The Truth about Cockroaches and Health
Cockroaches live in a wide range of environments around the world. These pest species prefer warm conditions and thus are commonly found in the buildings of densely populated cities and also in the southern United States. In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
reports that 78 to 98 percent of urban homes have cockroaches – with as many as 900 to 330,000 cockroaches per home!
Cockroaches are most active when the temperature is greater than 70 degrees Fahrenheit and they thrive in warm environments with easily accessible food and water. These insects are mainly nocturnal and will run away when exposed to light. Amazingly, some cockroaches have been known to live up to three months without food and a month without water.
Cockroaches have many negative consequences for human health because certain proteins (called allergens) found in cockroach feces; saliva and body parts can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children.
Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening chronic respiratory disease. Unfortunately, it directly affects the quality of life for almost 25 million Americans, including an estimated 7 million children. Millions more are impacted as family members of persons with asthma. Although there is no cure for asthma, it can be controlled through medical treatment and management of environmental triggers – such as cockroach allergens.
People can mitigate cockroach problems and protect their health through barrier exclusion and cleanliness. Barrier exclusion involves preventing cockroaches from entering the home through places, such as small cracks in the walls and spaces near electric sockets, and up through drain traps. Having a clean and sanitary home will make it less inviting to cockroaches.
Five things to do to protect your home and family:
- Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors clean and free of clutter. Clean dishes, crumbs and spills right away.
- Store food in airtight containers, and always avoid leaving food out (including pet food!).
- Seal cracks and gaps in walls, floors and openings around or inside cabinets. Condo- and apartment-dwellers should also seal gaps around plumbing, wall outlets, and switch plates.
- Run water periodically in spare bathrooms and little used sinks.
- Scan children’s backpacks when they return home, as well as grocery items before storing them.
If despite all these measures, you discover a cockroach infestation in your home, contact a pest professional for assistance with elimination and prevention. Be sure to ask your pest control professional if they install InCide® Pest Control Insulation. InCide® installed in the attic and walls kills cockroaches upon contact with the insulation. InCide® Pest Control Insulation will reduce your monthly utility costs. This is a win; win for any homeowner with a cockroach problem and high utility costs!