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10 facts we did not know about cockroaches

Cockroaches can send nerve wrecking shocks and reactions when they come gliding towards us. Particularly giving us surprise visits when we open the cabinet, lifting the waste bin cover or walking towards a room. Besides being the unhygienic and uninviting pest we all agree, Rentokil shares ten facts we did not know about these common targets.

Part 1: Ten facts we did not know about cockroaches

  • Cockroaches can live without their head for a week
  • They do not need mouths to breathe
  • Capability of holding their breath for 40 minutes
  • Cockroaches run up to 3 miles per hour
  • Able to go without food for one month
  • Cockroaches are actually cannibals
  • Ability to squeeze through the tiniest gaps
  • Spread harmful health problems like asthma
  • Speedy skills and able to run super-fast
  • Cockroaches cannot fly but glide quickly

Part 2: Cockroach control treatments that do not work

  • Using natural ingredients like pandan leaves
  • Using fabric softener to eliminate roaches
  • Spraying with insecticides and gel baits around
  • Utilising essential oil to repel cockroaches
  • Baking soda and sugar mix to eliminate cockroaches

Part 3: Get rid of cockroaches with pest control

  • Understanding the different cockroach species
  • Why is getting rid of cockroaches necessary
  • What causes cockroach infestation in your home?
  • Engage pest control company to eliminate cockroaches in home
  • Cockroach prevention with useful home tips

Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions about cockroach control

  • Why are roaches returning after some treatment?
  • What shall I do if there is a cockroach problem at home?
  • Why do I see cockroaches most in the kitchen?
  • Do cockroaches really bite? Are they harmful?
Debugged Blog 10 Facts We Did Not Know About Cockroaches Interesting Facts of Cockroaches

Part 1: Ten facts we did not know about cockroaches

Cockroaches can live without their head for a week

Picture this scene on humans and this fact sounds absorbable for those of cockroaches. Yes, cockroaches can live without their head, as they do not have blood vessels to pump a blood flow. In addition, the incision on their neck onward is sealed automatically through a clotting function. Finally, they do not breathe through their nose but rather spiracles that pass air through their tracheae. While they can survive without food, they do not need water to live. Without their heads on, they are unable to consume water and will die out eventually.

They do not need mouths to breathe

Cockroaches are unique whereby they breathe through their spiracles. These are tubes or valves attached along their body that carry air into a trachea. This helps in inhaling and transporting oxygen supply. Hence, this also explains why they are not dependent on their head to breathe and able to survive without them for a few days. These valves work by opening and closing, and emitting carbon dioxide while taking in oxygen.

Capability of holding their breath for 40 minutes

They are capable of holding their breath as long as 40 minutes and survive under water on average 30 minutes. Roaches are able to hold their breath by regulating water loss. They make use of their spiracles that are small tubes in their body to transport water vapor out. This helps to conserve water by shutting these tubes. Hence, this might resolve your curiosity about how cockroaches are able to survive through that toilet flushing or over-flooding sewers during a rainy day. They simply hold their breath for this long before finding their way for an exit such as your bathroom.

Cockroaches run up to 3 miles per hour

Not only can they hold their breath underwater for substantial time compared to rats of around 3 minutes, but they can also run far and climb well. This also explains why they can contaminate surfaces easily and quickly by their bacteria and germs. They are also able to climb, especially to places with food and water sources such as tables or kitchen tops. This is due to their claws that grip a climb better. Good news, they will face some challenges gripping over smoother surfaces such as porcelain and marble.

Able to go without food for one month

Cockroaches are like tough warriors, who are able to survive at the harshest conditions. For instance, they trap underwater for over half an hour long and will continue surviving even without their heads on. What’s more is that they are cold-blood insects and able to live without food for a month. They will consume anything they can find, largely organic, greasy and fermented items, and even feeding one another when there is food competition. Nevertheless, they will keep surviving even without food consumption for one month. However, without water, they live for a week. Hence, it is important to ensure the place is free from water spills, moisture and leaks that is a main food source for most pests. In addition, because they can last as long as a month without food availability, it also means housekeeping is an ongoing and daily home regime.

Cockroaches are actually cannibals

With an appetite for almost anything and everything, even the more unexpected food choices such as glue, faeces, leftovers, paper and cardboard. However, they will assume their cannibalistic nature as part of survival instinct feeding on other insects or fellow members when food scarcity arises. In conclusion, it is necessary to keep the place clean from food crumbs and debris, but controlling the pest population within your home with proper pest control services.

Ability to squeeze through the tiniest gaps

There are times where we wonder how these pests appear in our home despite closing doors on them adequately? Worse of all, how do they surface suddenly from appliances and furniture while we are preparing a food meal. This is because they are similar to those of the flexible rats who are capable of squeezing through impossible cracks and gaps. They have what is called the exoskeletons that allow them to flatten their body and splay their legs by the side to slip through tiny openings as small as quarter of their size. Above all, proofing is one way of cockroach prevention to minimise easy entries to your home among these flexible cockroaches.

Spread harmful health problems like asthma

The more familiar and common health diseases spread by cockroaches are those of Salmonella, E. Coli and Gastroenteritis which are associated with food contamination and food poisoning. However, they can trigger an allergy, which is less known among many. This is possible because of their saliva, feces and shedding parts are allergens that trigger symptoms such as skin rash, sinus, nasal congestion and other respiratory symptoms such as coughing. These are spread on contact surfaces as they crawl around leaving their droppings and saliva.

Read also: Why cockroaches are a real health danger to us

Speedy skills and able to run super-fast

Cheetahs or puma are not the only speedy-runners but cockroaches as well. With six legs gearing up in their running motion, cockroaches can sprint 1.5 meters per second. This is also one way of defence against their predators by flashing off in seconds. Putting some numbers into perspective, humans clocked in around 200 miles per hour. As such, most who attempt to chase after cockroaches with their whacking tools such as newspapers usually prove to be unsuccessful.

Cockroaches cannot fly but glide quickly

Because cockroaches zoom off so quickly, we would have thought that they actually fly. They may have wings but it aids in their gliding action to reach higher surfaces rather than flying. Most species are unable to fly, they move steadily fast when threatened by danger or predators. Measuring speed against that of the cheetah, cockroaches can cover a 50-body length that equates to three times of a cheetah speed, covering 18-body length.

Debugged Blog 10 Facts We Did Not Know About Cockroaches DIY Treatments That Do Not Work

Part 2: Cockroach control treatments that do not work

Using natural ingredients like pandan leaves

There are many cockroach repellent recipes including bay leaves, cinnamon, garlic, lemon peels and pandan leaves. Besides having a common trait of leaving a strong and distinctive smell to deter cockroaches, do they really work? Bay leaves for example are scattered at areas in the home that are deemed as high-risk activities. However, these leaves may turn into possible food sources to other pests as they start to dry up and decay. Due to their visits to unhygienic sites such as waste centres, this scent may be less powerful to have a repelling effect on cockroaches.

Using fabric softener to eliminate roaches

A 2-in-1 purpose of cleaning and softening our clothes while eliminating cockroaches with fabric softener. This method aims to block the pores on the roaches’ skin, causing them to suffocate as a result. A simple mix of water and spraying at hotspots such as drains, sewers or spaces with garbage and waste. However, the success rate may be low, as it requires “contact killing” by spraying the solution on cockroaches directly. Roaches are nocturnal and most of the time, we do not see them within sight until late at night. In addition, if you manage to spray on these roaches in the daytime, it might be a more serious problem in dealing with heavy infestation. Seek pest control specialist to manage this pest crisis for peace of mind.

Spraying with insecticides and gel baits around

Basic home protection tools include that of the insecticide spray and get baits application we can buy off conveniently at retail stores. Familiar scenes such as chasing after the running roaches or applying gel at every possible corner seems like an ongoing home battle. Most of the time, we can be spotted in targeting these home enemies successfully. However, this leaves behind a pungent and oily surface that requires a round of cleaning. Above all, not forgetting the lingering smell that is harmful and toxic to our health in long-term exposure.

You may also like: 4 ways how cockroach prevent can go wrong

Utilising essential oil to repel cockroaches

How amazing to diffuse relaxing scents while keeping cockroaches away? Lavender, citrus, eucalyptus and peppermint oil are among top choices. It works by disrupting their scent trails along their food path but very quickly, this will diminish and regain their sense of way back. Fortunately, roaches dislike the citrus scent that is often used in cleaning agents. However, this is just a deterrent act, and there might be a nest of cockroaches lurking somewhere to breed. Getting rid of cockroaches involves various factors, and relying solely on essential oils may have futile results.

Baking soda and sugar mix to eliminate cockroaches

Who would have wondered whether baking soda and sugar mix that is essential baking ingredients are whipped up to eliminate cockroaches. The combination works by luring the sweetness of the sugar, and exploding their stomach by creating gas within as they consume the baking soda. It is a convenient method of placing containers of the mixture at cockroach hot spots. Such methods may take time to have some or minimal residual control effect; invite additional pests and not eliminate the root source of a pest problem.

Debugged Blog 10 Facts We Did Not Know About Cockroaches Get Rid Cockroaches With Pest Control

Part 3: Get rid of cockroaches with pest control

Understanding the different cockroach species

It helps by understanding what species of cockroaches are turning up at your home. They may be roaches in general; however, species differ such as their hangouts. German cockroaches favour warm, humid and moist places such as the kitchen and bathroom in our home. American cockroaches on the other hand lurk around unhygienic environments such as drains, sewers and garbage or waste centres. Identifying species and targeting specific key risk areas promotes a more efficient pest control on cockroaches.

Why is getting rid of cockroaches necessary

Firstly, we all dislike and fear the presence of cockroaches. Secondly, they are the culprits and cause of diseases, food contamination and allergies. Thirdly, they can multiply and reproduce causing an increased population. A typical life cycle of a roach lasts between 30 to 60 days. This means, monthly addition of cockroach members producing in your premise. Fourthly, it is damaging to business particularly, high dependency and food-centric in terms of suspension, financial penalty and business closure. Finally, particularly, some businesses are subjected to negative media upon cockroaches found in their premise. In summary, ensure adequate cockroach control in place to safeguard your family, users and business.

What causes cockroach infestation in your home?

We might be inviting cockroach infestation in our home unknowingly. This can be due to the housekeeping standards or daily home and work habits that causes cockroach attraction. However, some causes may be environmental or structural related that we are unaware of.

  • Clutter, piles of books and papers and cartons of untouched boxes thatares left untouched for a long time
  • Uncleaned dishes with grease and grime that is left in the sink for a period
  • Eating habits such as spilling crumbs and drinks around especially in living room
  • Wet and moist conditions at home that is the main source of food attraction to roaches
  • Inadequate disposal standards such as using a bin without a lid, and leaving exposed trash around
  • Presence of cracks, gaps and crevices around the premise that allows cockroaches to squeeze through
  • Cross infestation where cockroaches are coming from external or neighboring locations
  • Existing cockroach problem that goes undetected before escalating to an infestation

Read also: Common home mistakes that invite cockroaches

Engage pest control company to eliminate cockroaches in the home

With the understanding of the need to eliminate these harmful roaches, there is still some procrastination in engaging a pest control company to do the job. Firstly, some will do a price of pest control with DIY solutions in terms of cost effectiveness. Secondly, many may view cockroach eradication may be trivial to resort to professional help. Thirdly, they see some quick and instant results with sprays and baits and hence pest control service is not required. Finally, most perceived pest control companies perform treatment for severe cases only. Above all, it is critical to take proactive and protective steps rather than reactive and correction approaches. Here is a checklist on what to expect during a cockroach service treatment.

Rentokil Initial offers fast response treatment to resolve your roach struggles. Send in a form query.

Cockroach prevention with useful home tips

As frustrating and challenging as it sounds, there are many ways to control a cockroach problem and keeping infestation under control. Besides engaging in pest control services and maintaining optimal hygiene and sanitation, here are additional tips you can adopt for your home.

Debugged Blog 10 Facts We Did Not Know About Cockroaches Cockroach Control FAQ

Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions about cockroach control

Why are roaches returning after some treatment?

There are many reasons that causes roaches to return despite actions in eliminating them. Besides giving cockroaches the food and entry they need, here are possible factors resulting in rein-infestation.

  • Compromised efficacy and quality in cockroach treatment
  • Inconsistent, irregular and lapse in cockroach control regime
  • Inadequate and insufficient pest detection that missed treating that area
  • Lack of monitoring and inspection – restricts control standards
  • Proofing is not applied at critical entries, thus allowing invasion

What shall I do if there is a cockroach problem at home?

Firstly, do not attempt to resolve the pest issue DIY that may be harmful or dangerous. Secondly, take a picture of the cockroach if opportunity allows for some form of pest identity. Thirdly, do call a pest control company for urgent services to flush out the roaches. Fourthly, ensure thorough cleaning of the premises to eliminate any breeding source. Finally, discuss a long-term protection plan with the pest specialist to keep infestation at bay. Above all, do not attempt to provoke or threaten this pest, as they may unpredictably turn aggressive.

Why do I see cockroaches most in the kitchen?

It is not a coincidence that we often see cockroaches in the kitchen. It is their favourite feast destination due to the following reasons:

  • They like grease, food scraps, wastes and decay food or fruits often found in bins and sinks
  • Quiet, dark and cosy hiding environment such as cupboards, cabinets and back of appliances is all they seek
  • Fresh produce, sweets, proteins and in fact any organic food is a go-to menu for cockroaches
  • Water – Basic survival element that all humans and pests need to sustain
  • Abundance of blind spots and corners to rest and breed that humans have no visibility of

Do cockroaches really bite? Are they harmful?

Unlike mosquitoes or even bed bugs and ticks known for its biting and sucking capability, cockroaches generally do not bite. However, there is a possibility if there is a serious infestation with an overpopulation of cockroaches. This results in competition of food, they resort to bites and feeding among themselves. Another possible reason is for defence as they feel threatened or provoked by your actions. This normally takes place at night when they are out for food and while we are asleep. They typically bite around our face, mouth, hand and fingers and feed on eyelash, fingernails and dead skin. Symptoms include itchy and swelling skin that cause skin irritation or an infection. At times, the wound will result in inflammation with pus filling up the bite area.

You may also like: How to protect yourself from a cockroach bite

Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a cockroach pest control today.

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