Roaches: An Interrupted Cycle

Over 3,500 identified species. An estimated 3,000 or more yet to be discovered and named. Found on every continent except Antarctica. Fossil records that date back approximately 280 million years. Roaches are unquestionably one of the most successful species on the planet. The real question is how to prevent them from setting up a successful colony in your home!

Cockroaches living outdoors follow certain seasonal patterns. Their activity steps up in the spring. This is when breeding is at its peak. Activity continues through the summer and early fall. Later fall brings on a phase of suspended development which leads to a winter hibernation. Mass numbers die from cold if they fail to find suitable shelter which, along with predation, keeps their numbers under control. Their natural cycle regulates their colony size and helps maintain a healthy ecological balance.

roaches 1 decHowever, all this natural behavior is set aside when artificial heat and light are introduced. If a roach (or a few) is able to slip inside your home, its natural rhythms are upset. This is when infestations can occur.

Unfortunately, it’s incredibly easy for a roach to gain access to most homes that have not implemented an integrated pest management plan. Roaches can flatten their bodies to slip under doors and window sills. They can find their way in the dark so finding an unsealed vent is no problem for them. And they are definitely looking for a way inside.

Your home is a sanctuary of spring to a roach. It’s warm and the humidity is perfect. There’s plenty of food and water and ample places to nest. It’s like eternal springtime and these conditions signal cockroaches to remain in a state of high activity and breeding. It only takes a span of a couple of months for an unchecked population of roaches to become an unhealthy, full-fledged infestation.

Roach infestations can cause health problems for people with allergies or asthma. Their shed carapaces and feces cause respiratory distress and can increase the frequency of asthmatic attacks. They also carry a number of diseases and will foul any food source they can reach.

There are effective treatments for roach infestations but preventative measure are always better. Integrated pest management methods are an excellent alternative to the liberal use of broad spectrum insecticides. These sprays may have their place in a plan but they are by no means the only method available to eradicate and prevent a roach infestation.

Two key principles of integrated pest management (IPM) are sanitation and exclusion. Practiced proficiently, these tools may be enough to prevent infestation. Exclusion means cutting off the means of access for insects to enter your home.   Sanitation isn’t just how clean your home may be; it’s all the habits, practices and processes that deal with the insect’s food sources. Since roaches will eat things like newspaper, drywall and book bindings, sanitation takes on a lot of meaning.

Meeting with an IPM specialist at Ransford Pest will help you implement these green pest control methods effectively. Don’t let your home become a haven for roaches. Learn how to keep them out and cut short their breeding cycle.


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