Fast and agile, cockroaches have been roaming the Earth since the Carboniferous period. As we humans wage a war against cockroaches in our modern establishments, cockroaches have been found to exist for more than 300 million years. There are fossils of these insects that we tend to kill upon sight. But their presence in our homes at this age of time just proves to show their survivability and adaptability to the changing world.
As much as we hate them, cockroaches are the masters of survival. They are one of the most primitive winged insects, and they have undergone very little morphological changes since the age of dinosaurs. However, despite cockroaches been touted as one of the infamous pests to us humans, less than 1% of the cockroach species are actually pest of the urban environment. We might know cockroaches as scavengers of our homes, but a majority of the species are actually found inhabiting forest floors and natural environments. This is because that cockroaches are natural scavengers of the Earth, where they are mostly content with recycling dead organic matter from forest grounds and contributing to the carbon cycle.
However harmless those forest cockroaches might sound, things are different when we see one in our homes. Aside from being a sight for sore eyes and a cause for panic, cockroaches are vectors of many pathogens. The biology and behaviour of cockroaches are perfect opportunities for them come into contact with multiple microorganisms. Their tendency to crawl and squeeze through unhygienic places would allow pathogens from inaccessible places to adhere to their body surface. They would then disperse these pathogens to anywhere they go, spreading germs and diseases. By just simply crawling over our table surface or utensil drawers, they are contaminating our living spaces. A survey done by the Environmental Health Institute (EHI) Singapore in collaboration with Singapore Pest Management Association (SPMA) have found a total of 59 bacterial species from cockroaches collected from Singapore! Among those bacteria, 36 species were pathogenic, with one common pathogen Bacillus cereus being a main cause of diarrhoea. If those aren’t enough to give you the creeps, cockroaches can also cause allergic reactions among some people as well! This is due to the cockroach allergens that they emit from their body. It can stimulate an allergic response among people sensitive to it, and it has even been reported to be associated with asthma attacks.
When it comes to small infestations (just one or two cockroaches found), managing cockroaches can be easy. Proper sanitation and hygiene maintenance is key in deterring the growth of cockroaches on our premises. As long as any possible food and water sources are eliminated or discouraged, cockroaches could not thrive in the area, and they will probably die from starvation and dehydration, or migrate in search of better food (sorry, neighbours). However, if a serious cockroach infestation has already been established in your area, more drastic measures can and should be taken to decrease their population. The popular method to treat cockroaches would be by treating the surfaces with residual chemicals. Residual sprays are the primary and most popular method to control cockroach populations here in South East Asia. When the cockroaches crawl across a treated surface, they come into contact with the chemicals, and are usually knocked-down and die. The other option of cockroach baiting is also another method that can kill cockroaches. As the name suggest, the baits will be applied to strategic places where cockroaches can find and ingest them, and die off from poisoning. However, more extreme cases can also opt for fumigation, where an area or space is made airtight and filled with toxic fog that can kill off any cockroaches in the area.
While the use of chemicals to control cockroach infestations including cockroach eggs can be fast and effective, knowledge and experience on the type of chemicals, the dose required, and the method of application is important for best results. Finding an experienced and reliable pest control company can save you the money and time while delivering the results you want. Not all solutions to cockroach problems involve drenching your area with chemicals. We believe in a responsible approach where tailor-fit the treatment to your needs- for a better and healthier environment. For a chance to experience what our premium pest control service, just drop us a message on our website! Let us handle our pests responsibly by using the right solutions.