As the temperature drops this season, more people are spending more time at home. But so are the pests, such as cockroaches.
To prep their property for fall and winter, homeowners should consider contacting a pest control team to take care of the roaches before they multiply and infest. But this article elaborates on the reasons it should be on top of an owner’s to-do list.
Why Cockroaches Are Abundant during Fall
Cockroaches possess the reputation of being tough. They’re supposed to survive even a nuclear bombing. However, they are sensitive to temperature and humidity. For them, the best environment is something warm and cozy.
Although they are the most numerous during summer, they love to hide in nooks and crannies during fall and winter. The temperature drop forces them to also hunker down in a home.
Further, like other pests, they go where the food supply is. Cockroaches are omnivores, which means they can eat pretty much anything.
They usually prefer meat and starches since they seem to have a sweet tooth, but they can also dine on any organic matter. These include spoiled food, hair, and even books. All these are easily accessible in a home.
Roaches can also outnumber themselves because of how fast they reproduce. A female roach can lay at least two egg cases weekly. Each case can contain as many as 16 eggs. The number of cases declines later, but it still means a lot of eggs reproduced each month.
Moreover, a 2014 study revealed that female cockroaches lay eggs faster when touched even by something that mimics an antenna. The same thing happens if other female cockroaches stimulated these roaches.
The Dangers of Cockroaches
But why should you get rid of roaches as soon as you can? They are health hazards:
1. Allergies and Asthma
Asthma and allergy are two different things, but they all affect the respiratory system. According to research, about 60% of allergy sufferers living in urban areas are more likely sensitive to cockroaches.
To be specific, they can develop allergic reactions or asthma symptoms when they come into contact with the feces and dead skin of cockroaches.
Although these conditions already have medications, they can still be dangerous. A person might develop anaphylactic shock. It is a systemic condition wherein the air’s passageway closes fast, preventing the individual from breathing.
Remember when we said that cockroaches feed on almost everything? Well, they can also eat human excrement. While they can stomach that, their gut can be a reservoir of different pathogens that can endanger human lives. These include salmonella, streptococcus, and amoeba.
These harmful microorganisms can increase the risk of food poisoning symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Although many can survive it, this health issue is life-threatening for vulnerable groups. These are children, older adults, and people with a compromised immune system.
According to the CDC, salmonella infects about 1.35 million people and causes over 25,000 hospitalizations. At least 400 people die from it.
The gut of cockroaches can also harbor the polio virus. In the United States, polio is virtually eradicated. The last known case was in 1979. However, it remains a problem in many developing countries. With the more parents opting out of vaccination, it can still come back in the country. Roaches can help spread it.
What You Can Do to Minimize Cockroaches
The best way to deal with roaches is to call an exterminator. This is even if the homeowner thinks that they don’t have “a lot” of it. A few roaches can multiply fast. Moreover, exterminators can help take care of other pests, such as flies and wasps, that can make the home less safe for everyone.
But homeowners can also do more to prevent or reduce the risk of roaches infesting their property:
- Fix gaps. Roaches can find their way inside homes through cracks and gaps. Seal them. Have them fixed right away.
- Check their possible hideaways. The best environment for the roaches depends on their type. For example, American roaches prefer wet or moist places. These include kitchens, pipes, and drains. They can also hide under the sink, inside cupboards, and dark drawers. When books are damaged for an unknown reason, there’s a good chance the house has a roach infestation.
- Empty the trash. Roaches can live even in the cleanest homes, but they are guaranteed to survive in dirty environments.
The last thing homeowners need is to share their space with pests like roaches, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. One needs to lessen their exposure to other conditions that can lower their immune system.