We’ve all been there! Upon seeing these invasive little pests you have either removed the jandel and sent it to another world, or have made a run for it. Cockroaches are invasive and dirty, and should be dealt with before they establish a foothold in your humble abode.
The most problematic cockroach pests in New Zealand are the Native/Bush cockroach and the German cockroach. Recent hot weather has created a perfect breeding ground for cockroaches and it is inevitable that the coming cool weather is going to bring them indoors.
THE COCKROACH ENVIRONMENT
Cockroaches prefer damp, dark places. They are often found inside walls, bbq’s, behind household appliances and in cupboards.
Cockroaches thrive in warm and damp conditions and will dehydrate if the environment is too dry. They can however survive in extreme conditions for short periods of time and can survive months without food, and up to 4 weeks without water. These survival attributes make them extremely difficult to get rid of.
HEALTH RISKS FROM COCKROACHES
Cockroaches can transmit diseases like dysentery, salmonella and diarrhoea. Their eating habits also expose humans to dangerous diseases. Cockroaches can eat a range of foods, from faecal matter to fresh food intended for people to eat. If cockroaches contaminate your food or the surfaces you use, you could get sick.
You will often find cockroaches crawling around and settling inside bbq’s, breeding, defacating, and nibbling away at food residue. Food for thought next time you procrastinate about bbq clean up duties!
PREVENTING A COCKROACH INFESTATION
You can reduce your chances of a cockroach infestation by:
- filling cracks in walls and foundations
- keeping living areas dry and clean
- disposing of rubbish
- removing human waste and food waste from the home quickly and efficiently.
If you already have cockroaches, you might need to set baited traps or call a certified pest control technician to apply a commercial-grade insecticide to the area.
It is vital to keep your home clean and dry to stop you from getting cockroaches in the first place. Ensuring you have adequate home heating systems and moisture control will go a long way in helping you control these pests.
THE COCKROACH LIFECYCLE
Cockroaches undergo 3 stages of development: egg, nymph and adult.
The egg hatches into a nymph, which looks similar to the adult cockroach. The nymph then undergoes a series of moults before developing into a fully reproductive adult cockroach. The length of this process varies, and may take anywhere between a few weeks to a year to complete the cycle.
Female cockroaches are able to lay hundreds of eggs in their lifetime.