6 Insane Facts about Cockroaches You Didn’t Know

Even if you’ve never had cockroach problems of your own before, you are probably quite aware of them: those gross little bugs that crawl in and out of your walls, sometimes have wings and fly, and, weirdly enough, can still run around with their head cut off. And if you have ever had the distinct pleasure of a cockroach infestation in your house or apartment, then you are all too familiar with these small and annoying pests.Kitchen Cockroach Infestation

1. No head, No Problem

Cockroaches are – no surprise –  insects, with six legs, can grow 2-3” long, have two antennae’s and in some cases, even wings. And, since they do not breathe with their mouth, but rather through little holes in their body (called spiracles), they actually can live with their head cut off, sometimes up to a week. Kind of disturbing, but true.

2. They’re Weather Resistant

They’re found all over the world and can tolerate both hot and freezing weather, but are especially at home in tropical climates, where they also tend to be much larger. They enjoy living outside, and are also nocturnal, spending their nights rummaging for food and mating. There are over 4,000 different living species of cockroach, but some of the most common you might run into in your home are American cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, and German cockroaches – which live all over the world, and despite their name, are the most common cockroach species found in the Unites States.

3. They’re Really, Really Fast

Cockroaches love to move, and can run up to three miles an hour – which, if they were the size of a human, would equate to running like 70 miles an hour. Impressive.  They often get into your home through cracks or tiny holes, and through vents or pipes, thanks to their fascinating ability to change shape and compress themselves; a 12mm tall cockroach can somehow fit itself through a hole only 3mm tall, as their abdomen consists of ten flexible segments that allow it to bend and compress itself into all sorts of different shapes. Their preferred method of transportation, however, is hitching a free ride, such as on a cardboard box, some garbage or a piece of old wood.Cockroaches on cardboard

4. You’ll Find Them Near Water

Once they’ve gotten in, they set up shop in warm spots thanks to their preference for warm climates; some types love drier places, like pantries and walls, while others tend towards dark and damp places, like bathrooms, under sinks, and pipes in the wall. They reproduce very quickly, can live up to a month without food, and since they are nocturnal, it’s very likely you may never even see them. And if you do, it’s even more likely that there are many, many hiding in your walls! Cockroaches are social creatures, that tend to group together in large colonies, and actually tend to signal to each other using their scent, and trails of fecal matter (you asked), when they’ve found a suitable place to stay.Bathroom Cockroach Infestation

5. In Nature, It’s Not All Bad

It’s no secret that they are serious pests, when they are invading our homes and living within our walls. In nature, however, they aren’t all bad news, and can sometimes be quite helpful and beneficial to their environment. They help dispose of, and recycle, decaying organic materials, eating rotting food, garbage, and other insects. That’s great, but also means that they love to snack on your food or belongings, especially starchy things such as cereal or books. Some species have quite an appetite for inorganic things, too, devouring anything from nylon stockings to toothpaste, which can make them quite the annoyance.Roach

6. They Carry Disease

Not only do they enjoy snacking on items in your house, but cockroaches can also make a bit of mess. As they crawl through dirty areas and garbage, they often pick up dirt and bacteria – including Salmonella and E. Coli –  dragging it everywhere they go and contaminating food and surfaces they get into, which can lead to sicknesses that you may never know the cause of. They also shed their skins frequently, which not only contaminate surfaces, but also contain many allergens that can cause allergies and asthma attacks, especially in children. So not only are cockroaches annoying, they can also cause a bit some considerable harm if left to run rampant.sneeze

How to Rid Yourself of Cockroaches

That’s probably way more than you ever wished to know about cockroaches. What you really want to know is, how can you prevent cockroaches from turning your home into their own? First, make sure that all vents, pipes, windows, etc. are properly sealed and maintained. Then, be sure to maintain a clean and dry house. Cockroaches love warm, damp places. They are also attracted by food crumbs and messes, so be sure to always clean up any spills or crumbs that fall on the floor.

So, if you’ve spotted a cockroach or two, or even located an entire infestation, what should you do? Because of cockroaches’ rapid reproduction, and the fact they are nocturnal and tend to hide from light, it will be difficult to completely take care of a cockroach problem, and it’s best to call in the pros. A professional pest control expert will be able to properly diagnose and treat a cockroach infestation, and help prevent it from happening again.









How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

I live in a pre-war apartment building in San Francisco.  The whole building is roach infested.  Though my apartment is very clean (food is never left out, garbage is taken out everyday, the sink is clean with the stopper in the drain) I was killing 2 – 5 roaches EVERY DAY.  I made it my mission to learn how to get rid of cockroaches once and for all!

I became obsessed in killing these creatures.  I wanted them gone forever.  My apartment complex even pays for a monthly exterminator service, yet the infestation continued.  Faced with either moving out or fixing the problem myself I was determined.  Through many trial and error, folklore and myths busted, I am happy to say I not only got rid of my roach problem but they have not come back in over a year. Let me teach you how to get rid of cockroaches forever.

My definitive guide on how to get rid of cockroaches…FOREVER

Follow these simple steps and a roach free home can be yours:

Step 1: Clean

Cleaning is the first step to how to get rid of cockroachesKeep everything clean!  Seriously, before you spend your money or do anything else, clean house!  Vacuum. Clean. Wipe. EVERYTHING. Do not leave them ANYTHING to eat or drink.

Because roaches are most active at night, before going to bed make sure:

  • Surfaces are wiped down with antiseptic wipes
  • Floors are mopped
  • Food is put away (sealed in plastic bags or containers)
    • If you have pets make sure their food is in an airtight container
  • Trash is taken out
  • Sink area is clean (no used dishes) and bone-dry (roaches can go months without food but they need water
  • and stopper is in the drain (this blocks access to your disposal where remnants of food are a great snack for roaches)

By doing this you limit the roaches food supply.  Cockroaches will eat ANYTHING.  This includes soap, glue, cardboard.

Note: If you have a Keurig (or any coffee machine really) DO NOT leave the water in the reservoir. They will infest your Keurig. They will infest your coffee machine. If you have pets, vacuum, a lot. They will eat dog and cat hair and dander.

Step 2: Seal

If you truly want to get rid of cockroaches forever, you must seal your exterior walls. This keeps roaches out of your house by blocking their entrance. Seal cracks everywhere you can inside your house as well. This takes time, but the payoff will be huge.

You can use a clear latex caulk like the one shown hear (note, the one shown here will need a caulking gun but you can get a tube if you have a smaller space and no gun).  At time of publishing – $2.28.

Be liberal with this stuff.  Make sure to:

  • Fill all exterior cracks
  • Fill all cracks inside of cabinets in your kitchen
  • Fill the cracks on the sides of floors, doors, and window moldings
  • Fill all cracks around pipes in bathrooms and kitchens

Remember: Cockroaches are almost flat and can get through the smallest of holes.  If you want to get rid of cockroaches forever – caulk it!

Step 3: Destroy

OK, so now your apartment is clean and sealed – it is time for war.  I also have a dog and a cat, and made sure these products are ok to use around them, and if not, keep them out of the room that you’re spraying etc until everything dries. Kill the bugs, not your pets.

Here are the products you need in order to get rid of roaches for ever.  I have listed them in no particular order:

Product ImageBrandGreat ForPrice (at Publication)

Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder
Roach cookies. Mixture of boric acid, sugar, flour and Crisco. Put it in corners, cracks, etc. I even opened up the outlets and put a little bit in there, in the crevice between the actual outlet unit and the wall. This was the first defense. Here’s the recipe and more info – http://dmentd.com/367 Price: $9.64

Gentrol Point Source IGR Insect Growth Regulator Discs
GET IT. This stuff stops their reproductive cycle. It’s roach birth control. I got this and put it in every room, and also in the hallways of my building (in the dreaded garbage-chute-closet-thing)
Price: $14.42

Invict Gold Roach Control Gel Bait
Bait that kills them, and their dead bodies and feces are also then poisonous so the fuckers that feast on the dead bodies of their comrades will also die. This is the bait for roaches who are used to Raid for decades and stay away from it or are just immune to it. This bait they cannot resist. And then they die. Or they walk into the Gentrol IGR zone and then can’t reproduce.I got the 4-tube pack, so far only used 2 tubes.Price: $23.32

Raid Indoor/Outdoor Bug Barrier
Disclaimer: not sure how well this really works, some roaches are immune to Raid at this point, but – I sprayed this on the outside of my apartment front door (roaches were crawling in from the hallway garbage-chute-closet area … people in this building are disgusting)
Price: $8.99

Diatomaceous Earth
This is good for all kinds of bugs (bed bugs even!), and relatively safe. You just don’t wanna breathe this stuff in (and neither should your pets) so be careful with it ($15.96 at time of publication).
Price: $21.48

All of this takes some time and dedication (and about $100), but it is worth it. After learning how to get rid of cockroaches I can’t tell you how happy I am.  Roaches crawling around, eating your found is not a healthy living environment.

A roach-free apartment can be yours.
Side note – If you live in an apartment in a large metropolitan area first check to see if your building has a exterminator service.  My did (it still didn’t help) but check nonetheless.  Chances are your landlord might be required to hire an exterminator for their buildings.  If you have a service, do the cleaning step and the sealing step and see if the problem stops.
Let me know if you have any tips or advice of your own on how to get rid of cockroaches.