Yes. Cockroaches can spread approximately 33 kinds of bacteria, 6 kinds of parasitic worms and 7 other human pathogens. They pick up all kinds of germs on the spines of their legs. From bathroom floors, rodent nesting areas and sewage, places where they walk through is unlimited. Germs that roaches eat from decaying matter or sewage (yes decaying and sewage) will remain in/on them longer. It’s unknown why germs can last longer on an affected roach then germs that are exposed to cleaning agents or natural elements. Just think about the journey they made before they walked across your counter tops, cooking surfaces and food. Many clients are sicken when I tell them the coffee grounds left on the counter tops is actually roach droppings, it gets worse when they just scoop the droppings into their hands all these years.
There are about 4,000 different named species of cockroaches in the world. The habits and high reproductive rate of roaches will lead to populations which will spread diseases and cause allergies that will unfortunately trigger asthma. There are 69 species in the U.S, only 20 species cause problems in homes and businesses. Out of the 20 the U.S. deals with, 4 of them cause major and significant problems in our home and families. Here in Atlanta, GA we deal with 5 different species and the worst part is we deal with the big 4. These are the German, American, Brown Banded and Oriental cockroaches; in order of importance. When clients in Atlanta call for natural pest control or green pest control service, it’s always the top 2 roaches that they are dealing with; the German and American roach.
In a recent released study of 937 inner city children, in seven U.S. cities, allergens from common cockroaches were present more often and caused more serious reactions in children with asthma than the Dust Mite, dog and cat allergens. How can a simple small vial roach cause these allergens? This is what a roach brings to the table when it comes to air born allergens; large amount of droppings, secretions all over the place, dead roach bodies and cast skins. (Cast skins is the exoskeleton they shed when they grow, it dries up and becomes an air born dust) The control of cockroaches is needed in homes to help prevent the buildup of dangerous amounts of allergens.
The Sinister Four
An adult German Roach is about 5/8-inch long, light to medium brown with two dark parallel stripes that run from its head to its pronotum. They breed all year long and love to live in the indoors. They will produce about 30-40 eggs in an Ootheca egg sack approximately three months after they first hatched. She can produce an Ootheca sack about every 28 days. Her primarily offspring for the year is approximately 390-520 new roaches; you can figure what her offspring might produce for that year.
The American Cockroach is sometimes called the “Palmetto Bug” or “Water Bug”. They are the largest of the house-infesting roach, at about 1.5 inches long, with full sized reddish brown wings and a light margin completely around their prothorax. They can live outdoors and indoors. Seeing an American Roach once every 2 weeks in your home is a bad infestation. They will produce about 16 eggs in an Ootheca egg sack every four to five days until she has produce 50 Ootheca sacks. These roaches are the ones that have been documented for feeding on eyelashes, eyebrows and toenails on sleeping children.
Brown-Banded Cockroaches are slightly smaller than a German Roach, about ½ long. They have two lighter bands that run across their dark brownish bodies. Males will have wings, which reach beyond the tip of their pointed abdomens. Females will have under developed wings, much shorter than their broad, rounded abdomens. These roaches prefer warmer, drier and higher locations than any other roach. These roaches can develop with 95 days; she will begin to produce Ootheca egg sacks containing 20 eggs. These roaches do not require as much moisture as the other three roaches do.
Oriental Cockroaches are large and very dark (almost black) they are very shiny cockroaches. They are about 1 inch long with wings that cover about ¾ of their abdomen, females are 1 ¼ inch long and have short stubs of wing pads. They are commonly mistaken for an American Roach. They grow slowly, needing more than 200 days to become an adult and females take about 60 days to produce their first Ootheca egg sack. Each Ootheca contains 8 to 10 eggs; she will deposit an Ootheca every 30-40 days.
The German and American Roach are the most harmful when is comes to airborne allergens due to their ability to produce an offspring so fast. The most effective ways of controlling any issue is sanitation, monitoring and prevention.
*Tip: when hiring a professional it is always important to find out what product they use, never have someone use a pest repellent. This only allows roaches harbor in unseen areas while the buildup of allergens continue to grow.*
**Big credit goes to Alex Wild, a Photographer, a Biologist and Entomologist for photos used in this blog. Please visit his PAGE.**