Cockroaches are a year-round pest that are so very annoying, and disgusting. Many homeowners don’t know how truly destructive and resilient cockroaches are. Cockroaches are able to fit in a gap the size of a quarter of their body height by flatting their body and pushing their legs out to the side. Today we’ll discuss what you need to know about cockroaches for around your home and businesses.

Cockroach Cravings

These pests are omnivorous scavengers that will consume anything edible in sight. They will even eat their friends once they’ve died. Cockroaches do have a sweet tooth. They love eating sweet and starchy things, such as desserts, cardboard, and book binding glue. Human garbage is part of their hugely varying diet and they love it. Their love for decaying or unsanitary things causes a lot of ruined food and contaminated food surfaces. Cockroaches have very weak jaws so they usually go for the softest things to eat. Their mandibles move sideways so they are great at chewing dead skin and hair. However, they aren’t strong enough to bite humans. Because they are cold-blooded insects, cockroaches can live without food for one month, but will only survive one week without water.

To get rid of cockroaches in your home, experts suggest keeping food sealed and stored properly. This is particularly in the kitchen, which needs daily tidying to prevent crumbs and trash from building up. Make sure that you dispose of garbage regularly and that you store it in sealed containers until you take it out. Homeowners should seek out and seal all cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes, as these can serve as entranceways for the pest.

Spreading Sickness

Cockroaches carry many diseases. Over thirty species of bacteria has been found on the cuticle and in the gut of roaches. Some of those have been of serious medical importance such as E. coli, various strains of Salmonella, and Staphylococcus, along with diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid, and various respiratory illnesses. Sometimes, they even transmit parasitic worms.

These pests were also suspected of being the cause of the Hepatitis A outbreak in a Los Angeles housing project in the late 1950’s. It is very difficult to say what part roaches play in small outbreaks due to their ability to hang on to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A 2012 study in Ethiopia showed that there was widespread multi-drug resistance among individual species of bacteria residing on the roaches.

Flying Filth

Not only are these creatures disgusting to look at, but they are also completely filthy. They spoil our clean, bleached perception of what we see as the world. They are amazingly bold and resilient creatures that flourish in our homes and businesses. Cockroaches produce a protein that some people can be sensitive to, particularly those with asthma. This plays into the allergens around your house and outside. Their fecal matter and shed exoskeletons contribute to the amount of allergens they produce. Not only are they filthy, but they are a common reason we have allergies.