Nothing gets a homeowner more worked up than seeing a cockroach scurrying along the kitchen baseboard, or darting around on a shelf in the pantry when the light is turned on. Cockroaches have earned a nasty reputation, and deservedly so, which precedes them.
Let’s be honest: any pest that has been around as long as the cockroach – more than 300 million years, according to some researchers – can develop some less-than-desirable habits, which include infesting homes in search of food, water, and shelter.
While no pest will win an award for its sanitation habits, cockroaches seem to go out of their way to travel in areas where human and animal waste, grease, stagnant water, and rotting food are present.
Cockroaches are nocturnal pests, and will hide in dark, warm areas, especially narrow spaces where surfaces touch them on both sides. Their ability to hide in very small spaces – in cracks as tight as 1/16-inch wide – can make them a challenge to control.
Cockroaches tend to congregate in corners and travel along the edges of walls or other surfaces. The most commonly encountered cockroaches in residential settings are the German and American cockroach, respectively.
The repulsion homeowners feel when they encounter a cockroach is trumped by the threat they pose to food safety. Cockroaches – especially the American cockroach, which comes into contact with human excrement in sewers or with pet droppings – can transmit bacteria such as Salmonella if they come in contact with food preparation or serving surfaces.
Not to be outdone, German cockroaches are believed to be capable of transmitting disease-causing organisms, including those that can cause staph infections and hepatitis. They also can spread dysentery.
The Clark Man has years of experience dealing with this nasty adversary, and recommends the following tips to protect your home, family, and food from exposure:
The Clark Man’s Top Seven Cockroach Prevention Tips
- Keep kitchen counters, sinks, tables, floors, cabinets, and pantries clean and free of clutter.
- Clean dishes, crumbs, and spills right away – cockroaches love grease and waste.
- Store food in airtight containers where cockroaches cannot access it.
- Seal cracks or openings around home foundations and inside cabinets.
- Eliminate excess moisture buildup (i.e., a leaky faucet).
- Inspect packages, school backpacks, and laundry bins for signs of cockroaches (and other pests). Don’t be afraid to give items a good shake!
- Keep the landscape plants next to your house trimmed, and don’t use too much mulch, as it can provide an ideal harborage for cockroaches.
Remember, if your home has a problem with cockroaches, call 800/WE-NEED-YOU, or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.