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Cockroach Facts

Summary: Roaches and filth. Roaches and filth. Go together like, well, I don't know an adequate rhyme, but who cares? Cockroaches are yucky!

Cockroaches are always associated with filth. Why aren't our feelings about ants and spiders and beetles the same? Well, for one reason, cockroaches are known to carry Salmonella and E.coli bacterial pathogens and the other aforementioned little fellows don't.

Put a cockroach under a magnifying glass and you'll see they are covered with hairs and spines. All these things hanging off their bodies pick up bad stuff as they make their way through drains and sewers. If they have just emerged from one of these sewer lines and have somehow found their way into a kitchen. you've got instant contamination. We often hear about outbreaks of food borne diseases and many such outbreaks can be traced back to


cockroach infestations.
The lowly cockroach also does a great job of irritating people with allergies. In fact, it is now commonly belived that people can have asthma from exposure to cockroaches. As cockroaches shed their outer skin during molting which occurs six to twelve times during their lifetime, the molted skin decomposes into tiny flakes. Air currents pick up the flakes and they float in the air around us. Eventually, with enough of these flakes in the air, we will breath them into our lungs. Put enough cockroaches in a room and you'll have an appreciable amount of cockroach stuff floating in the air you are breathing. People with allergies are quickly affected. This is an especially well known problem in low income housing where incidences of childhood asthma cases far exceed other socio-economic neighborhoods.

So, there is good reason to strive to live in a cockroach-free environment. Ignoring an existing cockroach population can bring exposure to unhealthy pathogens and potential respiratory problems.

Ask Rick A Question


11 Jan 2012, 14:20
i've never has a roach before in my house and all of sudden we have them. my son's friends has them and the brought them to our house. my question is to you how often should we bomb the house till we are able to get rid of them. i've been so upset over this whole situations. I took out the frig, deep freeze, stove and all my furniture and i put everything in trash bags. i have nothing in the cupboards. im going on my 4 week of bombing straight in a row. also i spray every night. ive done a lot of research on line as to go about everything. yet havent found anything as to how often you should bomb the house and for how long.

11 Jan 2012, 14:45
next question that i have is. eveything as been sitting out side now for three weeks in freezing temp. Now just going to put them in the garage wich is not attached to the house. so its still frezzing weather but a bit warmer in there. i was thinking about bring the stove and frig back in the house in 3 weeks. i read somewhere to bomb once a week for 6 weeks? would it be safe to bring them in or just to start over with new. thanks
Ask the Exterminator
13 Jan 2012, 10:19
"Bombing", or using aerosol "bombs" will not control a roach problem. You need to use cockroach baits. Click on the "Pest Control Products" link at the top of this page and go to the "cockroach" section for recommended products.
10 Jul 2012, 23:45
We recently moved into a new home about a month ago...right away we saw roaches and began treating with boric acid powder. We had the house sprayed inside and out, and sealed up any holes. We are SUPER clean, we do not allow even a drop of water in the sink at night...we still see live roaches, and occasionally a dead one. We were just sprayed two weeks ago...and I came home tonight to three large roaches fast and furious in my bathroom. What is my next step...I am terrified of these things and I have severe asthma. Help.
13 Jul 2012, 09:03
I am living in China and have recently started having a roach problem in my apartment. I have lived in the same place for 2 years and only started seeing roaches about 4 months ago. I have a cleaning lady that comes to my apartment everyday. My place is pretty damn clean. The problem is that it is a VERY old building. The stove top is pretty gross as well as under the sink. We also have plumbing problems. I was using raid to kill them as much as I could, but yesterday I saw a giant one by the door in my room! I purchased some traps as well as some of the cocking stuff in the tubes. I have moved all of my food into my room, and everything is sealed up and clean, but am worried that this may attracted them. I will buy a plastic container to keep my dried goods in. I have a small dog, so I need to be careful with what I use to kill them. Do you have any suggestions for me other than moving apartments??
Ask the Exterminator
15 Jul 2012, 08:13
I always prefer using cockroach baits rather than liquid sprays. Sprays often spread the problem because they contain repellents. I like the Maxforce FC baits if you can find them. They are nearly non-toxic to mammals. Read the label when using the products and do not use sprays in conjunction with baits.
25 Jul 2012, 21:31
I bought a box of toy trains at a yard sale a week and a half ago. We found roaches in the box the other day after it sat in our diningroom for that long. We have now seen some in our kitchen cabinets. My husband just put this Combat gel all over inside the cabinets and under and behind the stove and refrigerator. Do you think we caught them soon enough? I have only seen large ones, no babies.
Ask the Exterminator
30 Jul 2012, 13:36
Only time will tell. If you put the roach bait gel in the right locations and the roaches did, in fact, eat the bait, all should be well.
16 Sep 2012, 21:49
They have sprayed the buliding bombed all apts and sprayed and around the buliding its only been a couple weeks since they did the upstairs and a few days ago since they did the downstairs and I am still seeing a few roaches that are alive how long will it be before they start to decrease they have some should I give it anothor week before I do it again
28 Oct 2012, 08:37
I had a problem with German roaches in my kitchen about a month and a half ago that came on suddenly. I am pretty clean, but not always my roommates so much. I put down bait and boric acid, and the problem seemed to go away, but I just found a nymph in another part of the kitchen! The population has obviously decreased vastly, but is still evident. I plan to clean out that cabinet and maybe put more boric acid, but what does this mean? Are these roaches now resistant? How can I get rid of them once and for all? I can't live like this!
29 Oct 2012, 14:56
Someone please tell me what to do about these darn roaches! I am highly allergic to roaches first off, i break out in bad hives all over my body if in contact with one (I have been in contact with one before) So I just moved into a house, I ASKED the landlord if there was any roaches from past tenants...He stated NO there wasnt and it was very clean, So I moved in an The first night of me being here i see 1 roach! i was terrified, So i began to investigate online, I seen they leave poop marks on corners and near water areas i looked and nothing much (everything has been painted) so then I get on the counter in the kitchen to look at the top of the cubbord? and see in the corners of the cabinet there are little brown spots. I then noticed that there were a lot of dead roaches and the painters had just painted over them! I was shocked!! I am going to speak to the landlord today, I've already moved in all my things and I honestly feel like he lied to me about this. cause how do you just paint over roaches? doesnt make sense! Will they destroy my property? what is the most effective way to get this issue handled? please help!
Ask the Exterminator
06 Nov 2012, 16:36
Roaches eat the boric acid and it kills them. If they are looking for other types of food they may ignore the boric acid. Try different types of roach baits to see if they will eat it.
29 Nov 2012, 10:28
How do roaches move?
14 Dec 2012, 15:06
We just had an exterminator spray our apartment and now we're wondering if we should put everything that we emptied from our kitchen and bathroom away or if we need to wipe the surfaces (inside drawers, cabinets, counter tops, etc) first to remove the spray? We have a 2 yr old and 4 yr old and I'm worried of pesticide poisoning.
16 Jan 2013, 19:57
We brought in a few german roaches in a gift wrap roll about 6 months ago. We noticed babies coming out, then found the source and had a company come out and spray. 1 month later they came back and did powder and gel traps. We saw about 1 a month until about 2 months ago and then nothing. Tonight we saw 1 at dinner time crawling up the wall near the toaster. If this is the only one we've seen in 2 months do we need to have them come back and treat? Is this guy a lone survivor? So disappointing after working so hard to get rid of them over the past 6 months.
Ask the Exterminator
16 Jan 2013, 21:16
German roaches are fairly easy to control with cockroach baits. If your pest control company is using liquid pesticides to treat for the roaches, the control process is likely to take a lot longer. I recommend using Maxforce cockroach baits to control the problem. This product is available on my website. This is the same product used by many pest-control professionals.
Mike Riley
14 Feb 2013, 04:50
I just moved into a apartment three days ago. I have never lived in a place that had even 1 roach but I've seen two in the past two days. I had just bought a new laptop and a new Xbox. I don't want them to get inside them. Should I just leave the place I'm living and find a new place? If I saw one I've been told there's more. What shoul I do. So freaked out!!!
16 Feb 2013, 17:53
I am having a problem with roaches in my kitchen. I have a pest service and the week after he comes, I see less roaches but by the second week they are just as bad. We have eliminated them from every other room but the kitchen and now they are getting into my new glass top stove. I don't know what to do, we have been through several pest companies and none of them can seem to get rid of them. My mother and sister(who had roaches way worse than I ever thought about)don't have them any longer and we use the same company. Any thought? I need some serious help.
26 Feb 2013, 13:06
help! i just moved into a "luxury" apartment complex and already two weeks here and i seen 1 roach. it was small but i opened my pizza box that i put on my counter for 5 min and it was crawling on my pizza! i tried to kill it but it was too fast! mind you my apartment is sooooo clean and i never keep food out. but, there is a garbage shoot two doors down from my unit. could they be coming up from the garbage shoot and just crawling into my apartment? managment said they would exterminate right away and that they exterminate twice a month anyways. i dont see any shells or eggs or anything. do you think i will have more? i have a 17 month old son and i heard they can make you sick. they used a gel of cockroach bait so hopefully they will all be gone if there are any :/...also i could have sworn there were yellow stripes on the back. are their cockroaches with yellow stripes going vertically up the back?
07 Apr 2013, 10:32
the exterminator came to my apartment and put gel to kill cockroaches,and now i see more of them comming out is this normal?
29 Apr 2013, 09:30
I have lived in A 16 unit apartment building for almost 5 years now and about 6 months ago i seen a cockroach crawling up the wall from behind my tv, so i kill it put it in a zip lock bag and took it to the garbage outside. I am a clean person and i like my house the same. That following weekend i did more detailed cleaning and i bleached and dis infected my entire house. This morning i walk in and there is another one in the living room but not on the same wall. I have never seen them in any other room. What can i do to keep them out of my apartment?
07 Aug 2013, 14:09
i just rented a house and before going in i sprayed venom for roaches and other insects, later in the day when i came back i saw one BIG roach dead near a hole located in the washing room area near an open pipe, that was the only one i saw, nothin in the rooms or cabinets, no small (german) roaches, then i poured soap & bleach in one of the bathrooms to clean them and two of the big roaches came out of the shower pipe!! what can i do?? should i just ask for my deposit and rent back?? i talked to the landlord and he camed and bombed the house, he says it naybe because the house as been empty and with no water running, that maybe they are in the pipes but they will go away.. he bombed the house already but idk if that will do and i have small children and would hate to see these big roaches near them!!
02 Nov 2013, 17:57
Moved my friend used my car & seen a cockroach?

Got home, ripped my vehicle apart vacuumed, sprayed & am wondering what the chances are that I now have cockroaches in my car?

Not impressed with the non disclosure.
18 Nov 2013, 11:16
Hi! We moved into our home 14 months ago. After we moved in, we found out from the nieghbor lady that our home had had a HUGE roach infestation a few months before. I have had bronchitis twice, a sinus infection twice, a respiratory infection when my husband painted the kitchen. I'm on my third bronchitis infection now that refuses to clear up so now I'm being sent on for asthma testing. And I have an unexplainable rash across my upper chest.

My questions is this: Even though the live critters are gone, are the dead bodies and feces left behind capable of causing me these problems? If so, for how long does this decaying material continue to effect our air quality? Can I test our air to be sure? With which test? How do I get rid of these effects?

My children (esp. my daughter) has had a couple of sinus infections and bronchitis too but not as bad as I. I'm guessing it's because I have the highest exposure, being in the home more as a stay at home mom.

Thank you for responding!
11 Jan 2014, 02:15
We never had roaches and recently moved into a home that has them. We had the exterminator come out and that only made it worse what do I do. I have 2 toddlers with asthma and an infant
25 Jan 2014, 14:22
My boyfriend has roaches in his home and when we move out on our own, he wants to bring all of his game systems, his flat-screen TV, and a bunch of other things with him. Would there be roaches in any of these things? What are the chances that we could take them with us?
05 Apr 2014, 01:50
I like how everybody is defending their cleanliness. Cute. Anyway, we have been living in a single family rental home for 5 years and are having a roach problem for the first time in our lives. They appeared suddenly and all seemed to be in the vicinity of the counter our sink is on. I got paranoid about the cleanliness of my home and have been OCD-cleaning it ever since but it didn't help. I recently grabbed something from under the sink and found it dripping wet and realized we had a leak and called the landlord to fix the leak. Any tips on what to say to our landlord to make him feel responsible for the extermination too?
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