Cockroaches carry bacteria on their legs and other body parts that can cause illnesses such as food poisoning, dysentery and diarrhea. When cockroaches crawl around looking for food they leave this bacteria behind on food, food preparation surfaces and dishes. In addition to the diseases cockroaches spread, some people are allergic to their excrement and empty egg case skins. Allergic reactions may include skin rashes, watery eyes and sneezing.
Cockroaches have been around for over 35 million years and are found in nearly every part of the world. Cockroaches are most active at night or in the dark and prefer small spaces. Cockroaches like to live in warm, humid environments in protected cracks and crevices, under and behind appliances and in cabinets and drawers. Cockroaches like to eat starches, sweets, grease and meat products; but they also eat things like cheese, beer, leather, baked goods, starch in book bindings, glue, hair, flakes of skin, dead animals and plants. Cockroaches produce an egg case that survive in very harsh conditions for very long periods of time until conditions improve enough for the eggs to hatch. Under good conditions cockroaches multiply very rapidly.
How to get rid of cockroaches
- Seal up any cracks or other small spaces where cockroaches could nest. Don’t forget to check around sinks, cupboards, large appliances, closets and water heaters.
- Clean up spilled foods, especially in hard to reach places. Also be sure to clean any splattered grease (a favorite food for cockroaches) on walls, appliances and floors.
- Keep in mind that built in ovens, stoves, grills, and other kitchen appliances give cockroaches fewer hiding places and don’t allow food to fall into hard to clean places.
- Remove trash daily.
- Insecticides can also be used to help get rid of cockroaches. Insecticides that contain "pyrethrins", "pyrethriods", or a combination of "cyfluthrin" and "propoxer" as ingredients on the labels are effective against cockroaches. Remember it is important to keep up on good sanitation practices to ensure that the cockroaches will not return.
- Food service establishments must only use insecticides registered for application in a food service establishment and must apply insecticides according to the label directions and food service regulations.
- For severe infestations contact a pest control service.
FOR MORE INFORMATION IN THE CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER:
Vector Control (Pest Control)
(720) 913-1311 or 3-1-1