Contrary to popular belief, the German cockroach did not originate from Germany, as a matter of fact entomologists theorize that these cockroaches originated in Southeast Asia. They also believe that German cockroaches hitchhiked their way to North America hundreds of years ago. Today, German cockroaches can now be found on every continent, except Antarctica! How’s that for hitchhiking around the world?
These roaches have made themselves comfortable living in our homes, apartments, restaurants, food plants, hotels, and many other common places where there they can get access to shelter, warmth, food, and water.
The big question is, what can you do to get rid of these pests that have proven themselves to be great hitchhikers, scavengers, and have so comfortably adapted to human living?
- Because German cockroaches are typically brought into structures, potentially infested products should be closely inspected. Many types of cardboard and plastic traps are available to help pinpoint sources of cockroach infestation and to monitor areas which occupants have complained but infestations cannot be visually detected. Sticky traps are not intended for control but, rather, help identify harbourage areas and to guide and evaluate control efforts as part of the inspection process.
- It is very difficult to prevent cockroaches from entering your homes. It is therefore very important that your house is kept clean.
- All food sources available to cockroaches should be eliminated by tidying countertops, floors and around garbage cans. Also, your appliances should be kept clean. Try not to leave dishes in the sink overnight. Since cockroaches come out at night, they may be drawn to any food left on plates that are sitting in the sink. Any exposed food should be stored in sealed containers.
- An effective cockroach management program depends on good sanitation to eliminate food, water and harbourage sites they need for survival. Clean-up to reduce cockroaches in the home and office environment must focus mainly on the food residue in and around coffee machines, microwave ovens, stoves, refrigerators, trash cans, furniture and areas where exposed food is stored. It is critical to reduce clutter, as cockroaches like to hide in stacked boxes and locations near food and water. Vacuum cleaning can be used to physically remove exposed cockroaches.
- Permanent reduction of cockroach populations can be achieved by caulking to eliminate harbourage areas. The most important piece is to eliminate cracks to reduce hiding sites. These include those in which sinks and fixtures are mounted to the wall and/or floor, around all types of plumbing, baseboard moulding and corner guards where shelves and cabinets meet walls and door frames as well as cracks on or near food preparation surfaces.
- Cockroach access routes between apartments and from wall voids and around plumbing and electrical fixtures should be sealed with caulk or grout. Basement floor drains should be protected with screens or basket inserts which should be cleaned regularly.
- Residual sprays should be applied to ALL cracks, crevices and around baseboards. Read and follow the label instructions before using ANY product. Even if activity has not been detected within a room, precautions should be taken with a thorough spray treatment of the entire home or business. Also, you should apply insect dust to various cracks and crevices throughout the building. Harbourage areas (under fridge and stove, cracks, crevices, pipe chases, around the toilets and under the kitchen bathroom sinks) should be treated. Once the treatment is done, you must vacate the home for at least 4-6 hours. Infants, seniors, pregnant and people with asthma or health issues should stay away for longer periods of time.
- Gel baits may also be used to control cockroaches; however, sanitation plays an important factor to ensure the cockroaches consume the bait and not other food stuffs.
It is important to note that a cockroach can live without food for approximately 30 days, depending on conditions. That means that if it’s getting water at reasonable intervals, and its warm and comfortable, then the cockroach can survive easily until a food source can be found.
It’s also important to note that a female cockroach can produce over 10,000 descendants in one year, which is why it’s very important that you act fast if you find cockroaches in your home.
German cockroaches cause more harm than good and the safest bet to getting rid of these pests is by hiring a professional. Contact Poulin’s through our online “What’s Bugging You” contact form for a free estimate or engage with us on social media!