Cockroaches

There are several species of cockroaches and they can vary in colour from light yellowish brown to dark brown/black and range in size from 10 to 25 mm in length. All cockroaches have long antennae, while some have markings along the back and although some cockroaches have wings, most cannot sustain flight.

Habits & Behaviours

Cockroaches are one of the most common and undesirable insect species that invade residential, recreational and commercial properties throughout Ontario. The cockroach colony is constantly increasing in size and will continue to thrive unless the space it lives in becomes uninhabitable or there is a loss of food. They prefer dark and damp environments.

When foraging for food, cockroaches leave chemical trails in their feces and emit airborne pheromones for swarming and mating. These chemical trails transmit bacteria on surfaces. Other cockroaches will follow these trails to discover sources of food and water, and also discover where other cockroaches are hiding.

Cockroaches are very quick and can climb any structure very easily. As cockroaches grow, they shed their skin. They will often gain access to properties through holes, cracks, and plumbing and also by being transported via grocery bags, boxes, furniture, and on humans. A cockroach can live without food for up to a month, hold their breath for up to 40 minutes, and can live for days without their head. Most cockroaches are nocturnal and are therefore extremely difficult to detect until you have a serious infestation.

 

Complaints & Destruction

Although they are not known to cause significant structural damage, cockroaches travel through garbage and sewage and then contaminate food and spread disease bacteria on to food and food preparation areas, surfaces, and equipment. Because cockroaches prefer warm, damp environments where food, water and shelter are plentiful, they nest in residential/recreational properties such as homes, apartment complexes, cottages, and business/commercial properties such as hospitals, schools, hotels/motels, restaurants, food-handling establishments, and grocery stores.

They normally construct their nests and contaminate areas in wall voids, under floors, behind baseboards, and can also be found nesting in several other undisturbed dark and damp spaces. They can be found in dark, warm areas near hot water pipes, heating tanks, toilets and drains, in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.

Major Risks & Dangers

Health risks

Cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including refuse, faecal matter, and food for human consumption. They are capable of carrying organisms which cause food poisoning in humans and many other disease-causing bacteria such as, salmonella, shigella, E. coli, streptococcus (Pneumonia), hookworm, pinworms, tapeworms, and even viruses. Their habit of regurgitating partially digested food and often dropping feces while feeding spread disease. They also produce secretions which give a persistent and characteristic odour to areas they have visited.

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