Problem: Cockroaches are found
scavenging inside the home.
Background: Cockroaches, persistent household
pests, generally breed in warm, moist, and narrow
locations. As scavengers, they will eat almost any food,
as well as backing glue, leather, bookbinding's, even
television wiring. They are nocturnal, hiding during the
day and becoming active at night. The cockroaches seen
running for cover when the lights are turned on will
represent only a small part of the total population; a few
seen can indicate a larger population that should be
Types of cockroaches include the German cockroach, which generally
inhabits kitchens or places where food is easily
accessible; the Oriental cockroach, which favors warm,
humid places, particularly basements; the brown-banded
cock roach, which can be found any where; the American
cockroach, which is found in warm, moist places where food
is available; and the wood roach which does not breed
indoors, but will invade homes, cabins, and other
buildings in or near wooded areas.
What to do: Cockroaches can be carried into homes
in bags, boxes, and luggage. Corrugated cardboard boxes
can be a source of infestation (see below). To reduce
chances of infestation, don’t leave food in easily
accessible areas, such as pet food in an open bag, or food
left in a dish overnight. Keep garbage picked up and
stored in closed plastic bags. Fix leaky pipes or faucets.
Rinse bottles and store properly. Do not allow boxes, old
newspapers, or anything else to clutter rooms and give
cock roaches hiding places. Leave spaces between stored
Once an infestation occurs, an insecticide is usually required,
along with good sanitation. Several house hold
insecticides available have a long residual effect; apply
them where roaches hide or run, such as along baseboards,
behind stoves, and along cracks and crevices. It is not
necessary to treat flat surfaces, such as countertops or
floor surfaces. An infestation in multiple-unit dwellings
will probably require the treatment of several units. Cock
roaches move along common pipes, electric conduits, and
heating ducts. Plug space around these openings to prevent
infestation from other units.
Special advice: To avoid moving cockroaches with
you, use boxes and packing material from a place un
infested with cockroaches. When packing, watch for
cockroaches and their egg capsules, which are dark colored
and about the size and shape of a kidney bean. If found,
re move and destroy. If boxes are stored overnight in
infested buildings, keep them off the floor and away from
the walls by placing them on chairs or tables. During the
winter, 2 days at 0°F will kill cock roaches at all
stages; at 20°F 4 to 5 days may be required, especially
for well-insulated boxes.
Helpful hint: When
using insecticides, don’t spray near food, dishes, or
utensils, and don’t allow children or pets near treated
surfaces until spray has dried. Household aerosol bombs
don’t deliver enough insecticide to have residual
effectiveness against cockroaches. However, pyrethrum
aerosols help flush them out and can increase
effectiveness of residual pesticides. The use of ultra
sonic pest-control devices is not recommended because they
have not proven effective.
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