly molted and will get their tan look back in just a few minutes.

How do I get infested with roaches?

Many ask themselves this question. They find roaches in their kitchen or bathrooms and think to themselves “I’m not dirty”. But understand that roaches do not need a dirty home to live in. They can live anywhere. German cockroaches are from the tropical areas of the world and through trade have been spread to all parts of the globe. Because of colder environments German roaches are unable to live outside so they are forced into our warehouses, restaurants, store chains, and yes even our homes. Because of this need to be warm, they are around many different types of chemicals and can grow to be immune to nearly everything over the counter.

Chemical immunity

I had a customer once who told me in 2 weeks they had spent well over 200 dollars to rid themselves of the roaches they had in their home. The customer explained to me that the cockroaches just seemed to look at him and laugh. The chemicals did nothing to help their problem and in fact after treating they seemed worse than ever. This is a common problem and is caused by chemical immunity. It takes a target group of cockroaches about 90 days to grow immune to a specific chemical. For example, if I had 100 roaches I wanted to kill and used a slightly under mixed pesticide solution. I may kill 50 roaches but those 50 that didn’t die are somewhat already immune to said pesticide.

Their babies will also be immune somewhat to the chemical. So let’s say we allow this group of cockroaches to breed and then use full strength chemical on the roaches. We may not kill but a very small amount. We have now a group of bugs on our hands that will not die from this bug spray. This is why it is so important to let a professional deal with the roaches.

Baiting for Cockroaches

Much of the pest control industry has moved towards baiting for cockroaches. Baiting can be a very effective technique if done properly. One of the most common applications that I see is when one gets a tube of bait and applies it all over. This causes a mess and looks very unprofessional. All that is needed is a smaller that pea sized amount. You can place this around hinges and under counter tops. These places are where German roaches like to hide and is a very effective application. Baiting should be done with a pesticide application to be most effective but be sure to keep pesticides away from cockroach bait because it will contaminate the food source and roaches will not eat it. Bait only works when roaches eat it, this goes for boric acid based chemicals as well.

Dusts, boric acid, and diatomaceous earth

Dusting for cockroaches can be a very effective treatment. The main problem that I find when a customer has tried dusting on their own is they tend to lay the dust too thick. I explain that if you can see the dust there is too much out. Boric acid has to be eaten in order for it to be effective. Cockroaches crawl through the dust and pick it up on their feet. As the roaches clean themselves they will eat the dust and thus poison themselves. I always use the example of a snow storm. If you are walking in the snow and you have the choice of 6 feet of snow or 1 inch, you would walk through the 1 inch. This is how roaches see piles of boric acid. They don’t crawl through it if it is too thick.

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Dusting for roaches can be much safer for those who wish to go a more “Green” route to pest control. Diatomaceous Earth is a dust that consists of diatoms, a small powder made of tiny crustaceans and sea life. Some even eat Diatomaceous earth as a health supplement. In addition to Diatomaceous earth, boric acid is also a safe dust to use almost anywhere. Boric acid is even used in eye drops and laundry detergent so if you are concerned about pesticides, dusts can be a more non-toxic solution.

In summary, German cockroaches are no laughing matter. They can cause disease and sickness. Cockroaches crawl in some pretty nasty places and spread sickness pretty well but with a well rounded pest control plan, even these survivors can be eliminated. If you find yourself infested with German cockroaches and are local to our service area give Green Akers Pest Control LLC a call.