The main issue with cockroaches is that they are unsanitary insects. They rarely bite people and they don't have venom. And it is important to understand that, while cockroaches are known to spread pathogens, the primary concern is their ability to promote intestinal illness. Cockroaches aren't generally a direct vector for diseases. Today, we aim to dissect the controversy surrounding cockroach-related illnesses and give you the facts. It is essential to understand how roaches impact your health because cockroach prevention is hard work. If you don't want to learn cockroach facts or the steps you can take to prevent a cockroach infestation, remember that the Green Pro Specialists at EcoTech Pest Control Services are happy to help you with the difficult task of keeping pests out of your home. We provide effective, environmentally-friendly cockroach pest control in Tampa. Jump to our contact page and reach out to us for service. 

cockroach on a stone floor
cockroach on tree trunk

Habits And Behaviors Of Common Cockroaches

When you open a dumpster lid and see cockroaches crawling all over the garbage inside, are you surprised? Of course not. It isn't surprising to find roaches crawling on garbage. It is also not surprising to find them crawling around on the wall of a sewer culvert, exploring the carcass of an animal on the side of the road, or sitting on something your dog left in the yard. Yes, this is gross. Why is it necessary to describe where roaches are found? Because they look like beetles that crawl around on the dirt and tunnel in the ground. While dirt is, well—dirty, it isn't going to make you sick. If you find a black beetle in your home, you have little to worry about because beetles don't have any interest in exploring your trash receptacles. But if you see a black cockroach in your home, that is an oriental cockroach, and it will have more than just dirt on it. Oriental roaches are the grossest of all pest roaches in our Tampa service area.

Not all cockroaches are the same. Some aren't nearly as gross as others. If wood roaches get into your Tampa home, it isn't nearly as bad as having oriental, American, or German cockroaches. Wood roaches often feed on natural sources and organic decay, such as decomposing leaves. There is a big difference between decomposing leaves and decomposing food in your garbage. You can tell wood roaches apart from the others by how they behave. wood roaches are active during the day.

One last behavior we'd like to point out is the attraction cockroaches have to tight spaces. When roaches explore your exterior, they can't help but squeeze into entry points they find. They have a condition called thigmotaxis. They are drawn to touch surfaces and prefer spaces where they have their backs and bellies touching surfaces at the same time. One reason for this is that cockroaches are top-heavy. If they don't grip to the floor, they fall over and die—which is why you find cockroaches laying on their backs in homes that don't have pest control. In a tight space, a cockroach can relax. Why do we mention this? Because cockroaches are prone to getting into homes. Once inside, they are drawn to every dirty thing hidden in every tight space, such as the grease on the sides of your oven. You don't see that grease because it is hidden. But cockroaches are prone to getting into the tight space between an oven and a counter or wall.

Now that you have more of an understanding of cockroach behavior patterns and their dirty habits, let's dig into why roaches are considered a danger. You may already have some idea, but there is likely more to it than you might imagine. 

Why Cockroaches Are Considered So Dangerous

If you find a cockroach in your house, you can know for sure that it is finding dirty things that you wouldn't touch. These dirty things have microorganisms on them. Have you heard of Salmonella? Have you heard of hookworms? These are invisible organisms found in association with rotting organic matter. The key danger cockroaches present is their ability to move these organisms from places you would never consider touching to sensitive locations in your home, such as counters, cutting boards, plates, and stored food. If this were the only danger to having roaches in your home, it would be enough. But sadly, there is more.

Cockroaches spread allergens. The proteins in their shed skins and saliva aggravate asthma symptoms. Recent studies reveal an increase in hospitalizations in urban homes with cockroach infestations. Cockroach infestations also increase the risk of complications. It is not good to have cockroach exoskeletons littered about your home and hidden in your air ducts.

While cockroaches will not make you deathly ill the moment they enter your home, long-term habitation will inevitably lead to health issues. It is wise to take steps to get rid of cockroaches and keep them out. Let's take a look at what you can do to keep them out.     

Five Easy-Yet-Effective Cockroach Prevention Tips

Tampa residents have the most control over cockroaches in their yards. Sanitation, exclusion work, and habitat alterations can reduce cockroach activity and prevent infestation. No specialized knowledge of cockroach control products is needed. If your cockroach problem requires the application of control materials, it is best to contact a pest control service provider. With that said, here are five ways to prevent an infestation. These tips may also drive roaches out of homes, depending on the species.

1. Sanitation

Poor sanitation is a magnet for cockroaches. They are attracted to food that is rotting. They are attracted to dog droppings in the yard. They are attracted to piles of junk. The list goes on. If you hope to keep cockroaches away from your home, you need to keep things neat and tidy. 

2. Habitat Alterations

Cockroaches slide under yard clutter. They love those tight spaces. They also use yard clutter to hide from the sun. On a hot Tampa day, the sun will dry cockroaches out and cause them to dehydrate. Remove yard clutter, starting with organic materials, such as leaf piles, branches, scrap wood, and piled stones. 

3. Exclusion Work

Cockroaches don't tunnel through wood or chew a hole in your weatherstripping. They access your home by way of available entry points. They'll squeeze through foundation cracks. They'll squeeze through gaps around pipes. They'll scale your walls and squeeze through tiny gaps around your window panes. Use a caulking gun to seal gaps. Fill holes in with expanding foam. Replace weatherstripping where needed and install door sweeps.

4. House Cleaning

Cockroaches can infest the cleanest homes. House cleaning is not a solution on its own. But it can have a big impact on the cockroaches that find their way inside, particularly oriental roaches. These are the black cockroaches that hide under your trash receptacles and leave their egg pouches in the bottom of trash cans and dumpsters. When they get into a clean home, they can't find suitable breeding sites and will not like the limited food resources. Other roaches are impacted in a similar way but to different degrees. While house cleaning isn't a complete solution, it is a critical piece to the cockroach control puzzle because it not only deters cockroaches but limits exposure to disease-causing organisms. Along with house cleaning, make sure you keep all trash in sealed containers for added protection and deterrence.  

5. Moisture Control

Cockroaches are attracted to high humidity and moist habitats. In your yard, they'll hide in damp landscaping and explore damp ground next to your home. Inside, they are drawn to your bathroom. You can deter them on the outside by cleaning your gutters and maintaining a dry perimeter and dry landscaping. There are many tips in our other blog posts to help you with this. Indoors, repair leaking pipes, address other plumbing issues, and use your fan when you take a shower or bath.

Now that you know how to get rid of cockroaches naturally, and can work to keep roaches out of your home, it is time to discuss how professional service fits into the picture. 

Total Cockroach Control For Tampa Residents

Effective cockroach control requires constant counterpressure around your home. Your service professional provides this by applying routine treatments. Here are a few examples:

  • Routine liquid barrier treatments make it hard for cockroaches to get near your home or to find a way inside.
  • Baits are applied to target certain species when appropriate.
  • Integrated Pest Management is used to alter conducive conditions, address potential entry points, and limit the need for control materials. We apply sanitation, mechanical control, cultural control, and biological control as required.

Are you in Tampa? If so, contact EcoTech Pest Control Services. Our GreenPro and QualityPro certified team can help you find the right plan to address your cockroach concerns. While cockroaches aren't as dangerous as you've heard, they're certainly not harmless. Get appropriate control of these insects to maintain a healthy home. 

 

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