(NAPS)—Cockroaches have been around for more than 400 million years and are a widespread pest problem, constantly seeking sources of food and water—elements that exist in your home. These adaptable insects will consume almost anything, from sugar, water and beer to dust, garbage and human hair. Of the nearly 5,000 known cockroach species, approximately 70 are found in the United States, including the American, German and Oriental cockroaches, which are known to cause problems for homeowners.
In addition to their appearance and eating habits, these filthy pests can spread disease, contaminate food and cause allergies—even asthma. Cockroaches often pick up germs on their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these germs into food or onto food preparation surfaces. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, cockroaches are proven or suspected carriers of the organisms causing diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, leprosy, plague, typhoid fever and viral diseases.
“Cockroaches are one of the most despised pests, and for good reason,” said Frank Meek, board certified entomologist and technical director for Orkin, Inc. “They are rapid reproducers and remarkable survivors that enter homes in search of food, water and shelter, while posing multiple risks to our health.”
Cockroaches, which are usually nocturnal, reproduce quickly. According to Meek, for every one you see, there could possibly be hundreds more hiding and reproducing in your home. In fact, certain types, such as the German cockroach, can produce up to 48 eggs every 20 to 25 days.
Despite their reproduction abilities and their uncanny knack for survival, keeping cockroaches out of your home is not an insurmountable task.
Orkin professionals recommend these steps to help prevent cockroach populations:
• Remove unnecessary food and water sources;
• Store garbage containers in dry areas away from harborage sites—not under the kitchen sink;
• Seal all cracks and crevices—no matter how small—with screen or caulk. Cockroaches love to stay in tight cracks and crevices where they feel more comfortable;
• Vacuum regularly and clean up spills;
• Remove shelter sites such as cardboard boxes, paper grocery bags and piles of newspapers or magazines; and
• Remember, once cockroaches move into your home, they can be very difficult to get out.
Contact a pest control professional to treat for cockroach infestations.or more information regarding cockroaches or other pests, or to receive a free home inspection, call 1-800-800-ORKIN or visit www.Orkin.com .