Cockroaches are not only undesirable to have around but a threat to human health as they can contaminate both our food and indoor environments.
Roaches are known to transfer several pathogens mechanically (on their bodies) to humans by contaminating food, surfaces used for food preparation, dishes and utensils. And although it’s not clear the number of gastrointestinal problems that can be attributed to cockroach-spread pathogens, they still remain a valid health concern. This is however not the greatest impact these pests have on human health; their ability to trigger asthma is.
Cockroaches shed their “skin” (called the exoskeleton) periodically as they grow. Fragments of these combined with their faecal matter act as an antigen (foreign protein) that, when inhaled, could cause allergic and asthmatic reactions.
Other problems cockroaches could cause in your workplace include:
- Bad odour. Cockroaches stink. Yes, they do. Roaches produce a foul musty smell that can get especially noticeable where they congregate in large numbers. This repulsive smell not only taints the air but other things close to the source including food. This can be disastrous especially in the workplace as it can affect customer comfort and the quality of products.
- Unsightliness. In addition to the other problems they bring about, cockroaches are just unsightly pests to have around.
Cockroaches prefer warm, moist places where they can feed on human or pet food, fermenting or decaying matter, among other items. So food, water and shelter are the requirements for a cockroach infestation. With a combination of the three, cockroaches will breed rapidly to overrun your premises within a very short period of time.
How to prevent a cockroach infestation
The simplest and cheapest way of keeping cockroaches out of your workplace is to ensure they do not settle there in the first place. How do you do this?
1. Exclusion. This means reducing their movement and hiding places. It may not be possible to seal all movement avenues and eliminate all hiding places but this does not make exclusion any less important. Every exclusion effort effectively reduces the chances of an infestation.
If you happen to get a cockroach infestation, chances are they came from your neighbour. Yes, shared walls allow cockroaches to move between rooms and from one unit to another. So make sure you seal all gaps on your walls with urethane foam or silicone sealant. And by avoiding clutter, you will effectively eliminate most of the hiding places that roaches could use.
2. Keep clean. As I mentioned earlier, cockroaches come into your workplace in search of food, water and shelter. The shelter you cannot do so much about – since you also use it – but the food and water you can. Make sure that your premises stay clear of food messes by cleaning them up as soon as they happen. All your food should also be kept in sealed containers while all leaky plumbing should be repaired. Vacuuming and steaming will not only help maintain cleanliness but also kill and physically remove any roaches that may have breached your defence.
3. Cover you bins. Bins, especially those used for food disposal, provide an excellent food source, not just for roaches but other pests too. Make sure they are tightly covered and regularly emptied to prevent access by pests.
Controlling a cockroach infestation
Before you can effectively control a cockroach infestation, you’ll first need to be certain that it is actually a cockroach infestation. This is not as simple as it sounds as cockroaches are nocturnal creatures that only come out when it’s dark.
The following signs point to it:
- Egg cases and cast skin lying around your premises.
- Black cockroach droppings that resemble black pepper or ground coffee in appearance.
- A foul musty smell – the one we talked about earlier.
If you observe any of these signs or several of them, then you have a cockroach problem. Don’t worry though, Pestrol has got you covered. Some of our cockroach control products include:
- The Pestrol Ultra Dispenser. This is a pest insect control device that emits a fine mist of pyrethrins into the air that kills and repels all insect pests within range. It uses natural pyrethrins which make it safe for you and the environment.
- Pestrol Cockroach pads. These are especially handy where chemicals cannot be used such as food preparation areas. They use adhesive to capture cockroaches and other crawling insects. They are odour free, easy to use and leave no mess as they retain all dead roaches within them.