Cockroaches…they’ve existed on this planet for 300 million years, surviving the ice age and outliving the dinosaurs! If they’ve made it through that…how do we get rid of them?
What are roaches?
Omnivorous insects, roaches eat whatever they wish — sugary sweets, salty food, meats, cheeses, book bindings, paper, glue fruit rinds.. .you get the idea. Don’t even leave pet food uncovered… remember, roaches will eat anything!
Along with their appetites, roaches are highly adaptable. Roaches have developed a resistance to some insecticides over the years because the surviving insects breed and produce resistant offspring. Because of this, most extermination companies change their insecticide formulation periodically.
Roaches prefer warm climates and are less adaptable to cold weather. When we have a cold winter, roaches are less abundant the following summer. Conversely, a mild winter generally produces a large number of sightings the following summer.
Some common misconceptions about roaches involve their behavior. Contrary to popular belief, most roaches do not swim up sewer drains. Once in the home, they head straight to the source of water. Upon entering a sink or tub, they are often spotted going in and out of the drain for water.
Another belief is that all roaches live in the sewer. In fact, in Arizona, many live in the landscaped areas — in yards, plants and shrubbery. Each property owner must take the initiative to treat their own property. Only through the mutual efforts of everyone will we ever win the battle against the roach.
What can I do to get rid of roaches?
In order to effectively control these pests, citizens must do their part as well. The water in your p-trap can evaporate in a week, allowing roaches to climb up. If you’re going to be gone for more than a week, pour 1/2 cup of bleach down your drain to keep the drain from drying out.
Both the inside and outside of your property should be treated with insecticide on a regular basis. If you do a “one-time” treatment, you need to understand that it is just that – a treatment. Such treatments usually provide only a temporary reduction in infestation. It’s rare that elimination is possible with one treatment or with just one type of insecticide. Most people turn to professionals to design a safe and effective cockroach management program. If you do, make sure they are licensed and bonded and guarantee their work. There are over-the-counter insecticides which contain versions of insecticides commonly used by professionals. If you choose to go this route, make sure you’ve read everything carefully and are using the proper technique to use the insecticide effectively. Spray in, under and around storage sheds, foundations and wood piles.
Drains should be covered when not in use. They can dry out, allowing roaches to come through fixtures that are not used regularly, be sure to run water in them at least once a week to keep water in p-traps as a barrier.
A roach can reduce it’s body to the thickness of a dime in order to enter a tight space. Check boxes and cartons before bringing them into your home from storage. Don’t give roaches a free ride into your home! Help the city do its part in controlling roaches by doing your part.
What types of roaches do we see here in Arizona?
Commonly known as the water bug. The largest house-infesting species —about 1 1/2 inches long with reddish brown wings and light markings on the thorax. Prefers warm, damp areas. More likely to be seen in the daytime and outdoors. Flies more readily than other species. Commonly found in food preparation areas—have shown a marked attraction to alcoholic beverages, especially beer.
About 5/8 inch long. Light to medium brown, with two dork streaks on the thorax. Primarily infests areas close to food, moisture and warmth. Most commonly found roach in and around apartments, homes, supermarkets and restaurants.
Smokey Brown Cockroach
Up to 1 1/2 inches long. Dark brown. Prefers to live outdoors. Flies toward lights at night.