The Dangers of Cockroaches In Your Home
Serving Illinois and Indiana
First things first, let’s clear up a quick misconception: German cockroaches are not actually from Germany. They’re not even from Europe! Recent scientific studies have shown that they actually originated somewhere in Southeast Asia and were most likely brought to Europe through early trade. German cockroaches can now be found practically everywhere on the planet – except Antarctica, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. They’re prolific hitchhikers because of how small and quiet they are; often, people won’t even know they’ve been infested until it’s too late.
And when we say small, we do mean it. Adult German cockroaches range from 1/2” to 5/8”, which is smaller than a dime! When you think of roaches you probably think of the American cockroach – large, brown, and skittering around a dumpster or abandoned property. However, German cockroaches are actually the most abundant species of roach in the country, and they could be in your home right now without you even noticing.
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The Dangers of a Cockroach Infestation
Perhaps the biggest threat German cockroaches pose to your home or business is due to their incredibly quick reproductive abilities. Unlike other roaches that will drop their eggs days before they hatch, leaving them vulnerable, female German cockroaches will carry a large egg sac – called an ootheca – at the end of their abdomen until about 24 hours before they hatch.
Each ootheca contains up to 48 eggs, from which will hatch tiny, wingless roach nymphs. Because each fertilized female can produce four to six of these egg sacs in their lifetime, German cockroach populations can explode out of nowhere – with up to 80 percent of their population as pre-adult nymphs.
Though they’re more terrifying in large numbers, even a single roach can be dangerous. Because they tend to hide in kitchens and other food prep areas, German cockroaches can be a serious health hazard. They can easily transfer harmful bacteria from filth to the food you eat, which can trigger symptoms much like food poisoning in humans. Your best course of action is to keep up a rigorous sanitization effort – no filth, no roaches; no roaches, no disease.
Health Risks Caused by Cockroaches
Cockroaches, in general, are also infamous for triggering asthma and allergic reactions in people. When roach nymphs shed their exoskeletons as they grow, those exoskeletons become dry and brittle. Small bits, along with cockroach feces, can become airborne and produce respiratory issues when inhaled. This is especially troublesome for children living in urban areas with unchecked cockroach infestations.