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Experts say baits are more than sprays

  • There are thousands of cockroach species, but only a few are common in the United States.
  • Insect experts say they dwell in sewers, kitchen trash cans and rotting areas.
  • They can contaminate food preparation areas due to the bacteria they carry, potentially causing allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

They are fast. Some can fly. And if you see one, you’ll likely find others lurking in the nooks and crannies of your home.

They are cockroaches, and experts say they can cause significant health problems if not treated properly, including allergies and contamination of common areas and the kitchen.

Nationally, the cockroach species that pose the greatest threat are German cockroaches, said Benjamin Hottel, board-certified entomologist and technical services manager at Orkin.

German cockroaches are smaller and are mainly problems in restaurants and multi-unit buildings.

“(People) might bring them groceries from a grocery store that had some, maybe from their work,” Hottel told USA TODAY. “They could come in their backpack or purse from work if they work in a restaurant that has them. These roaches can spread quite easily.”

He and other experts, however, say there are ways to protect your home. Here’s what you need to know.

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When are cockroaches most active?

Cockroach activity depends on temperature, said Changlu Wang, a professor in the department of entomology at Rutgers University.

Take oriental cockroaches, for example. They are more likely to be active during the summer, while German cockroaches – most common in the United States – are active year-round.

“And here in the United States, we have a very good heating system,” Wang said. “Room temperature is kept around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is actually optimal for cockroaches to thrive.”

USA Today

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