• Oriental cockroach
  • German cockroach
  • American cockroach
  • Brownbanded cockroach
  • Wood cockroach

If there are uniformly black or dark brown wingless insects in your damp basement or under your kitchen sink, you may have an Oriental cockroach infestation. Male Oriental roaches have tiny wings and are about half the size of female roaches. Oriental cockroaches prefer damp conditions. They generally live outdoors and reproduce in garbage cans, animal cages, septic tanks and other moist places. When Iowa weather is chilly, they may enter your warm home through open drains. This type of roach is often found near leaky water pipes.

Oriental cockroaches and their cousins are common this time of year. In fact, roaches can be trouble at any time, virtually anywhere. They don’t live in the Antarctic but are found everywhere else on Earth. The 3,470 species that don’t bother humans are welcome to live wherever they want to. It’s the five kinds of cockroaches that infest Iowa that we’re concerned with.

In this part of the country, Oriental cockroaches are not nearly as common as German roaches, but they can still be a big problem. Roaches are “mechanical disease vectors”, meaning they can passively transmit pathogens that make people sick.

Among the diseases Oriental cockroaches and other roaches are known to spread are:

  • Cryptosporidium parvum
  • Dysentery
  • E. coli
  • Hepatitis B
  • Pseudomonas
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Staphylococcus
  • Typhoid

As if that weren’t awful enough, cockroaches are also know to spread hookworm, tapeworm and pinworm eggs. They can move viruses around. Cockroaches are also a major cause of indoor allergies and may trigger asthma attacks in sensitive persons. Cockroach infestations can lead to intestinal troubles and skin irritation. Not only that, cockroaches leave stains and bad smells everywhere they go.

Cockroaches in your kitchen don’t necessarily mean you’re a sloppy housekeeper. Your house doesn’t have to be filthy in order to provide a perfect home for roaches. There are measures you can take to reduce your risk, but they are not guaranteed to prevent every infestation. Keep food in sealed containers and dispose of garbage quickly and properly. Vacuum regularly and wipe the inside of under-sink cabinets once a week. Bear in mind that cleaning on its own may not prevent all roaches, nor can mere good housekeeping eliminate an existing infestation. If you notice egg casings or other signs of Oriental cockroaches, contact a professional pest control company without delay.

In addition to being disease spreaders, Oriental cockroaches are known to cause considerable damage. Although they don’t chew wood like termites, cockroaches can and will try to chew anything with even a remote chance of nutritional value. Roaches can damage wallpaper, storage boxes and books. They can and will chew on carpet fibers and clothing. They can gnaw the wires that power your appliances and electronics, and they can eat some kinds of home insulation, too.Any way you look at it, Oriental cockroaches are unwelcome house guests.

Home remedies such as baking soda are ineffective against roaches. Folk remedy roach repellents such as bay leaves, cucumber peels and garlic have little or no effect on a burgeoning household roach population. The sprays and solutions available at your local grocery store may cause more problems than benefit. If you see roaches or evidence of roaches, contact us. We are Miller Pest Control, and we have the tools and know-how to eradicate any sort of cockroach problem you may have.