As unwelcome in houses as the furry rat – or maybe more unwelcome, the cockroach is seriously hard to squash. These brown, oval-shaped insects can scuttle around very fast, often moving even before you bring that slipper swishing down. Adult cockroaches gain wings, so they don’t just scuttle, but fly, too.
They may not be the most intimidating of insects, appearance-wise. Rhinoceros beetles are far larger than they are, and they don’t have the nasty stingers that bees carry around with them, but there’s a reason everyone – and I mean, everyone – hates cockroaches.
While they may not bite humans, a rare number of them do. Cockroaches saliva can contain digestive fluids full of germs and bacteria residing in their gut. Research has found that disease-causing bacteria – particularly urinary tract infections and sepsis – can multiply extensively in a cockroaches gut. So be careful; some cockroaches can nibble on soft parts of your skin while you’re asleep, causing open wounds.
They can also contaminate exposed food. Cockroaches can eat anything and they can survive in any environment. Aside from human food, they also feed on fecal matter, leather, soiled food, and garbage. Particulate matter can cling to their legs and body, making them the perfect carrier for an array of diseases like diarrhea and food poisoning.
Them simply crawling on your exposed food is enough to contaminate it. When they eat it, it’s another problem entirely. They’re known to regurgitate their saliva and digestive fluids while eating, inoculating the food they’re feeding on. The disease-causing bacteria in their gut gets transferred onto the food you then put in your mouth. It’s nauseating just thinking about it.
Aside from poisoning you, they can also cause severe allergies. Their saliva and body parts contain hundreds of allergens that result in sneezing, watery eyes, and skin rashes. The smaller ones can also invade body parts. There have been several recorded cases of cockroaches entering a person’s ear or nose while they were asleep.
Is it any wonder why these little brown monstrosities are the most hated pests ever?
ARE THEY NEAR YOU?
Unfortunately, there are cockroaches everywhere in the world. These pests can survive in any habitat, any temperature, and any climate. In fact, they’re believed to be the only creatures capable of surviving a nuclear explosion! And while that may seem unfair, just be thankful that a good shot of insecticide or a well-aimed slipper is enough to take care of them in your household.
However, an infestation might be a little harder to handle. And, let’s be honest, facing an infestation of cockroaches is way too disgusting to think about. Best to call in expert insect control when you find yourself dealing with more than one cockroach every day.
Cockroach Problem? Pest Control Experts Canberra Can Help.
People believe that termites evolved from “true” cockroaches.
Cockroaches can survive a nuclear explosion.
A cockroach can survive under water for thirty minutes, and it can hold its breath for forty.
A cockroach can live for seven days without its head before dying of hunger and thirst.
The world’s largest cockroach is half a foot long.
Cockroaches can run up to 3 miles an hour. Pretty fast, considering their size.
Size: 30mm-50mm (about 3 inches)
Distinguishing characteristic: Reddish-brown or mahogany colored. They’re more rounded-rectangle in shape compared to other roaches. There’s also a yellow band outlining the area behind their heads. Both female and male American cockroaches can fly (unfortunately).
While American cockroaches are typically outside dwellers, they will enter a home to find food or water. If there are gaps beneath doors, they have no problems entering. They prefer warm, damp areas outside – like under mulch or flowerbeds. They’re also very common in sewer systems.
Distinguishing characteristic: Light-brown or tan in color, German cockroaches have a slightly pointier behind compared to their American counterpart. The area behind their heads is also characterized by two black, horizontal stripes. German cockroaches have wings as well, but they (thankfully) rarely choose to fly.
Unlike the American roaches, this smaller species prefers staying indoors, where it’s warm and humid. They prefer areas such as the kitchen or bathroom in houses, but will move to where moisture is available. These tiny pests are scavengers by nature, feeding on any food source available. They can feed on book bindings, toothpaste, leather, soap, and even the tiniest of crumbs available.
Distinguishing characteristic: The Asian cockroach resembles the German cockroach, appearance-wise. They’re both light-brown or tan in color, and they’re both more oblong than rounded rectangle. There are minute differences in their physical appearance, but they’re almost microscopical.
The best way to tell the two apart lies in their behavior. While the German Cockroach is an indoor species, preferring areas in homes that are warm and humid, the Asian cockroach thrives in the outdoors. They build their habitats in compost pits, shaded mulch, or wherever fresh plant litter accumulates. While they do invade human structures, indoor infestations are rare for their species. These creepy critters are more active during sundown.
Distinguishing characteristic: The Oriental cockroach is very dark brown, almost black, in color. Unlike most of the other cockroach species, both the females and males have wings, but they are unable to fly. Females have tiny wings and broad bodies that are obviously not designed for flight. While the males have larger wings in comparison, they only cover about three-fourths of their abdomen.
Oriental cockroaches are also called water bugs due to their preference for dark and damp places. Indoors, they can often be found under the sink or the washing machine in the basement. Outdoors, they make their home in sewer pipes and decaying organic matter. While they can’t fly and are decidedly slower than other cockroaches, the Oriental cockroach shouldn’t be taken lightly. They can travel through the pipes and enter your house via sink and shower drains, bringing all the wet, moldy dirt of the outside.