When you turn on the light, the last thing you want to hear is the telltale scurrying of tiny feet as insects run for cover. For anyone who’s dealt with cockroaches, this unpleasant scenario may be all too familiar. Cockroaches aren’t just unsightly and irritating, they’re also a health and hygiene concern. Avoiding cockroach infestation should be a priority for any property owner. Follow these top tips from pest control experts and make sure these little critters don’t get too close for comfort.
Keep cockroaches out by using simple, preventative measures and identifying the places they might lurk.
Before taking action to prevent a pest issue, it’s helpful to know which areas of your home are most appealing to cockroaches. These areas should be inspected and monitored closely, since – if an infestation does occur – the first signs of a pest’s presence are likely to be spotted.
If a spare bathroom is usually empty, the dark environment could also increase its appeal as a potential “roach hangout.”
A few simple actions can prevent cockroaches from entering your home.
Roaches can also climb through improperly positioned drain covers, so it’s essential to check that these openings are secured. Look behind cabinets and appliances for tiny cracks in your walls or baseboards. These methods are especially important for apartment dwellers, since no matter how carefully you monitor your own living space, the residents of neighbouring units may be less vigilant.
If you live in a house your foundation should also be inspected, since pests can gain access via small holes in the concrete. A pest control expert can spot any potential access points and seal them quickly and efficiently.
Grocery bags should also be scanned while items are unpacked, since produce departments are particularly susceptible to infestation. If you’re shopping at an unfamiliar grocery store or visiting a new restaurant, take extra care to inspect bags you take home. When possible, avoid placing purses and other personal items on the floor in restaurants.
Cover all indoor garbage and organically bins, washing and emptying them regularly. Clear the cooking area of crumbs, and sweep floors nightly. Avoid leaving dirty dishes in a sink. Cockroaches will be drawn to food residue (not just the food source itself), so it’s not enough to merely brush off a plate and leave it sitting until morning.
Finally, check behind refrigerators and stoves; since these areas are rarely cleaned, they’re popular hiding spots for pests. By working these habits into your nightly routine, you’ll also increase your chances of spotting an infestation quickly, if one should occur. Homes with small children will naturally require extra attention.
No one wants to see a cockroach in their vicinity, but many people don’t realize that a roach infestation can have more serious consequences. The saliva, feces, and body parts of cockroaches contain proteins that act as allergens. The presence of these proteins can trigger allergic reactions, particularly in children.
They can cause asthma attacks, with reactions sometimes caused by the bodies of dead roaches. Cockroaches are known to have caused especially severe asthma attacks in older patients.
Cockroaches are also capable of carrying microbes on their bodies. These include pathogens and bacteria (among them E. Coli and salmonella), as well as parasitic worms. Pathogens and bacteria are then transferable to surfaces, food, and dishware in your home.
For restaurant owners the risks increase. An infestation can spread gastrointestinal illnesses among restaurant workers and patrons, and will likely result in the swift closure of your business.
Amazingly, cockroaches can live up to three months without eating. If an infestation does occur, even once you’ve removed their food source (i.e. careful cleaning and food storage) it’s not yet safe to assume they’ve fled the area. To make sure that the last roach you saw really is the last one, have an expert inspect your home for any signs of a lingering infestation.
A cockroach infestation is a nuisance, but it’s an avoidable one if you use these simple precautions. However, if you do hear little feet scurrying, call professional exterminators to assist you.
Greenleaf Pest Control serves Toronto, the GTA, and anywhere in Southern Ontario. We’ll help you eliminate any current cockroach infestations, and we’ll help protect against problems in the future: (416) 998-9473.