Let's take a moment to put this into perspective. Consider a world without cockroaches. If we could somehow zap all of the world's cockroaches into oblivion, what would be the impact? First of all, there are a lot of cockroaches in the world. If they were to disappear, it would have a significant impact on the food chain. Roaches are food for birds, mice, rats, and other small animals. While you might think that we can live without mice and rats, consider that mice and rats are food for larger animals. There would be a systemic impact all the way up the food chain, and while it wouldn't lead to the extinction of these animals, it would definitely lower their populations. That could have a negative impact on our food supply. But there is a more important point to consider. Cockroaches play a key role in the nitrogen cycle. They eat decaying organic material, which traps nitrogen, and they release nitrogen into the soil when they poop. Sounds disgusting, but the truth is we need all of those little poopers for strong, healthy plants and trees. The problem is that cockroaches don't stay in the forests where they are a benefit to nature and to us. They come into our urban landscape and get exposed to harmful bacteria, parasitic worms, human pathogens, and other illness-causing organisms. Let's take a look at how this works by taking a look at the species of cockroach we deal with most in our Springfield service area.
Public Enemy Number One
The worst cockroach pest in our service area is also the worst cockroach pest in the world. It is called the German cockroach. This species of cockroach loves the urban environment and does quite well in it. But being a city roach has its drawbacks. German cockroaches get into sewers, dumpster, trash cans, and a long list of dirty places within homes, businesses, factories, warehouses and industrial complexes.
If you're not familiar with the German cockroach by name, it is likely that you will know it by description. A German cockroach is tan and has two long antennae, six legs, and a pill-shaped body. Looking down on one of these cockroaches from above—which is often how we see them—you are going to notice two dark stripes on the back of its head. You will also notice that the head is darker than its wings, which cover its back.
Keep in mind that the cockroaches crawling around in your Springfield home may have just come from a sewer culvert, dumpster, or trash can as little as an hour ago. These insects are highly mobile. They climb walls and walk across ceilings with ease, and they are able to squeeze through gaps that are a third their height. Once inside your home, they can go from feeding on unmentionables in your cat's litter box to crawling around on your pantry shelves or scrambling across your cutting board. These insects are drawn to decaying organic material and they'll find it in many dirty places you don't even know about inside your home. When they do, they can carry harmful organisms from these locations to your food-storage areas, dish cabinets and silverware drawer. For this reason, cockroaches are a threat for the spread of more than 33 kinds of bacteria, 6 parasitic worms and at least 7 human pathogens.
Sanitation is Key
Since German cockroaches spread diseases from dirty locations in your home to sensitive locations, sanitation is key to preventing illness. It can also inspire cockroaches to choose another place to live, but there is no guarantee of this. Here are some suggestions for sanitation:
- Clean the sides of your oven.
- Clean your floors and counters in your kitchen.
- Remove your kitchen trash frequently and clean your trash bin periodically.
- Consider putting food items that come in paper, cardboard, or plastic into sealed, plastic containers.
You can deter cockroaches from getting in by learning how cockroaches get inside homes and businesses. Some key areas to check are doors and windows.Torn screens, damaged seals, holes created by pests, damaged or missing door sweeps, and gaps in weatherstripping. All these can give cockroaches quick access to your home or business.
Getting Cockroaches Out and Keeping Them Out
If you're dealing with cockroaches, the best way to eliminate them and prevent more cockroaches from getting in is to invest in a residential or commercial pest control program. If you need assistance with this, we can help. Reach out to us for a consultation. Our expertly-trained pest professionals are standing by to help.