Cockroaches live in a vast range of environments around the world. These pest species fancy warm weather and are usually found in the buildings of heavily populated cities and also in the southern United States. In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that 78 to 98 percent of town homes have cockroaches with several as 900 to 330,000 cockroaches per home.
Cockroaches are heavily active when the temperature is greater than 70 degrees and they flourish in warm environments with easily available food and water. These insects are mostly nocturnal and run away when visible to light. Remarkably, some cockroaches have been recognized to live up to three months without food and a month without water.
There are many harmful consequences of cockroaches since certain proteins (allergens) found in their feces, saliva and body parts can cause allergic reactions or cause asthma symptoms, particularly in children. They also can carry microbes on their body surfaces including pathogens that are dangerous to humans.
Cockroaches have been associated with the spread of 33 kinds of bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella types, six parasitic worms and more than seven types of human pathogens.
People can alleviate cockroach problems and protect themselves through barrier exclusion and cleanliness. Barrier exclusion includes stopping cockroaches from entering the house through places, such as tiny cracks in the walls and spaces close to electric sockets, and up through drain traps. Maintaining a clean and hygienic home will make it less appealing to cockroaches.
NYNJ has compiled a list of things to do to protect your home and family:
1. Make sure to keep counters, sinks, tables and floors clean and free of mess. Clean dishes, crumbs and spills immediately.
2. Use airtight containers to store food, and always avoid leaving food out.
3. Run water occasionally in separate bathrooms and sinks.
4. Seal gaps and cracks in walls, floors and openings around or inside cabinets.
5. Look through your child’s backpacks when they return home and when bringing groceries home before packing them away.