Missy Henriksen: Hi! I am Missy Henriksen with the National Pest Management Association. Today, I would like to talk with you about cockroaches and provide some tips to help you keep these pests out of your house.
Cockroaches are found all over the United States and all around the world. You have probably heard that cockroaches are hardy creatures and that's true, they can survive freezing temperatures and they can live for a month without food.
A cockroach can even survive for up to a week without its head. But did you know that cockroaches compose serious health risks if they find their way into your home?
Cockroaches carry 33 types of bacteria, six parasitic worms and seven other types of human pathogens. As they walk through sewage and garbage, the spines on their legs pick up germs that can contaminate food areas.
Cockroaches are also a threat to people with allergies, their droppings, saliva and bodies can cause allergic reactions and aggravate symptoms of asthma especially in children, in fact as many as one in five children have a severe reaction to cockroach allergens.
Cockroaches typically enter our homes and properties in search of the same things that we humans need; food, water, and shelter, and that's why we usually see them in damp areas like basements or bathrooms or near food sources in kitchens and pantries.
They can squeeze through tiny cracks in the home's exterior to get inside. In fact, a male cockroach can fit through an opening as thin as a quarter. Luckily there are some easy ways you can keep cockroaches out of your home.
Kitchens and bathrooms are the ones most commonly infested, so be sure to check under sinks and appliances for signs of an infestation. Repair any leaky faucets to eliminate moisture and clean crumbs off of counters and keep the food sealed in containers.
When you bring groceries from the store inspect them before putting food items away. Vacuum often and take the trash out regularly. If you suspect a cockroach infestation in your home it's important to seek out from a licensed pest professional, they have the expertise to get rid of cockroaches in your home safely and effectively.