The Unofficial Pest Of NYC: The Formidable Cockroach

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If you live in NYC, you've likely seen a cockroach. In fact, you've likely seen one of four species of cockroach. While there are estimated to be around 4,500 species of cockroaches in the world, there are only four species considered serious household pests in America. They are the American cockroach, the German cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, and the brown-banded cockroach. Surprisingly, the American, German, and Oriental cockroaches do not come from the geographic locations they are associated with. Not that it matters. When you find a cockroach in your home, you don't care what country or region it came from. You want it gone—along with all of its friends.

carpenter ants chewing through wood to create tunnels

Why are cockroaches so abundant in NYC?

Cockroaches do quite well in urban centers because they are highly mobile and resilient insects that can find many food sources in the urban landscape, many of which you would not find appetizing. These insects can feed on feces, human hair, wallpaper paste, soap, fabrics, paper, dead insects, and more.

How are cockroaches highly mobile?

We're probably not telling you anything you don't know but, if you're not aware of how amazingly mobile these insects are, consider that they can:

  • Climb most vertical surfaces at full speed.
  • Run across ceilings.
  • Squeeze through gaps half, or even a third, their height.
  • Run across a table, go over the edge, and run across the bottom without slowing down.
  • Fit through the holes of an outlet when they first hatch.

How are cockroaches resilient?

You've probably heard that cockroaches can survive a global thermonuclear war. But that is just the beginning of how resilient these insects are.

  • A roach can survive a week without its head. It breathes through a network of tubes called tracheae, which can be found on all parts of its body. Without its head, a cockroach doesn't die suffocation; it dies of thirst.
  • A roach can survive underwater for up to 40 minutes. This is why it can get into your home through your sewer drain and appear in your toilet.
  • A roach can grow a new cuticle (skin) resistant to toxic chemicals in its environment. If you try to kill roaches in your home using over-the-counter pesticides, you could create super roaches. Using pesticides to kill cockroaches is one of several mistakes you should avoid when dealing with cockroaches.

How bad are cockroaches?

Many NYC residents live with cockroaches. We hope this is not the case for you. There are many ways cockroaches can make you sick.

  • They are connected to the spread of more than 33 kinds of harmful bacteria, including Salmonella and E. Coli.
  • They are known to transmit more than 7 human pathogens, including polio.
  • They have been found carrying more than 6 parasitic worms. Perhaps you are familiar with some worms, such as Ascaris, trichuris, capillaria, Toxocara, hook worm and Eimeria.
  • When cockroaches infest a home, they increase the symptoms of those who have asthma, resulting in more hospital visitations.
  • When populations grow, and food sources can't be found, cockroaches will bite. Bites usually happen on the eyelids or around the lips as cockroaches are drawn to feed on dead skin in eyelashes and drink from the moisture in the mouth of a sleeping person.

What should I do about cockroaches?

If you have cockroaches in your NYC home, reach out to Parkway Pest Services. We use Integrated Pest Management to systematically eliminate cockroaches with the least amount of pest control product possible. Our team has the experience and training to give you the support you need. Please get started by requesting a free quote right here on our webpage. There is no obligation to buy services. We'll send a technician to you to help you figure out what you're up against. This will provide the information you need to make a sound decision on what will work to fix your problem. At the end of the day, that is what matters most to us. Our business is to safeguard health and property from the harmful impact pests can have. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.


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