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HOW TO IDENTIFY A COCKROACH INFESTATION IN A HOME

roach 2Cockroaches are the one of the nastiest pests found in a home. Cockroaches may become a problem in homes, warehouses, offices, restaurants, hospitals or in any other structure that has stores or food preparation areas. These pests are known to transmit diseases since they carry bacteria from human excrement in sewers and pet droppings. German cockroaches in particular are believed to transmit disease causing organisms such as hepatitis virus, Staphylococcus spp. and coliform bacteria.  They have also been associated with the spread of dysentery and typhoid. It is also believed that an infestation can cause allergens and asthma in some populations.

Most people living in the cities have no idea how a cockroach infestation looks like. The big question is, how can you really tell if you have an infestation in your home or apartment? Could sighting a few roaches raise alarm bells? Truth is, the most definite sign of an infestation is seeing roaches during the day. This is because they are known to be nocturnal pests and sighting them during the day would mean there is a full brown infestation. Competition for food and other resources would make roaches wander during daytime. Other signs include specks from droppings that look like grains of ground pepper and egg cases. The egg cases are brown and oval shaped hollow shells that are most likely dried out. Another distinct way of identifying and infestation is through smell. Cockroaches give an extremely pungent oily odor when in large numbers. Food that is left exposed to air can be saturated with this unpleasant smell.

If a home is infested, roaches will flock in their hiding places. They will most likely be found in warm areas near a food source, bathrooms, under electrical appliances, under sinks, dishwasher, cooking appliances, basement, in cracks and crevices among other concealed dark places. The German cockroach is the most widespread indoor species in American homes and they reproduce rapidly than any other common roach.  If you have a constant roach problem in your home, you could be having a full brown infestation of the German cockroach. Other types of roaches the Oriental and American cockroaches thrive in moist areas and have a tendency to infest outdoors than indoor areas.

One of the most effective preventing a roach infestation is by proper sanitation. Dirty dishes left out overnight and exposed food makes it hard to manage the roaches since they get food without struggle. Left over foods and garbage should be disposed properly and trash bins closed tightly. Leaking bathroom pipes, faulty kitchen sinks or any other plumbing problem should be repaired to get rid of moisture. Pantry shelves, storage containers, floors, food preparation surfaces, cupboards and the like should be cleaned regularly. Foodstuff and pet food should be kept in tightly closed containers to deny roaches any access to food. Vacuum the carpets, furniture, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cupboards and drapes in order to remove food deposits and cockroach eggs.

There are several ways of managing an infestation in a home. Using non baited traps can be effective in reducing infestation especially the German cockroaches. Most of these non toxic traps come with a sticky adhesive and food bits. They are easy to use and they have no side effects unlike many chemical controls. When the roaches enter the trap, they get immobilized in the adhesive. These traps help to monitor the roach activity, identifying the species and population density of the infestation. They also aid in monitoring efficiency of chemical controls.

Other ways of treating a cockroach infestation include use of residual insecticides. These insecticides leave deposits on treated surfaces and kill cockroaches for variable periods of time after the application. Use of non residual insecticides is also known to manage an infestation used together with other methods. Professional control and advice may be sought for a widespread and consistent roach infestation.

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