Cockroaches are among the most common pests in many homes and other buildings. At night they search for food in kitchens, food storage places, rubbish bins, drains and sewers. They are pests because of their filthy habits and bad smell. Some people may become allergic to cockroaches after frequent exposure. Cockroaches can sometimes play a role as carriers of intestinal diseases, such as diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid fever and cholera.
Common species of cockroach
- American cockroach, which occurs around the world. It is 35–40mm in length and is a shiny reddish to chocolate brown colour. The egg case measures 8–10mm and contains 16 eggs.
- Australian cockroach, which occurs mainly in tropical and subtropical areas. It is similar to the American cockroach, but smaller (31–37mm long) and darker. It has a pale-yellow stripe on each forewing extending for about one-third its length. The egg case contains about 22–24 eggs.
- Oriental cockroach, found mainly in cool temperate regions. It is blackish and 20–27mm long. The egg case is 1012mm long and contains 16–18 eggs.
- Brown-banded cockroach, which occurs around the world. It is 10–14mm long and has yellow and brown bands. The egg case is 4–5mm in length and contains about 16 eggs.
- German cockroach, found in most parts of the world. It is light yellowish brown and 10–15mm in length, making it one of the smallest domestic cockroaches. The female usually carries the egg case until shortly before the young come out. The egg case is light in colour, about 7–9mm long and contains about 40 eggs.
Along with professional extermination, you can reduce the cockroach population in your home by limiting their access to water, food, and shelter:
- seal entry points such as cracks in floors and walls
- fix leaky pipes
- keep typically damp areas dry
- use cockroach traps and bait
- tightly cover all trash containers
- store food in airtight containers (including food in cabinets)
- clean dirty dishes immediately after use
- clean pet food bowl (don’t leave pet food out)
- sweep up food crumbs from tables, counters, stovetop, and floors
- wipe up spills immediately
- vacuum and mop floors regularly
- clean (at least annually) around and under furniture that is rarely moved
- clear out clutter from storage closets, shelves, and drawers
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Healthline. (2020, January 27). Are Cockroaches Dangerous. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/are-cockroaches-dangerous
World Health Organization. (n. d.) Chapter 5 Cockroaches. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/resources/vector288to301.pdf