As the holiday season draws near, friends and family are sure to make their annual visits to your home while bringing all kinds of food and drink with them. Between their contributions and your own prep for a big family meal, one guest that is certainly not welcome at or near the dinner table is the dreaded cockroach.
Cockroaches typically measure over two inches in length, have six spiny legs and two long antennae. American cockroaches, which like hot, humid conditions and have fully developed wings, and German cockroaches, implicated in outbreaks of illness and allergic reactions in many people, are two of the most common species that are found in the United States.
A very common pest, cockroaches are nocturnal and remain in the dark whenever possible, only emerging to search for water and food. Large infestations should be suspected when cockroaches are seen in the open or in the light during the day. Cockroaches have lived off the bare essentials with few changes since their creation millions of years ago. They have become such widespread pests because they thrive on very little. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t simply attracted to messy households, although that will extend their stay. Much like your invited holiday guests, these uninvited insects require three things: water, food, and warm shelter.
In addition, cockroaches typically prefer damp, warm places and usually reproduce quickly in garages, sewers, attics, storerooms and similar locations, and then enter the home from outside breeding sites. For every one you see there can be many, many more hiding and multiplying behind your walls.
Cockroaches can get into the cleanest of living spaces because in most situations, we unknowingly bring them home. They can be found behind refrigerators, sinks and stoves, as well as under floor drains and inside of motors and major appliances. If you can’t find any of them during the day, check cupboards and pantries for their droppings. Furthermore, contact with cockroach allergens can cause mild to severe rashes, other allergic reactions and in extreme cases death from asthma attacks.
Some ways to prevent an outbreak before you may need a pest control professional include eliminating water (do not let water stand in sinks and eliminate outside collection areas), eliminating food sources (dispose garbage properly and wipe off counter tops often), and eliminate harborages (discard unnecessary cardboard boxes and pull mulch away from your home).
By following these simple steps, the chances of cockroaches inviting themselves to your holiday meal will TRULY decrease. We encourage you to pack leftovers with secure lids, clean any clutter following your meal, and take out all of your properly bagged garbage as soon as you can to help keep cockroaches away well past the holiday season! If you need professional assistance with your cockroach problem, call Truly Nolen at 1-800-GO-TRULY to schedule a FREE home pest inspection.