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Archive for the ‘Roaches’ Category

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 This is due to New Orleans’ subtropical geographic location, outdated urban and residential structures, and the city’s crude infrastructure, specifically the city’s anachronistic sewer system, which was constructed before the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?

 

Oriental Cockroaches Are Uniquely Well Suited For Thriving Within Southern Homes, And The Infestations They Establish Within Homes Are Becoming More Extensive

Several cockroach species are common household pests throughout Louisiana, including American, German, Oriental, Australian, Turkestan, Surinam, smokybrown, and brown-banded cockroaches. Many experts state that the Oriental cockroach is more capable of thriving indoors in the southern states than any other cockroach species found in the region. This may be due to the Oriental cockroaches’ ability to thrive in dry and cool indoor areas as well as moist and hot indoor areas. Historically, Oriental cockroach infestations were largely limited to basements, crawl spaces, cellars, and high-moisture areas on the ground floor of homes. However, this roach has been changing its habits in recent years, as they are now being found throughout homes, including the uppermost floors and attics. The Oriental cockroach is also the roach pest that is most frequently associated with “cockroach odors,” which are usually musty smelling and unpleasant.

Oriental cockroaches are dark brown to black and relatively large, as male and female adults are between 1 and 1 ¼ inches in length. Males and females cannot fly, and males have short wings that cover ¾ of their body, while female wings are nearly non-existent. Oriental cockroaches can typically be readily identified by their slow and sluggish movements, and they are abundant on residential lawns, making it common for one or a few specimens to wander indoors in search of food. Because of this, finding a small number of Oriental cockroaches indoors does not mean that an infestation has been established. Unlike domestic cockroach species that dwell primarily indoors, Oriental cockroaches generally prefer outdoor habitats, but they often invade homes through crawl space openings and along pipelines when outdoor conditions become unfavorable.

Pest control professionals sometimes apply an insecticide barrier around the perimeter of homes to prevent Oriental cockroach invasions. In many infestation cases, insecticide is usually applied to exterior foundation walls, especially around pillars, pipes, porches, and supports where the most common entry points are located. Several low-toxic control methods are also useful for controlling Oriental cockroaches, such as gel baits and bait stations containing boric acid and fipronil. Insecticide dusts like diatomaceous earth (DE) and silica aerogel are often used to kill Oriental cockroaches within wall voids, and DE is virtually non-toxic. Keeping outdoor vegetation well groomed, and keeping all plants and mulch a foot or more away from exterior foundation walls will make properties less attractive to Oriental cockroaches. Of course, sealing cracks, crevices and other potential entry points on exterior walls will prevent pests of all sorts from accessing interior living spaces.

Have you ever smelled a cockroach odor?

Hundreds Of Thousands Of German Cockroaches Can Infest A Single Home, And Other Disturbing Roach-Related Facts

A variety of cockroach species are known to appear within Louisiana homes, including the one to two inch long American cockroach, the airborne Asian cockroach, and the indoor-dwelling German and brown-banded cockroaches. American cockroaches prefer to make themselves at home in large structures, such as restaurants, urban buildings, warehouses, and especially, sewer lines. Although American cockroaches usually infest buildings, it is not unheard of for specimens to travel up sewer pipes and enter homes through drains.

Asian cockroaches were recently introduced into the US, and since they were first discovered in Florida during the 1980s, they have expanded their distribution into most Gulf Coast states. There exists conflicting information concerning the pest status of Asian cockroaches in the US, as many reputable sources, including the LSU Ag Center website, claim that they are not pests of homes. However, many pest control professionals may disagree with this claim, as a nationwide survey of pest control operators revealed that the Asian cockroach was the seventh most commonly controlled cockroach species in the country during 2016. These roaches are capable flyers, and their attraction to electric light sources may explain why pest control professionals frequently address Asian cockroach pest issues in residential areas. Luckily, Asian cockroaches are easily controlled, as they have not evolved a resistance to insecticides due to their recent arrival in the country.

German cockroaches are easily the most commonly controlled cockroach pests of homes throughout the US, which is not surprising considering that they dwell solely indoors. While the brown-banded cockroach is also a domestic roach pest, they are becoming more scarce in the US for reasons that are not well understood by experts. Also, the German cockroach has been a pest in the US for centuries, while the brown-banded species was first discovered in the country early in the last century. According to Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association, German cockroaches are prolific breeders, and a single infestation in a residential home can consist of anywhere between 900 to hundreds of thousands of individual roaches. Considering New Orleans’ occasional status as the most roach-infested American city, just about every resident knows that infestations must be addressed quickly in order to avoid professional pest control intervention. While German cockroaches are especially difficult to eliminate from infested homes, insect growth regulators have proven to be an effective method of controlling the pests.

Have you ever attempted a DYI roach control operation?

How To Recognize Brown Cockroaches And Their Eggs

There are four primary cockroach species that infest homes throughout the United States. These species are commonly known as America, German, Oriental and brown-banded cockroaches. In addition to these four species, several additional cockroach pests can be found in the southeast where the subtropical climate favors roach activity. For example, the non-native species commonly known as smokybrown cockroaches, Australian cockroaches, and Surinam cockroaches can only be found in the Gulf Coast states. Periplaneta brunnea is another non-native cockroach species that can only be found in tropical and subtropical locations including Louisiana. This species is more commonly known as the “brown cockroach,” and its relatively large size can be unsettling to homeowners who find these pests indoors.

The brown cockroach is similar to the American cockroach in both appearance and behavior, but only the latter can be found throughout the country. Adult brown cockroaches are between 1.5 and 2 inches in length, and are reddish-brown in color. Much like American cockroaches, brown cockroaches possess a yellowish band directly behind their head on their upper back, but unlike American cockroaches, brown cockroach wings do not extend beyond their abdomen. Although the American cockroach is the second most commonly managed roach species within homes and buildings in the US, the brown cockroach is a surprisingly more common pest of homes in certain areas of the south. This may be due to the unusually rapid rate at which brown cockroaches proliferate in moist and humid conditions in the south.

The brown cockroach egg case, or “ootheca” is 12 to 16 mm long, and they are 5.2 mm longer than the average ootheca produced by female American cockroaches. The number of eggs within a brown cockroach ootheca varies from 21 to 28, and eggs develop into adults within 339 to 360 days, far shorter than the American cockroach life cycle. Female brown cockroaches use a frothy white oral secretion to paste their eggs to walls within protected locations, such as dark and moist harborages, beneath sinks, behind appliances, in basements, and within wall voids in bathrooms and kitchens. Initially, an ootheca appears brown in color, but they become progressively darker with age.

Have you ever found a cockroach egg case within your home?

 

 

The Four Strategies For Managing Cockroach Pests

Cockroaches are a major nuisance pest for most of the country, but it’s even worse in southern states like Louisiana due to their preference for moist, warm, and somewhat tropical habitats. Since they’ve become uniquely adapted to living amidst humans, they can become a serious household pest. They don’t merely pose an annoyance, though, as cockroaches are a source of allergens and pose an even bigger health threat to those people that have asthma. Knowing how to manage cockroach pests in your home is necessary when the pests have infiltrated our world to the point that they have.

The first strategy for controlling cockroach pests is preventing their presence from entering your home in the first place. This involves checking your home over for possible spots cockroaches could find their way in and sealing any crevices or cracks you may find in your kitchen, bathroom, exterior walls, doors, and windows. You may also need to make certain structural modifications to make your home such as using pipe collars and weather stripping. Even if you make sure your home is sealed tightly from the outside, you still will need to make sure your home is as inhospitable to cockroaches as possible. This involves using the second strategy for controlling cockroaches, which is sanitation. This is doing things around your house to deny cockroaches access to food, water, and shelter so they don’t want to settle in. You want to make sure to keep your home clean, particularly your kitchen where crumbs might be lying around or the food in your pantry and cupboards might not be in properly sealed and tight containers or your pet’s food might be left in its bowl for cockroaches to devour at night. You can eliminate possible shelter by making sure your home isn’t cluttered with papers, rags, or anything else that could become a convenient hideaway. Fixing things like plumbing leaks, drains, and sink traps will help eliminate any possible source of water for cockroaches.

If you have already found cockroaches in your home, there are two other strategies you can apply towards eliminating them. The first strategy is to trap cockroaches in your home using commercially available cockroach traps. These are most effective when placed against vertical surfaces, in corners, inside cabinets, under sinks, in the basement, and by floor drains. The last thing you can do to rid your home of cockroaches is to use chemical controls. You can find numerous commercially available insecticides and instructions on how to properly use them. This is probably the point when you might want to call in a pest control professional for some help as well.

What strategies do you use to manage cockroach pests in your home?

 

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