Why these reviled pests can be difficult to eliminate from homes
Cockroaches are some of the most adaptable pests on Earth. These long-despised creepy creatures have been around for more than 280 million years, and in this time have evolved to display some unique behaviors and survival tactics that allow them to thrive in many different environments, including homes. We want to remind homeowners that while controlling cockroaches can be particularly challenging, doing so is vital to protecting human health.
Cockroaches are known to cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. These pests can also spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. If spotted, homeowners should call a pest professional to evaluate the severity of the problem and recommend a course of treatment.
What makes cockroaches so difficult to control:
- Resilience. Cockroaches can live for up to a week without their heads. They can also hold their breath for 40 minutes and even survive being submerged in water for half an hour. Additionally, some species are able to withstand freezing temperatures.
- Small size. Cockroaches are small pests, so they can easily hide in cracks and crevices. Male cockroaches can fit through an opening as small as 1/16 inch in width or the thickness of a quarter.
- Quick speed. Cockroaches are very fast and can run up to three miles an hour. A newborn cockroach, which is about the size of a speck of dust, runs nearly as fast as its parents.
- Irregular feeding habits. Cockroaches can survive for up to one month without food and one week without water. They are omnivores and are attracted to all types of foods, including sugars, proteins and fats.
To prevent cockroaches, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) suggests keeping a meticulously clean kitchen, eliminating moisture in bathrooms, sealing all cracks and crevices inside and outside the home and keeping basements and crawlspaces dry and well-ventilated.