One of the most common cockroach species in the United States is the American cockroach. Wait a second. Shouldn't it be the number one cockroach in America? You'd think so, based on the name, but that distinction belongs to the German cockroach. The American cockroach can't even come close to competing with the German cockroach, since the German cockroach is the most widely distributed cockroach species in the world. But don't get too excited. American cockroaches are still pretty bad.
Today, we're going to discuss the most important facts every Durham resident should know about American cockroaches and talk about what cockroach control methods can help to stop these roaches.
Let's start by looking at a few identifying features of this cockroach species.
- An adult American cockroach is brown with some yellow tint. On its back, near the head, is a yellowish figure-8 pattern.
- An adult has wings that stack on its back. These wings are shiny.
- An adult can range from 1 ¼ to 2 ⅛ inches in length. This is a big cockroach.
- An American cockroach begins life as a nymph. A nymph looks like a small adult roach, but doesn't have wings.
- Cockroaches, in general, have six, spiny legs, and two antennae.
Are American Cockroaches Dangerous?
Cockroaches don't generally present a significant health risk, but in certain conditions, there is a risk of severe and deadly illness.
- Cockroaches are known to increase hospitalizations for asthma-related symptoms. If asthma symptoms are severe, there is a risk of death.
- Cockroaches pick up and spread harmful organisms, such as salmonella and E. coli. According to the CDC, there are around 1.35 million cases of salmonellosis each year, with 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths. There are around 265,000 cases of E. coli that result in around 100 deaths.
The list of diseases associated with cockroaches is long. It includes cholera, Typhoid fever, leprosy, gastroenteritis, dysentery, poliomyelitis, and more.
How Bad Are American Cockroaches Compared To Other Species?
This is the largest species that gets into Durham homes. But, while an American cockroach is a big cockroach, it isn't the worst cockroach in terms of disease. This roach species is highly dependent upon moisture and humidity. If you have a dry perimeter around your home and an interior that is low in humidity, you can have some success deterring American cockroaches. This isn't a foolproof way to stop these roaches, but it is definitely a good place to start with prevention.
Prevention Tips For American Cockroaches
We recommend a multi-pronged strategy for American cockroach control. It works like this:
Exterior Moisture Control
A damp perimeter will attract roaches. Fix gutters and address gutter clogs. Keep your landscaping trimmed and dry.
Roaches prefer a yard that has hiding places. Remove leaves, sticks, grass clippings, scrap wood, and other organic materials. Reduce yard clutter. Move objects away from your exterior.
Cockroaches will be attracted by the scent of garbage and other strong-smelling things. Keep your garbage in covered containers and routinely clean and deodorize your containers. Keep on top of pet waste clean-up. Properly mix compost and properly store fertilizer. Don't leave anything out after outdoor cookouts.
Seal Entry Points
While it is impossible to fully exclude American cockroaches from your home, it really makes a difference if you try. Perform a detailed inspection of your exterior and seal the tiniest of gaps or cracks. Fill in holes. Repair or replace screens and weatherstripping. Install door sweeps if you don't have them. Make sure weep holes and ventilation exhausts are protected.
A dirty home offers food for a cockroach. Roaches eat rotting organic matter, dead skin cells, hair, and feces. Clean and deep clean to limit roach activity and to mitigate the risk of cockroach-related illness.
This is key for American cockroaches. Fix leaky faucets and plumbing. Use your fan when you take a shower or bath. Install dehumidifiers in humid spaces. Install ventilation in areas that need the moisture vented.
Roaches can eat what you and your pets eat. Never leave food out uncovered. Do dirty dishes as you dirty them or store the dishes in soapy water. Put pet food down only during meals. Store fruit in the fridge.
If You Need Help
Remember that the service team here at Eco Man Pest Solutions is available to assist you with cockroach management and control. Our licensed professionals use methods developed by industry experts and they deploy products that are currently known to be most effective for controlling cockroaches. Reach out to us today to get answers to your questions or to schedule a service visit. We're here to help.
Eco Man Pest are the best to work with that I've had in the Triangle since moving here 20 years ago and using at least 5 other companies thus far. The Technician was so nice, knowledgeable and efficient. Thanks again Tim...