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Cockroaches: How You Can Prevent An Infestation


Prepare yourself. I'm about to use a ten cent word. But in my defense, it isn't mine. I got it from a scientist who studies the effects of household pests in urban centers. He says, "The evidence for a relationship between allergic asthma and domestic exposure to cockroaches, mice and dust mites is strong. These a significant role in the pathogenesis of urban asthma." Pathogenesis means the source of a disease. The root patho, which is also in pathology, means disease. And, genesis means origin. Are you with me so far? Cockroaches don't just spread bacteria and disease, they are also a source of disease. So, they don't just "look" disgusting. They "are" disgusting.

Fifty percent of adults and eighty percent of children with asthma also have allergies. If you are experiencing the symptoms of asthma, it may not be that pollution in the air. It may be an allergic reaction to cockroaches living in your home. "Well", you might say, "I only have a couple roaches. What's the big deal?" I don't want to creep you out, but if you've seen a couple cockroaches, there could be thousands living in your walls. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reported that 78% to 98% of urban homes have as many as 900 to 330,000 roaches in each home. That is an alarming statistic. But the truth is, no one has to live with cockroaches in their home--okay--unless you have the misfortune of living next to someone who is infested to the rafters. Cockroaches are quite resourceful. If you have a number of them in a nearby dwelling, no amount of defenses can keep all of those roaches out. But you can certainly reduce the numbers to a mere handful, by following a few common-sense practices.

  • Keep all your trash in sealed cans. Trash is a food source and a breeding site for roaches.
  • Deep clean under and around your fridge and stove. The last thing you want is a sheet of roaches congregating on a patch of spilled orange juice that ran under the fridge, or dining on bacon grease that dripped between the stove and the wall.
  • Seal all of your boxed or bagged food in hard, plastic containers. This will prevent roaches from smelling those tasty morsels, and deter them from getting into your food.
  • Vacuum regularly. You would be surprised how many crumbs get into a rug.
  • Seal your foundation and exterior walls. If you see a hole, no matter how big, use a caulking gun to seal it, until you can get it properly fixed. Get gaps around pipes, fixtures and outlets as well.
  • Have your perimeter and exterior walls sprayed. This will finish off the roaches that can't take a hint.

If roaches are already in your home, call a pest professional. They can help you eradicate the threat, clean the infected areas, and help you devise more exclusion methods specific to your particular situation. Pest professionals aren't just exterminators anymore. A certified technician is more like a bug doctor. They are plugged into terabytes of historical data on pest prevention and able to teach you how to use modern day Integrated Pest Management to protect your family from roaches.