One of the most adaptable creatures to grace the planet, cockroaches have been around for over 300 million years. They migrate towards dark, warm, moist areas, making basements, crawl spaces, and attics hot real estate. Adult cockroaches can survive about a month without water, and up to two or three months without food. Aside from eating obvious foods, they also feed on leather, glue, hair, dried skin, and even starch from paper.
What Cockroaches Do to You
The first thought on everyone’s mind, when roaches are the topic, is disease. There’s a good reason for that, as their bodies are nature’s paintbrush for spreading germs and bacteria. Commonly spending time in areas of sewage, they do nothing to clean themselves prior to scurrying across food preparation areas, dishes, sinks, and even microwaves. A single roach can scatter E. coli or salmonella by cross-contaminating surfaces, and also adds its own bacteria which can cause digestive illnesses in humans. Their droppings and shedding skin have a tendency to agitate respiratory issues such as asthma.
Looking back at some of the treats that roaches consume - adhesives, organic fabrics (leather), paper starch - this can give an idea as to what can be targeted in the home. Fortunately, this damage is likely to be minimal except for extreme infestations. But small damage can build up over time and could result in belongings such as drapes, letters, books, wallpaper, even certain clothing or furniture becoming roach food.
Unlike termites who cause substantial damage to solid material in a relatively short time, there is not likely going to be much permanent, physical damage to the foundation of the home due to the presence of roaches. Any case of a serious infestation can cause structural damage simply due to the volume of roaches that will be inside walls, under floorboards, and even within the insulation of the home. Though they may not directly eat the wood of the house, any adhesives that are being used to bind is a part of the cockroach diet. Also, the traffic of large numbers of roaches will cause physical wear and tear as it would with any species of animal/insect using the residence.
What to Do
If you see a single roach, there is likely a congregation nearby. To ensure that your home, and your family, is protected and healthy, reach out to Valley Pest Solutions for a consultation, today.