LIFE

Cockroaches Are Infiltrating Homes Because Of The Weather

So expect some visitors soon.

12/05/2016 1:14 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Cockroach with your cuppa?

When it comes to insects, few inspire quite the same level of hatred as the common cockroach.

While ladybugs are met with adoration, flies with irritation and lice with despair; it's really only the cockroach that can prompt even the mildest of men to happily bludgeon something to death with the back of a Havaiana.

And Aussies better get used to having them around. According to Colin Price from Adam's Pest Control, there has been an increase in cockroaches invading Australian homes over the last three years, and it's showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

"When we're talking cockroaches, the large ones you typically see are the Common Shining Cockroach or the Australian Cockroach," Price told The Huffington Post Australia.

"They have been invading homes more often recently, say over the last couple of years, we've certainly had more reports of that happening. And it has a lot do with the weather conditions."

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A face only a mother could love.

These larger cockroaches typically stay outside, feeding on organic matter and generally being part of the local ecosystem. But warmer, drier weather over the past couple of years has seen an increasing amount of these critters heading inside.

"Those large cockroaches people are seeing inside generally live outside in the garden area," Price said. "They don't normally breed inside, which is a good thing."

In other words -- if you see one of these big gnarly roaches crawling across your kitchen floor, they are probably just popping in to find some water. Then they'll be back on their creepy crawly way outside.

The ones you actually need to worry about are the little suckers, German cockroaches, which will happily feed and breed inside your home.

German cockroaches tend to live in nooks and crannies. Around your ovens, dishwashers... anywhere where it's warm and steamy.

"These smaller ones are the ones you tend to find such as restaurants or fast food areas," Price said. "They can often be seen in warm areas such as ovens, refrigerator motors, kitchens and things like that.

"You have to focus on where they are living in order to treat them. They tend to like hiding in the base of large coffee machines if they are there. They tend to live in nooks and crannies. Around your ovens, dishwashers... anywhere where it's warm and steamy."

Though German cockroaches tend to be less alarming in appearance than their larger, outdoor counterparts, they pose a much bigger problem as they can quickly infest a home.

"Definitely, if you have German cockroaches in your home, they do need to be acted on fairly quickly," Price said. "They will very happily breed up, and very quickly. There are something like 40 babies in one egg, so it doesn't take long at all."

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These little suckers are the worst.

In terms of how to get rid of your unwanted house guests, Price says it's best to avoid repellent sprays and to go with a gel instead.

"A lot of sprays were repellent type materials, and what would happen is, if you sprayed a particular area, you would kill the ones hiding there but essentially send the others to areas they wouldn't normally dwell in," Price said.

"If you think about it, if a spray has been put [in a particular spot], a cockroach will come to the area where you have sprayed and quickly realise it's no good any more, before venturing off into other areas.

"In that way, you tend to spread them, which is not what you want to do.

"A cockroach bait or gel is much more effective. They are more discrete and, what people don't realise is cockroaches can be cannibalistic, so what they do is eat each other later on and pick up a lethal dose of that insecticide."

For the larger, outdoor cockroaches, Price says you can easily use a "barrier type treatment" around the house or a bait.

Stephenthurston
KILL IT DEAD.

If you do decide to DIY your cockroach extermination, Price stresses the importance of being careful around food utensils and pet bowls.

"That is something that does bother me a little bit," Price said. "A lot of people can go to their local Bunning's and buy incesticides, but you do need to be concerned about how you use them. Yes, you do need to be concerned about pet bowls.

"We recommend anything be removed prior to the treatment.

"Generally, once the chemical has dried, there's not a problem. Once it has spread out over a large area, the concentrate form the chemical has broken down considerably."

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