September 14th, 2021 by
Can you imagine a cannibalistic creature that can regrow a lost limb and survive without a head? Surely, something from a horror movie? Actually, no; this is a description of a standard, ordinary cockroach – not even some mutated, super-roach.
Urban myth would have you believe that cockroaches could actually survive a nuclear apocalypse and, while that’s not actually true, it’s easy to see why their resilience as a species has earned them this unkillable reputation. The good news is they can be killed, with the right treatments, but they are nasty little things and the key to eradication is recognising early signs that you have an infestation.
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What attracts cockroaches and are they harmful?
There is no good news on this front either. They are attracted to dirt and grime, in particular food waste, so an intrusion of cockroaches is usually an indication that there is a source of waste in or around your home that is not being dealt with. (This is why they can often be spotted near bins). They can also be attracted by stagnant water.
And, yes, there is a health risk associated with cockroaches. Because they are attracted to dirt and waste, they will spread bacteria and disease from said waste wherever they go. Their shed skin and faeces are also irritants to anyone with respiratory problems, such as asthma or emphysema.
The signs of a cockroach infestation
The longer an infestation continues unchecked, the worse the problem will get as they reproduce so early detection is a must. Here are the warning signs that you have a cockroach problem:
Cockroaches like the dark and to be hidden away but they will, of course, come to the source of dirt and waste to feed and this will be where you may spot them. If you do see one, don’t squash it, however tempting. Not only is it quite unpleasant, due to the crunching noise it makes as you break its hard shell and the nasty smell their innards emit when crushed, this smell will attract other cockroaches to feed (remember, they are cannibalistic).
Eggs and Skin
Like many pests, cockroaches hatch from eggs and shed their skin as they grow. These can often be found near food waste or the eggs can be found stuck to walls or furniture.
Droppings, unfortunately, come with the territory of any infestation. Cockroach droppings may appear as small black or brown pellets or brown smears, depending how hydrated they are.
As if they weren’t already undesirable enough, cockroaches will also chew through anything and can cause substantial damage to your home. Look out for signs of chewing on carpets, furniture, wood, curtains, and walls – to name just a few areas they may munch on.
As nasty as they are, you have to admire cockroaches’ survival abilities. They’re also quite clever, communicating with each other via smell. The stronger the smell, the bigger the infestation is likely to be. The smell is a pungent, musty, oily odour and is quite distinctive.
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Getting rid of cockroaches
As resilient as they are, there are products available that will kill them. Using a combination of treatments, including fumers, dusting powder, and insect killer spray, will do the best job and remember to retreat the area after a few days to get rid of any rogue ones that evaded the first doses. Of course, all this is moot if the source of dirt/waste/stagnant water is not dealt with. High hygiene standards are the best strategy for preventing future infestations.
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