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Archive for the ‘Roaches’ Category

The Most Cockroach Infested City

The United States is home to at least 70 native and non-native cockroach species, at least a dozen of which are known pests of homes and buildings. In the US, both pest and non-pest cockroaches are most prevalent and species-diverse in the southern states, particularly in the southeast where mild winters, frequent rainfall, and excessive humidity provide cockroaches with an ideal habitat. Four cockroach pest species can be found in all 48 states of the contiguous US. These species are commonly known as American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana), German cockroaches (Blattella germanica), Oriental cockroaches (Blatta orientalis), and brown-banded cockroaches (Supella longipalpa). The German cockroach is the most commonly controlled roach pest within homes throughout the country, and along with the brown-banded cockroach, the German cockroach is one of the few insect pest species that dwells solely indoors. In addition to the four above mentioned cockroach pest species, smokybrown cockroaches and Australian cockroaches are very common indoor pests in southern Louisiana.

A few years ago, the American Housing Survey revealed New Orleans to be the most cockroach-infested city in the nation. This put the Big Easy ahead of other cities that are notorious for having healthy roach pest populations including Houston, Atlanta and Miami. While visiting northern areas where cockroaches are less problematic, Louisiana residents are often asked about the cockroach situation in their state. Northerners are always surprised to hear how frequently Louisiana residents witness cockroaches flying. One New Orleans resident, Ann Butcher, described an incident in which she screamed in response to finding a cluster of roaches in her kitchen. For the brief moment she opened her mouth to scream, one of the roaches literally flew into her mouth. Since then, Butcher has learned to scream with her mouth closed upon finding creepy-crawlies in her home.

With the exception of the German cockroach, the large sized American and smokybrown cockroach species are the two most frequently encountered roach pests both indoors and outdoors in Louisiana. American and smokybrown cockroaches both fly in response to high-moisture conditions, and the latter frequently flies toward porches, patios, and into homes due to their attraction to white light. American cockroaches are particularly filthy due to their commonality in sewer systems, and adults of this species range from 1 ¼ to a bit more than 2 inches in body length, making them slightly larger than smokybrown cockroaches.

Have you ever witnessed a cockroach fly into your home?

How Often Do People Contract Disease From Roaches Within Homes And Buildings?

According to the American Housing Survey, cockroach infestations and other issues with roach pests are more common in New Orleans than in any other city in the country. Considering that cockroaches are heavily dependent on moisture and heat in order to thrive, it should not be surprising to learn that New Orleans is a hotbed for cockroach pests. Not only is New Orleans surrounded by water, but the city’s crumbling and outdated sewer system is easily accessed by American cockroaches. Sewers provide American cockroaches with an ideal habitat where an inexhaustible amount of organic waste keeps the pests and their offspring well satiated. American cockroaches also favor the darkness, rich social life, and year round warmth in sewer systems.

While sewer systems in all big cities in the US support a massive population of American cockroaches, the deteriorating sewer infrastructure in New Orleans makes it easy for sewer-dwelling roaches to travel with ease into homes and buildings through pipes. Oriental and Australian cockroaches are also known for inhabiting sewers and emerging from indoor drains, though they are not as prevalent in sewers as American cockroaches. Many cities throughout the country have enacted cockroach abatement programs in sewers, and the private pest control industry is moving toward training pest control professionals to recognize instances in which indoor cockroach infestations are associated with defective plumbing and local sewer conditions.

Cockroaches inhabit the filthiest conditions where they feed on virtually all forms of organic waste including excrement, rotting plant litter, rotting food, dead skin, and rotting animal carcasses. This is why the four primary cockroach pest species in the US are each known to carry dozens of disease-causing microorganisms that they may spread to human foods. These four cockroach pest species include American, German, Oriental and brown-banded cockroaches, and each one has been deemed a public health threat by the FDA due to their preference for living among humans where they can spread food-borne pathogens. However, according to Dr. Joseph Kunkel at the University of Massachusetts, cockroach pests are not major disease vectors because they do not carry and spread nearly as many pathogens within homes as humans themselves do. The Dr. goes on to say that it is much more likely for a human to contract a disease from another human than from a cockroach pest. That being said, the disease threat posed by cockroach pests becomes more important in small dwellings like dorms, studio apartments, hospital rooms, and military barracks.

Have you ever detected an odor of cockroaches?

Why Brown-Banded Cockroaches Can Be Difficult To Detect Within Infested Homes, And How Are These Roach Pests Best Controlled?

While German cockroaches are known to be the most common of indoor cockroach pests, one the more difficult cockroach pests to detect and control is the brown-banded cockroach. While most cockroaches seek out moisture when looking for indoor harborages, such as German cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches are one of the few species that can not only tolerate, but prefer warm, high, dry areas. This makes locating and controlling their infestations much more challenging.

Brown-banded cockroaches are dark brown in color, with two light colored horizontal bands stretching across its wings and abdomen, and around ½ inch in length. Their preference for dry areas greatly increases the number of possible hiding spots throughout the house. Other indoor cockroach pests such as German and American cockroaches need more moisture heavy environments, and are most often located by a moisture source such as the kitchen sink. Brown-banded cockroaches, on the other hand, can be found in any part of any room in a home, including on the wall behind pictures, inside closets, behind dressers, near tables and chairs, as well as typical locations like inside the pantry or the bathroom. The brown-banded cockroach is sometimes referred to as the “furniture cockroach” because they can be easily introduced to a home through transported furniture and other items newly brought into a home from some other location.

Like all other cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches are attracted to check out an area that has food they can consume. While brown-banded cockroaches can eat pretty much anything they can find, what makes them unique is their preference for starchy items, including in particular glue used to bind books, wallpaper, and furniture. This broad diet and decrease in environmental restrictions makes this cockroach pest difficult to just to locate let alone eradicate.

Using baiting systems to control brown-banded cockroaches seems to work better and have a number of advantages over other methods. The best way to go about this is by using glue traps first to assess the number of cockroaches present in different areas of the house, helping you locate the best areas to place the bait traps and how much bait you will need to use. A small amount of bait can actually have a significant impact on a cockroach infestation because of a phenomenon known as horizontal transfer. Even after one cockroach consumes the bait, many more cockroaches can be poisoned when another cockroach consumes that first cockroach’s feces, exchanges oral secretions, or the dead carcass of the poisoned cockroach is eaten by other cockroaches. Baits can still take time to work, though, and seeing a significant drop in numbers does not happen instantly.

Have you ever dealt with an infestation of brown-banded cockroaches in your home?

 

 

Which Non-Chemical Cockroach Control Methods Are Known To Be Effective?

Cockroaches are a problem that everyone has to deal with. We’ve all come across cockroaches running across the kitchen floor in the middle of the night or racing out from a hiding spot in the basement or attic that has been revealed after someone moves a box or some other stored item. There seems to be no escaping these horrid pests.

The first thing that generally comes to mind when it comes to controlling cockroaches in your home is the use of chemical baits or insecticides. Not every person feels comfortable using insecticides inside their home, particularly families with small children that might inadvertently ingest said insecticides. If this is the case, then there are non-chemical methods of controlling cockroaches available for use instead. Their success rate depends a lot on the extent of an infestation, and are usually recommended for use in conjunction with other control techniques such as making your home clean and less hospitable to cockroach pests in a number of ways. These non-chemical control methods are also often used together with chemical insecticides to treat larger infestations.

If you are dealing with a light infestation, sticky traps with or without pheromone lures can be used to control cockroaches. These can be placed anywhere cockroaches have been spotted or detected, as well as areas that attract the pests such as kitchens and bathrooms. These traps must be monitored frequently to check for full or old traps that need to be replaced. You can also make your own simple trap out of a glass jar. You first want to glue or tape a paper towel around the outside of the glass jar, so the cockroaches have a rough enough surface they can climb up the jar, which they will then fall inside once they reach the top. To keep the cockroaches from getting out, line the inner lip of the jar with petroleum jelly. Place a piece of bread soaked in beer or another food item that will actively draw cockroaches inside the jar. Finally, place the jar upright in a cabinet, on the floor in the kitchen or anywhere else you have seen them, and leave it there overnight to attract some unlucky roaches. When you check it in the morning, if you find some cockroaches, they can be killed by closing the jar and placing it in the freezer or filling it with water and detergent.

Another non-chemical control method is using temperature to kill the pests. Cockroach pests can be eliminated through heat treatments. However, this only works if you are able to heat the entire room or apartment to around 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 6 hours straight. Cold treatments are used effectively on smaller infested items. The object must stay at a temperature below 0 degrees Fahrenheit continuously for at least several days in order to eliminate all cockroach pests, including nymphs and oothecae.

Have you ever used any non-chemical control methods to eliminate cockroaches?

A Recent Government Study On The Frequency Of Insect Pest Issues Within US Cities Found That Cockroach Infestations Are Most Prevalent Within New Orleans

Certain cockroach species benefit from living in close association with humans, and it has historically been assumed that all cockroach pests found within homes are nothing more than an ugly nuisance. However, this is no longer the case, as a growing amount of scholarly literature demonstrates that roach pests radiate bodily matter that contributes to the development of asthma when this matter is inhaled. If that is not enough, it is well known that common cockroach pest species are covered in more than 30 different types of disease-causing microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, molds, and a couple of viruses. Also, researchers have recently found indoor cockroach pest species carrying an amoeba that causes dysentery, another parasite that causes giardiasis, and the poliovirus. Unfortunately for New Orleans residents, a recent study carried out by government researchers has revealed that cockroach infestations are most frequent in New Orleans when compared to all other US cities.

Every other year, Federal employees carry out the American Housing Survey, which asks people all over the US questions about housing satisfaction, the interior conditions of their home, and which, if any, pests have been problematic within or near their home, including insect, arachnid, and wildlife pests. Although the four primary cockroach species in the US infest homes in all US states, the housing survey almost always finds that cities located near oceans and other bodies of water see the highest rate of cockroach infestations. It probably won’t come as a surprise to residents of the Big Easy to learn that their historically notable home city is the most cockroach-infested metropolitan area in the country. However, residents of New Orleans may be shocked to hear that more than 41 percent of residents in the city have encountered cockroach pests within the past year. This is due to New Orleans’ subtropical geographic location, outdated urban and residential structures, and the city’s crude infrastructure, specifically the city’s anachronistic sewer system, which was constructed before the arrival of the 20th century.

Have you ever encountered two different cockroach species within your home on the same day?

 

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