A Cockroach-Free Home Is A Happy Home

The National Pest Management Association offers tips to prevent cockroach infestations

FAIRFAX, Va. (February 27, 2013) – In the 400 million years they have been around, cockroaches have proven to be a gregarious pest that poses multiple health risks and will feed on practically anything of nutritive value. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners that practicing good sanitation is the first critical step toward preventing a cockroach infestation.

Cockroaches create habitats in damp and dirty places and any area that is close to a source of food. American cockroaches, in particular, prefer living in food-storage areas, basements, steam tunnels and sewers, and favor fermented foods.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 78 to 98 percent of urban homes have cockroaches. Once cockroaches take up residence, they can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six types of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. In addition, cockroach allergens can trigger allergies and asthma, especially in children.

“Practicing good sanitation is a crucial first step when it comes to preventing a cockroach infestation,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, NPMA. “These pests are known to spend 75 percent of their time near food sources, so homeowners must take the necessary steps to make their homes clean and inhospitable for these disease-carrying pests.”

Cockroach control is a five-step IPM, or integrated pest management, process that includes prevention, good sanitation, inspection, application and follow-up maintenance. In addition, the NPMA recommends the following simple steps to help keep cockroaches out:

  • Seal cracks and holes around the outside of the home, including utility pipes.
  • Properly ventilate basements and crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Keep garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  • Pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms — especially under appliances and sinks — as these areas are particularly attractive to cockroaches.

If you suspect a cockroach infestation in your home, contact a pest professional. To learn more about cockroaches, other pests and pest-proofing your home, visit PestWorld.org.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.