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A closer Look at German Cockroaches

The German cockroach is by far the most important and usually the most common of the cockroaches. In addition to being a nuisance, the German cockroach has been implicated in outbreaks of illness and allergic reactions in many people. This species has worldwide distribution.


German cockroaches can be found throughout structures but show a preference for warm and humid places. They are usually found in kitchens and secondarily in bathrooms, but infestations often occur in rooms where people eat and drink


German cockroaches prefer to live in cracks and crevices near food sources and spend 75% of their time in such harborages. German cockroaches prefer to live close to sources of food and water, hence their affinity for residential and commercial kitchen environments.


Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Germs that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse water, or just sunlight and air. Medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic reactions, especially in children. They were even shown t cause asthma in children. These allergens build up in deposits of droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies of roaches.

Roaches Pointed as the Major Source of Allergies and Asthma Attacks

Roaches Pointed as the Major Source of Allergies and Asthma Attacks

by Chrysalis De Vera

The National Allergy and Asthma Awareness was scheduled last May. With the celebration of this event, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) gave a warning to all families that cockroaches are the leading cause of allergies and asthma attacks. The main factor is the pest’s saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies. These contain allergen proteins which are known to trigger allergies and increase the severity of asthma symptoms, especially to young people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that asthma rates have risen up to 8.2% in 2009 from a 7.3% rate in 2001. The rates in children increased from 8.7% in 2001 to 9.6% in 2009.

Missy Henriksen, the Vice President of Public Affairs for the NPMA explained, “Most people are aware of typical indoor allergens including mold, pet dander, dust and second-hand smoke, but they should also be mindful of any cockroach infestations in their home or other places such as schools.” She also added that cockroach allergens are typically found in areas that are hard to see, such as under appliances and sinks, so it is important to periodically check those areas to be able to keep them clean and dry.

Further, this kind of pest also spread a disease like Salmonella. This is through picking up germs on the spines of their legs, which are easily contaminates the food and surfaces they touch.

To prevent cockroaches in homes, NPMA recommends the following:

(1) Seal cracks around the outside of the home to prevent pest entryways.

(2) Vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.

(3) Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs that attract pests.

(4) Pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms — especially under appliances and sinks — as these areas are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations.

(5) If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to identify the species and recommend a course of treatment.

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