Cockroaches are one of the most common insects found in homes, restaurants, food handling areas, and they are perhaps the most despised and widespread pests known to man. There are approximately 3500 species of cockroaches of which only five or six species are pests of homes.
Most species feed only on vegetables, however, cockroaches which live in houses are scavengers and will eat a wide variety of food such as cheese, beer, leather, bakery products, starch in book binding, glue, hair, some sweet substances and meat products.
The pest species of cockroaches are commonly nocturnal and hide during the day in warm, dark undisturbed places such as cracks and crevices in homes and shops, behind heating equipment, in sewers, storm water drains, outside buildings, in retaining walls and similar locations.
These insects have the ability to carry disease producing organisms, which include salmonella, dysentery, diarrhoea and others. The organisms causing these diseases are carried on the legs and bodies of cockroaches, and are deposited on food and utensils as cockroaches feed and move about.
Cockroaches carry diseases - salmonella -dysentery - gastroenteritis - stomach complaint organisms - cockroaches adulterate food - spread pathogenic organisms with their faeces and secretions.
Asthmatic reactions - cockroaches must moult several times as they grow from a young nymph to a full grown adult - the discarded skins becomes airborne - can cause severe asthmatic reactions - particularly to children - the elderly - and people with bronchial ailments.
Even the cleanest homes can get them - Cockroaches and their eggs are spread throughout the community in food and other packaging - although sanitation and hygiene are important deterrants, even the cleanest homes become infested with cockroaches due to minute deposits of grease, sugar and other food deposits in difficult to get at places - in drains - behind refrigerators - dishwashers - inside cracks and crevices in kitchen cupboards.
Omnivorous - cockroaches will eat almost any organic matter no matter how rancid - once inside the home, they will seek out food scraps - unsealed food containers - sugar and grease deposits - pet food - rancid meat - glue and even book bindings. They even eat each others faeces to feed the young nymphs and extract all nourishment from an organic food source. If you see a clump of pepper-like specs in your kitchen cupboards it could be cockroach faeces.
Nocturnal feeders - cockroaches rest during daylight hours in dark, warm and secure harborages in your home, such as, wall cavities, the subfloor, roof void, cracks and crevices in the kitchen and bathroom, electrical appliances and foodstuffs. They will emerge from these harborages in the still of the night. Cockroaches have an array of acute sensory and survival instincts. So if you see cockroaches in your home during the day, you probably have a serious problem.
Rapid breeding cycle - if left unchecked a cockroach infestation can rapidly expand it's numbers in a few weeks or months to become a major risk to health and safety. For example, in ideal breeding conditions two German cockroaches can become more than 100,000 within a year!!!