cockroach - sigma pest control

Are cockroaches dangerous?

In general, cockroaches are shy pests and prefer to stay clear of anything larger than they are. They hide during the day, when humans are most active, and come out at night to feast on the crumbs left behind. They certainly won’t do battle with you for food. They would much rather eat something that won’t fight back and is easy to find.

Cockroaches aren’t the cleanest of pests, and because they are drawn to human food, they are often a cause of food contamination. Cockroaches both defecate and regurgitate on the food that they eat. They have no respect for a fine meal made up of toast crumbs, chip dust, and cereal.

As a result of their lack of cleanliness, it is highly possible that they will spread bacteria and parasites that may be living inside of them. These diseases can be transmitted through infecting open wounds or inhalation. The Salmonella bacteria can be spread by cockroaches, resulting in food poisoning or even typhoid.

Can cockroaches make you sick?

Cockroaches do not transmit diseases directly to humans through bites like mosquitoesticks, and fleas. Instead, they pass disease indirectly via contaminated food. When a human eats something from a contaminated surface, they may unknowingly ingest feces or body parts from the cockroach.

Cockroaches can contaminate food with their waste and saliva which contains bacteria that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea, and infections. The cockroach’s preferred food source is often discarded, or spoiled food found in garbage bins. When dumpster diving for food, they pick up bacterial organisms on their legs. If they get into your home, they can deposit bacteria onto uncovered food.

Cockroaches eat just about everything, including dead skin, dead animal flesh, rotten and fresh food. Roaches are known to defecate where they eat, leaving droppings directly on food that you may consume. They pick up contaminants on their legs and then spread them around the areas where they walk. If food is contaminated by cockroaches and later consumed by a person, food poisoning may occur.

Breathing dust containing cockroach feces or body parts can cause an allergic reaction and asthma, especially in children. Tiny pathogens and proteins deposited in the dried feces and body parts can produce an allergic reaction in certain people. In addition, the particles are so small that they can be spread through the air via dust and trigger asthma in some people.

Cockroaches can spread many kinds of diseases, but the most common are Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli. Touching items contaminated with bacteria from a cockroach is a common way of transferring disease. If you touch your eyes, nose, mouth or an open wound after touching a contaminated item, the pathogen can enter the body and cause infection.

Some species of cockroaches have been found to bite humans. These cases are rare but if your home is heavily infested with these insects then you should be careful because they can nibble on fingernails, toes and soft parts of the skin causing wounds.

What happens if a cockroach bites you?

Cockroaches will eat just about anything, but they’ll rarely bite humans. If you are bitten, the bite may cause irritation, lesions and swelling.

Larger infestations of roaches, however, increase the likelihood you’ll be bitten. When a cockroach infestation is large, and the food supply scarce, the chances of being bitten increase. In most situations, however, cockroaches will not bite humans if there are other food sources available.

Compared to mosquito or tick bites, cockroach bites aren’t dangerous. Unlike other biting insects, cockroaches don’t transmit any diseases through their bites.

Cockroach bites are not generally life-threatening. They generally cause only minor irritation, swelling, or infection. If you are bitten by a cockroach, thoroughly clean the wound ASAP with rubbing alcohol or an antiseptic and seek medical attention if the bite doesn’t clear within a week.

Do cockroaches spread disease?

Yes, cockroaches can spread disease. You can catch a disease from a cockroach in a variety of ways, the most common of which occurs when eating or encountering items that a cockroach has contaminated.

Like the household fly, the cockroach will eat virtually anything ranging from food spills on a kitchen floor to fecal matter. Bacteria from ingested food can survive in the cockroach’s digestive system and is eventually passed on in its fecal matter.

Cockroaches will vomit and defecate on food and it is believed that diseases can be transmitted to humans when humans eat food contaminated by cockroaches.

How do you prevent cockroaches from spreading disease?

People can protect themselves from the health hazards caused by cockroaches simply by keeping a clean home and by closing off their entry points into the home. Having a clean and sanitary home will make it less inviting to cockroaches and sealing cracks in the walls and spaces near electric sockets, and up through drain traps will close off entry points.

  • 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.
  • Empty bins regularly
  • Clean up any and all food and drink spillages
  • Rinse cans, bottles and plastics before recycling

If despite all these measures, you discover a cockroach infestation in your home, contact a pest professional for assistance with elimination and prevention.

The last word ...

Once you see a cockroach, you most likely have a bigger problem. Where there’s one, there are always more. Removal and remediation of cockroaches can be very difficult, especially if you are trying to do it on your own. There are many pesticides and baits for cockroaches, but the chemicals used may not be safe or effective for inexperienced users.

At Sigma Pest Control, our pest technicians are trained to help manage pests of all kinds, including cockroaches. Regardless of whether you have one cockroach or a thousand, we will design a right program for your situation.

Please note, however, that remediation cockroach infestation is not a one-time solution. Cockroaches multiply quickly. Timing is everything. Sigma’s Quarterly Pest Control Service provides a continuing cycle of protection, implementation, and monitoring.

Images provided by:
Achim Thiemermann
Michal Adamczyk
Garbiel Bulla
Luis Cuellar

What attracts cockroaches to my home?

Clean house or dirty house, it doesn’t matter when cockroaches are around. Often, cockroaches are associated with dirty homes, when in fact they are happy to be around any place that provides them with food, shelter and water.

Cockroaches have simple need: food, water and shelter. Dirty homes are more likely to attract cockroaches than clean homes, but we all keep food and water in our house, and a nice roof over our head.

From pantries stocked with food, sinks and showers supplying water, and cracks and crevices in windows and foundation where cockroaches can hide and lay their eggs, our homes are perfect for attracting cockroaches.

What do cockroaches like?

The number one thing that attracts cockroaches to your home is food. Food found on the floor, left out on the counter, crumbs, garbage, disposal waste, cupboards and pantries are all places where cockroaches can find food.

Tips for eliminating, cleaning, and storing food:

  • Don’t leave food out of the kitchen counter for too long. Throw away, refrigerate, or store it as soon as you can.
  • Rinse drink containers, soup cans, and recyclable materials before discarding.
  • Wipe food prep areas and sweep floor each night.
  • Clean underneath and behind oven, refrigerator, and garbage cans.
  • Store food in airtight containers. This includes pet food.
  • Use zip lock bags instead of keeping items in cardboard boxes.

Besides food, cockroaches must have water to survive. Standing water, leaky pipes and faucets, condensation, and basement sump pumps are the most common attractants for cockroaches. Which is why you’ll most often see them in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

 Cockroaches seek dark places like the basement, or dark corners of the kitchen cabinet, and under appliances.

Tips for preventing water attractors:

  • Remove standing water, inside and out.
  • Wipe down showers and sinks when you are done using them.
  • Rinse sponges, empty half full drinking glasses, and plant or pet bowls.
  • Fix leaking pipes.

Cockroaches are a year-round problem. There is no seasonal period where cockroaches are more likely to infest your home. Therefore, there is no time like the present to secure your home against cockroaches.

  • Use caulk to block any gaps or crevices where roaches may enter the home (cracks in the foundation, plumbing, vents).
  • Apply weather stripping on all windows and doors that lead into the house.
  • Remove clutter, both inside and outside.

How do cockroaches get in my house?

In most cases, cockroaches were already in the house from the day you moved in. But because they are so small, they are easily transported between locations. They can also come from a neighbor’s property and the great outdoors in general.

  • Get rid of empty corrugated boxes immediately, because these can be a favorite breeding ground for roaches.
  • Cockroaches can hitch a ride on people, in backpacks, on pets, grocery bags, and food containers.
  • They can come in from crawls spaces, chimneys, plumbing pipes and sewer drains.

… just about any way imaginable.

Signs of infestation

Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, which means they prefer dark places and only come out at night. You might not even know they are around until you have an infestation on your hands.

Cockroaches that you see during the day have been pushed out of the available hiding places by other roaches. However, besides live roaches, there are other signs you can look out for. These include:

  • Roach droppings, which will resemble pepper or coffee grounds
  • The bodies of dead cockroaches
  • Oval-shaped egg casings
  • An oily or musty odor in your kitchen, bathroom, or other areas of your home

The last word ...

These pests can carry disease and can cause food poisoning and trigger allergies and even asthma attacks as a result of the dander of discarded exoskeletons and feces.  

You don’t have to worry about where cockroaches came from when you have Sigma Pest Control on your side. Our trained specialists know where to look for these pests, determine how they got in, where they are hiding, and how to get rid of them.

Regardless of whether you have one cockroach or a thousand, removal is not a one-time solution. Cockroaches multiply quickly. Timing is everything. Sigma’s Quarterly Pest Control Service provides a continuing cycle of protection, implementation, and monitoring.

Call the cockroach experts – call Sigma Pest Control!

quarterly pest control

Mosquitoes: the habits and risks you need to know

These flying insects are from the Diptera group, which true flies also hail from. In their adolescent years, mosquitoes tend to thrive in standing and stagnant water. Adult female mosquitoes are most recognized for their eating habits as they are the prime suspects for feeding on blood in order to help develop their eggs. Both adult male and female mosquitoes also consume the nectar of flowers and are most active from dusk to dawn. The less light the better, as more sunshine might cause them to perish.

There are distinct differences between female and male mosquitoes. As previously mentioned, female mosquitoes feed on blood while male mosquitoes do not. There are some species of mosquitoes, however, in which the females do not consume blood and consume nectar from flowers or other sugars like male mosquitoes.

Other differences between female and male mosquitoes include different body parts such as the proboscis, which protrudes from the mouth. Females have a smooth proboscis and the proboscis of males tend to be bushier. Another body part that differs between the two genders is the antennae, which help with hearing. The antennae of males larger in size and more feathery and the antennae of females is more smooth and less feathery. Overall, female mosquitoes are larger in size than males and have longer life spans.

Mosquitoes can easily navigate their way through small openings in the home and prefer to reside in dark and closed off areas. They tend to venture out of their hiding places at night to find their next meal. Once they do enter the home, they can navigate to areas such as closets or spaces under sinks. Considering mosquitoes prefer darker areas, it’s no wonder why they can thrive within the home, however they are most commonly found in backyards and seek out thick vegetation.

Outside of the home, mosquitoes are fond of areas near ponds, marshes, and any drenches that collect water during rainfall. It’s best to avoid these areas as mosquitoes can carry a number of diseases that can negatively affect humans including the notable Zika virus. This disease is highly dangerous for pregnant women and can cause birth defects. Another disease mosquitoes can carry is the West Nile virus along with different forms of encephalitis or inflammation of the brain. While there can be dangers associated with the pests, the most common risk is their bites, which can cause swelling and inflammation of the affected area.

The Last Word ...

If you do find yourself dealing with a mosquito infestation, the treatment consists of reducing the water sources that these pests thrive within and can involve the use of chemical products as well. Mitigating the water sources is extremely effective as it ultimately removes the breeding grounds of mosquitoes. For the most effective solution to Pest Control, be sure to call Sigma Pest Control and have an experienced technician visit the site of infestation today.

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Sigma Pest Control LLC