American Roach

American roach

It is August and lately our phone calls have been centered on a nuisance pest that has been on this earth for about 300 million years: the cockroach. Specifically, we have discovered that the American Cockroach has been creeping into homes and businesses.

What do they want? Why my house? I keep my house spotless-why am I being punished?

If you have not had the pleasure of meeting these creatures (you may be fibbing, but we forgive you..) they are approximately 1 ½ inches tall, reddish brown in color, and they have large wings that cover their abdomen. The babies-to-young-adult stage of the roach life span are called Nymphs. They look similar to the adults, but they lack wings thereby causing teenage roach angst because all they want to do is prove they are grown up and can leave the nest to be on their own.

Generally, the entire clan can be found in shadowy places of warmth and dampness such as around pipes under kitchen sinks, around water heaters, in crawl spaces as well as floor drains just to name a few. They can also be found in places such as wet leaf stuffed rain gutters and your shower, but only right about the time you are getting ready to step in to use it. Just kidding, they like hanging out in the shower whether you are there or not.

As far as cuisine preferences they prefer their nourishment to be of decaying organic matter; however, they make wonderful houseguests in that they are not terribly picky. They are fond of cheese, beer, hair, book bindings, and cardboard boxes just to name a few things.

They can live without food for two or three months, but only a month without water.

Each female is capable of dropping an egg capsule (or attaching it somewhere safe) that contains 14-16 eggs and- to further cause you to have the willies- they generally produce an egg capsule once per week. If you do a little math, that could be as little as 56 babies per month from one mama roach or as many as 64.

So what does all that have to do with the fact that you are seeing them in your spotless and immaculate no-one-even-wears-shoes-inside-my-house home?

Roaches are opportunist and survivalists. You don’t get to be a millions of years old species without learning how to get around and adapt to their surroundings. Just like any pest, it is important to take a good look around your home. Be sure to caulk areas such as baseboards, around pipes under sinks, windows. You want to seal them out of your home. If there are areas in need of repair, have them repaired in order to prevent creatures from lurking into your inner sanctum.

Roaches have also been known deploy the Trojan horse tactic to gain access to your home. Well actually, you can find them in cardboard boxes, grocery bags, and other items that are brought into the home.  It’s a good practice to open packages outside and dispose of them in your recycle bin right away. Washable and reusable grocery bags may also be a big help.

Lastly, clean. Be sure dishes are cleaned and put away. Clean the sink and all around the sink, be sure to take care of all food articles and dry up any water. Clean up food, grease, and seal food items up in containers all around the kitchen. Sweep floors and take trash out regularly. When pets are done eating dispose of any food around their dishes and clean their food and water dish.

In terms of treatment, it is a good practice to consult a professional who can perform the treatment and investigation for you or who can sell you products in order for you to take care of the infestation yourself. The products that a professional sells verses the over the counter treatments are going to be more effective. Whichever direction you take would be of great benefit for ridding your home of this nuisance pest, but it works best when you take the necessary precautions of sealing out entry points and sanitizing as well.

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