There are over 3500 species of cockroach worldwide which have adapted to live in a wide range of environments. Out of all these species there are about 10 species that have adapted and prefer to live in the warm buildings of humans. Recently we assisted home owners in Blacktown, NSW who, despite the cleanliness of the home, began to notice an increasing amount of cockroaches.
Why are homes so attractive to Cockroaches?
The main reasons are food, shelter and warmth. Some key items that most living creatures require.
In your home regardless of how clean it is, there is always an abundance of food for cockroaches. They have an omnivorous feeding habit and can virtually eat anything, consuming tiny crumbs, grease droplets, animal and human food. They have also been known to eat glue, cardboard, hair, leather and are exceptionally good scavengers.
Warmth is a big factor. The warmer it is the faster they will breed and the more likely they are to thrive. As they breed very fast they can quickly become a large infestation. A lot of items in the home such as electrical items, ovens, stoves and the like are capable of providing a nice home for these pests.
The water heater, (as pictured), provides an ideal home for German Cockroach infestations. This photo was taken at a customer’s property that didn’t fully realise the extent of the problem as cockroaches are nocturnal and mostly stay hidden in the day. Once this cover was taken off the heater, the problem showed itself.
What problems can Cockroaches Cause?
They contaminate food and food utensils with their droppings, regurgitation marks, cast skins, dead cockroaches and empty egg cases.
People are annoyed or scared by the sight of cockroaches.
Where a substantial infestation exists, they emit a very un-pleasant odour that develops due to secretions.
Some people are allergic to cockroaches. Sensitive people suffer skin reactions and may even trigger asthma attacks. Allergen may be ingested where foods or utensils are contaminated or inhaled when faeces becomes part of the household dust.
Disease transmission is usually the main concern. The main reasons why cockroaches may be responsible for transmitting disease are that they often dwell in environments that support diseases harmful to humans such as grease traps, sewers and other polluted water sources. Common diseases may be carried such as salmonella and other organisms causing gastroenteritis, dysentery, hepatitis and other human disorders. Organisms found naturally occurring in cockroaches include 40 species of bacteria pathogenic to humans, the eggs of seven species of worms parasitic to humans and several viruses potentially harmful to humans.
How to reduce the chance of an infestation at your home
Some simple preventative measures may include:
- Ensuring all food is in tightly sealed containers (including pet food)
- Use garbage bins with tight fitting lids
- Frequent cleaning of the kitchen and regular vacuuming
- Repair any water leaks or dripping taps
- Seal any entry points such as gaps around windows and doors or where pipes may enter walls
- Seal any ‘cracks and crevices’ that may exist in the cupboards of kitchens, bathrooms and throughout the home
If you believe or suspect that you have a spring pest problem, please contact Amalgamated Pest Control Sydney for further advice.