Cockroaches Inside Home

Problem: Cockroaches are found scavenging inside the home.

Background: Cockroaches, persistent household pests, generally breed in warm, moist, and narrow locations. As scavengers, they will eat almost any food, as well as backing glue, leather, bookbinding’s, even television wiring. They are nocturnal, hiding during the day and becoming active at night. The cockroaches seen running for cover when the lights are turned on will represent only a small part of the total population; a few seen can indicate a larger population that should be controlled.
Types of cockroaches include the German cockroach, which generally inhabits kitchens or places where food is easily accessible; the Oriental cockroach, which favors warm, humid places, particularly basements; the brown-banded cock roach, which can be found any where; the American cockroach, which is found in warm, moist places where food is available; and the wood roach which does not breed indoors, but will invade homes, cabins, and other buildings in or near wooded areas.

What to do: Cockroaches can be carried into homes in bags, boxes, and luggage. Corrugated cardboard boxes can be a source of infestation (see below). To reduce chances of infestation, don’t leave food in easily accessible areas, such as pet food in an open bag, or food left in a dish overnight. Keep garbage picked up and stored in closed plastic bags. Fix leaky pipes or faucets. Rinse bottles and store properly. Do not allow boxes, old newspapers, or anything else to clutter rooms and give cock roaches hiding places. Leave spaces between stored packages.
Once an infestation occurs, an insecticide is usually required, along with good sanitation. Several house hold insecticides available have a long residual effect; apply them where roaches hide or run, such as along baseboards, behind stoves, and along cracks and crevices. It is not necessary to treat flat surfaces, such as countertops or floor surfaces. An infestation in multiple-unit dwellings will probably require the treatment of several units. Cock roaches move along common pipes, electric conduits, and heating ducts. Plug space around these openings to prevent infestation from other units.

Special advice: To avoid moving cockroaches with you, use boxes and packing material from a place un infested with cockroaches. When packing, watch for cockroaches and their egg capsules, which are dark colored and about the size and shape of a kidney bean. If found, re move and destroy. If boxes are stored overnight in infested buildings, keep them off the floor and away from the walls by placing them on chairs or tables. During the winter, 2 days at 0°F will kill cock roaches at all stages; at 20°F 4 to 5 days may be required, especially for well-insulated boxes.

Helpful hint: When using insecticides, don’t spray near food, dishes, or utensils, and don’t allow children or pets near treated surfaces until spray has dried. Household aerosol bombs don’t deliver enough insecticide to have residual effectiveness against cockroaches. However, pyrethrum aerosols help flush them out and can increase effectiveness of residual pesticides. The use of ultra sonic pest-control devices is not recommended because they have not proven effective.