The World Health Organization considers cockroaches to be unhygienic scavengers in human settlements. These creepy-crawlers aren’t just ugly. They’re a danger to human health because they spread diseases and trigger allergy and asthma attacks.
Cockroaches are a problem all over the world, including in Houston. If you’ve noticed adult cockroaches, egg casings, discarded wings, or a pungent odor, you might have a cockroach problem in your home.
Common Cockroaches in Houston
The only place on the planet that does not have cockroaches is Antarctica. Thousands of species crawl and fly around the globe. Approximately 55 of those species of cockroaches reside in the United States. In Houston, the common roaches include:
- American Cockroaches: large brown insects that measure about 50 mm long with a yellow figure-8 on the back of their heads
- Brown-Banded Cockroaches: light brown insects that measure 14 mm long with brown bands on their wings
- German Cockroaches: light brown insects that measure approximately 15 mm long with two black stripes behind their heads
- Oriental Cockroaches: shiny black insects that measure 25 mm long that cannot fly
Where Do Cockroaches Hide?
Because cockroaches are slender, they can fit into surprisingly small holes and crevices. In Houston, they often hide in warm and moist spots like bathrooms and kitchens, especially near or in sinks. They also like to hide in warm and dark places. Check under refrigerators, stoves, dryers, and washing machines.
Cockroaches also make their nests in computers and gaming consoles, especially when no one uses them. They also move into old television sets. Some roaches hide in large pet food bags and other food sources that aren’t properly sealed.
Homeowners often see cockroaches in their humid basements and crawl spaces. Some may even bring cockroaches into their homes when they bring old boxes and paper bags into their homes. These items may carry unhatched cockroach eggs.
Problems Caused by Cockroaches
Cockroaches aren’t just unsightly and creepy. They can also cause serious health problems.
Allergies and Asthma
Cockroaches are common allergens, especially for children living in major cities. Interestingly, the cockroach itself isn’t the problem. Instead, the cockroach allergy is caused by their excrement, wings, and shed skins. About 63 percent of homes in the United States have cockroach allergens in them.
When those parts blow in the air, they can trigger allergic reactions. Common reactions include difficulty breathing, runny noses, and hives. Some allergic reactions can also trigger asthma.
Diseases from Pathogens
Cockroaches crawl around disgusting areas like trash heaps and animal feces. As a result, they pick up dangerous pathogens and bacteria that they carry into homes. Those pathogens include potentially deadly health problems like:
Many of these intestinal diseases and infections can cause fevers, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, wheezing, and muscle and joint pain. Other problems caused by cockroaches include cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever. These also cause gastrointestinal problems along with high fevers and muscle pain.
As the cockroach infestation grows and cockroaches leave more droppings and skins behind, they create a musty odor. The smell might be the first sign that you have cockroaches, as you might smell them before you see them.
Damage to Household Items
Cockroaches eat just about anything. They’ll eat sweets, meat, human hair, glue, and paper. They also devour any decaying items. They can eat clothing, carpet, wallpaper, books, and furniture, damaging household items.
Cockroach Prevention Tips
Exterminating cockroaches is challenging, so the best method is prevention. Keeping cockroaches out of your home includes:
- Repairing leaky pipes
- Caulking and sealing small entry points
- Installing dehumidifiers where needed
- Cleaning under appliances and in cabinets
- Removing clutter, especially boxes and paper
- Cleaning dishes immediately after eating
- Cleaning spills and crumbs
- Properly sealing leftover food
- Storing pet food in sealed containers
- Keeping trash bins out of the garage
- Installing polyethylene sheeting in your crawl space
Romney Pest Control: Your Expert Cockroach Exterminators
Houston homeowners deal with cockroaches every day. Unfortunately, these resilient pests pose several health risks like chronic allergies and asthma. The annoying pests can damage household items.
Rather than trying expensive DIY solutions, save yourself the hassle with integrated pest management services. Contact the professional pest control experts at Romney Pest Control right away!