Cockroaches have been around for millions of years, evolving into some
of the most adaptable pests on Earth. Aside from their creepy
display some unique behaviors and survival tactics that help them thrive
in many different environments, including homes. The National
Pest Management Association (NPMA) explores what makes these pests
so difficult to control.
Resilience. A cockroach can live for a week without its head and
can hold its breath for 40 minutes. Some species can even withstand
Small size. Cockroaches are small pest, so they can easily hide
in cracks and crevices. Male cockroaches can fit through an opening as
small as 1/16 inch in width or the thickness of a quarter.
Quick speed. Cockroaches are very fast for their size and can run
up to three miles in an hour. A newborn cockroach, which is about the
size of a speck of dust, runs nearly as fast as its parents.
Irregular feeding habits. Cockroaches can survive for up to one
month without food and two weeks without water. They are omnivores, so
many types of food are attractive to them including sugars, proteins and
Rapid breeding. A female cockroach and her offspring can produce
as many as 30,000 cockroaches in one year.
"Not only are cockroaches hard to eliminate, but they can pose health
risks to humans if they find a way inside," said Missy Henriksen, vice
president of public affairs for the NPMA. "Cockroaches are known to
spread diseases, trigger allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms. This
makes pest-proofing the home all the more important to protect your
family and property."
Practicing good sanitation is crucial to prevent an infestation. NPMA
experts recommend storing food in sealed containers, keeping kitchen
counters and pantry cabinets free of crumbs, vacuuming often and
disposing of garbage on a regular basis. If an infestation is suspected, contact
a licensed pest professional to treat the problem.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment
to the protection of public health, food and property. For more
information visit PestWorld.org.
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