Tag Archives: Roaches

Roaches: Scary, Gross and Possibly Zombies

interesting and weird facts about roaches

From their pre-historic origins, for over 280 million years, these dreaded creatures have been wandering the globe. Over 4,000 species exist worldwide, with one species or another either creeping around in your basement, flying right at you, dropping on you from trees and ceilings in the dark of night or others scattering in throngs of thousands, when caught invading your kitchen, cockroaches are one of our most terrifying pests.

Huge cockroaches live in South America and they can fly

While gargantuan South American cockroaches, the stuff of nightmares, grow up to almost 4 inches long with a 6-inch wingspan, the most common cockroaches in the US include American cockroaches (also known as: palmetto bugs, water bugs and fudgies), German cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches and brown-banded cockroaches.

Cockroaches transmit dangerous pathogens, cause respiratory viruses and allergic reactions

Not only do these creep show characters give us the heebie-jeebies, some transmit respiratory viruses, such as the Hantavirus, provoke asthma attacks and cause allergic reactions. Spreading over 30 human pathogens, in addition to a variety of parasitic worms and viruses, cockroaches can spread food-borne illnesses by transmitting Salmonella and Ecoli viruses picked up on their legs as they roam around in waste and decaying food scraps. And just in time for Halloween, here’s some more facts about cockroaches to enhance their squirm factors.

A cockroach can live for a week with no head

Often remarked that roaches will be the only creatures that survive in a post-apocalyptic world, according to a PestWorld.com article, cockroaches can live for a week without their heads. Because of their circulatory system, they can breathe without their head or mouth. In fact, they are able to breathe through small holes in each body segment. But because they need mouths to drink, cockroaches die from thirst in a week or so with no heads, during which they stumble around like zombies. And because they are cold-blooded, cockroaches with their heads intact are able to survive a month without food.

Submerged in water, cockroaches can survive up to 40 minutes

Thinking you can flush your problems away? Think again. Like that scary monster that just won’t die, a cockroach can hold its breath underwater for 40 minutes. Seems these creatures practice holding their breaths to regulate water retention. American cockroaches, in addition to their large sizes, their reputation for flying right at people, as well as, allegedly chasing them around their homes are also attracted to beer, according to PestWorld.com. Attracted to the hops and sugar, American cockroaches may also use the beer as a source of water and food!

New, invasive cockroach can survive freezing temps

According to NBCnews.com reporter, Frank Eltman’s 2012 article, “Invasive Cockroach Resistant to Freezing Cold Found on High Line,” winter can’t even stop some cockroaches. Observed in the High Line, a raised park that runs along Manhattan’s West Side, an invasive Asian cockroach, Periplaneta japonica can survive freezing temperatures.

With their ancient lineage, cockroaches have developed scary skills

As one of the oldest insects in history, cockroaches have developed some spooky skills over time. Cockroaches can spread viruses and pathogens throughout homes in very little time. Plus, as the US’s most common roach, German cockroaches mature in little over a month, enabling them to cause allergic reactions and outbreaks of other illnesses throughout the US. To top it all off, they are quick! Adult cockroaches can run up to three miles an hour and baby cockroaches can run just as fast as their parents at one-day old. Creepy!

Truly Nolen, your roach control experts

Unlike ghouls, goblins, mummies, monsters and man-eating arachnids, cockroaches won’t disappear into the dawn of a new day, like the creatures of haunted house fame. While DIY products on the market promise to eliminate cockroaches in your home or business, Truly Nolen suggests contacting a professional pest control company to safely and effectively address your cockroach concerns.

Technicians, trained and certified in control and treatment measures for different types of cockroaches keep your home and family in mind, using eco-friendly and naturally occurring methods and materials whenever possible. For on-going seasonal protection from all household pests, ask about our Four Seasons approach to household pests that creates a pest-free barrier around your home, using our innovative, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system.

Along with a professional pest control company’s protocols, homeowners can help deter roaches and other pests. Homeowners can take some common sense measures to keep cockroaches out of their homes. Prevention tips include:

  • Sealing cracks and crevices around your home’s foundation.
  • Regularly cleaning and sweeping food prep and dining areas.
  • Carefully inspect and/or discard all cardboard boxes or bags brought home from the store to ensure you’re not inviting a hitchhiking cockroach.
  • Tightly sealing all dried food items in glass, metal or hard plastic containers.
  • Storing all open food in the fridge or in tightly-sealed containers.
  • Keeping all outdoor trash receptacles clean and sanitized.
  • Removing all debris and unkempt vegetation from house exteriors.
  • Repairing all screens and sealing cracks around entryways.
  • Repairing or replacing all leaky faucets and water prone areas.

Halloween can be frightening, but not as scary as cockroaches. For expedient and expert solutions to your roach and other creepy pest concerns, contact your local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free pest inspection today! Happy Halloween!

Why Roach Allergies are So Scary

roachIf the idea of ghouls and ghosts is not scary enough for you this Halloween, there’s a common household pest that’s turning up the scare factor all year round. With millions of people suffering from allergy symptoms, roach allergies are not often top of mind when compared to the more common “triggers” such as dust mites or pollen. A stubborn indoor allergen (a substance that causes an allergic reaction), roaches are difficult to get rid of entirely, even in the cleanliest home. Not just a residential problem, roaches can find their way into offices, restaurants, and in some of the more dangerous cases, schools. If left untreated, they can cause long term health problems and exacerbate already existing conditions such as asthma, the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15. Although emphasis should be placed on treating and eliminating live roaches, it is also important to pay close attention to the removal of dead roaches. Over time, the deterioration of their cast skins can create allergens.

For individuals already suffering with respiratory ailments or weak immune systems, or in the case of the elderly or very young, an undetected roach infestation may lead to the development of chronic allergies.

Snapshot- Roach Allergen case study

A good example that showcases just how damaging a roach infestation can be to one’s health is in a recent case where a Truly Nolen service expert was able to perform a service that would ultimately reverse the negative effects taking place on a homeowner. Unknown to her, a severe roach problem was the main contributing factor in her steady decline in health. An initial visit to the customer’s home was able to reveal the full extent of this infestation. Plagued with chronic fatigue, respiratory problems and emotional distress, the homeowner suffered greatly. Even at the time of service, she was unable to physically move around and directed the service expert while seated on her couch.

The treatments were performed in various parts of the house, with extra attention paid to areas where roach carcasses existed. The Truly Nolen service expert was genuinely concerned for this woman’s health issues, and went above and beyond to make sure that the current infestation was dealt with properly, and that the cast skins were thoroughly removed. After eliminating the roaches from the home, the service expert saw a dramatic improvement several months later on his follow up service with the homeowner. Not only was her chronic tiredness gone, but so were her respiratory problems. Unlike the first visit where she could barely move, the follow up visit revealed a new person whose physical and emotional health was getting better day by day. The health and well-being of your home can never be taken for granted as it can have a great impact on your life.

Since the allergens left behind by roaches can become airborne and contaminate multiple areas, roaches do not even need to be present to wreak havoc on the daily health and well-being of those living in affected surroundings. In the case of the homeowner, roach carcasses found in her home were a major contributing factor in the decline of her health. These dangerous scavengers are vehicles of bacteria, contaminants, and sometimes diseases that are found in their saliva, feces and on their bodies.

The allergens produced by roaches have been shown to cause health concerns, ranging from mild to more severe including:

  • Asthma (mild onset to severe complications)
  • Dermatitis
  • Skin rashes
  • Itching
  • Digestive problems
  • Food poisoning
  • Severe respiratory conditions
  • Intestinal diseases

The most common symptoms of a roach allergy are: wheezing, coughing, skin rashes and shortness of breath. Although these symptoms can be associated with many different ailments, it is important not to discount roach allergens as a potential culprit. As a cautionary measure, seeking professional medical advice is always the safest option in determining the root cause of your allergies.

RoachesAttracted to dark, damp areas, roaches gravitate to places that are more prone to moisture, such as pipes and faucets found under your sink. Since roaches tend to live in groups, even if you have only seen one or two, chances are there are many more hiding behind the scenes. If you suspect a roach allergy may be to blame for certain health issues, it’s always a good idea to take a few extra steps in safeguarding your space against these stubborn insects:

  1. When entering your home with boxes or bags, always double check to make sure they are roach free before resting them inside.
  2. Keep food containers tightly sealed and away from countertops and avoid leaving spilled food unattended.
  3. Fix and seal any leaking pipes and faucets.
  4. Use lidded garbage containers wherever possible.
  5. Have your space professionally treated to address more serious roach issues.
  6. Visit your doctor if your symptoms become severe.

For more information on allergies, as well as resources for helping to cope with asthma, visit:

Hot and Humid Atlanta Summers Bring Out the Roaches

Cockroaches have been on the Earth for more than 250 million years and in that time, they have evolved relatively little compared with other insects. They are however incredibly adaptable and have adjusted well to living with humans. They are scavengers who are attracted to food but will eat just about anything including pet food and the glue on envelopes. Like many Atlanta residents, summer is their favorite time of year due to the high humidity levels and warmer temperatures.

As any Atlanta resident knows, the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) is very common in the southern United States, particularly during the hot, humid days of summer. You may have also heard them referred to as a palmetto bug, waterbug, or sewer roach. At about 1-1/2 inch long, the American cockroach is one of the larger cockroach species. Their oval shaped bodies are reddish brown to dark brown and they have fully developed wings. When disturbed, palmetto bugs will run rapidly, but on rarer occasions they may fly – or more accurately glide. They are nocturnal and typically hide during the day.

american roach

Are they dangerous?

The presence of a large cockroach, though physically harmless, should not be underestimated. Roaches can spread disease, contaminate food and damage books, clothing and wallpaper and in large numbers can produce a very unpleasant odor. They have also been associated with allergies and childhood asthma.

Where do they prefer to live? Why are they in my house?

These roaches prefer warm areas of higher moisture. Palmetto bugs can be found throughout the house, particularly on the first floor of buildings. They will enter homes through any opening or tiny crevice that they can squeeze through. Outdoors, they prefer dark, moist, and warm places such as landscaped areas, in flower beds, woodpiles, or under mulch.

Indoors, they are often found near steam pipes, in boiler rooms, around plumbing and water heaters, and in damp basements. These roaches multiply quickly in wet conditions like those found in sewers or storm drains. They can travel up from the sewer, through your drain pipes and into your bathroom, kitchen, basement, and laundry room. Infrequently used drains provide better access because the drain trap is dry. Keeping the drain trap wet by running water several times a week in the sink, tub, shower, or wherever you find these large bugs is helpful.

How can I get rid of them?

An American cockroach infestation can quickly spread during the summer, as they enter through cracks in foundations, around loose-fitting doors or windows, and along water and gas pipes. Population control focuses on getting rid of food, water, and places for them to hide.

Keep it clean.

Sanitary conditions are critical to eliminating these roaches.
• Clean up spilled foods and liquids immediately
• Avoid leaving scraps of food on unwashed dishes and counter tops
• Store food in tightly sealed containers
• Remove trash daily
• Rinse cans and bottles before putting in trash
• Keep clutter from accumulating and vacuum often

Exclusion.

• Inspect cartons or boxes for insects before bringing into your home.
• Use weather stripping on outside doors for a tight seal
• Seal all cracks and crevices with caulk particularly those around sinks, behind cabinetry, gaps in walls and floors, and pipe entry points

Reduce moisture.

• Control dampness with dehumidifiers
• Fix any plumbing issues (e.g., leaking faucets and pipes)

Enjoy the rest of your summer by keeping it roach free. Our professionally trained technicians will get rid of this all too common Atlanta pest. Call Truly Nolen today.