american cockroach in new jersey

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american cockroach in montclair crawling on kitchen counter

What is that large cockroach in the house?

There aren't many things in life more disturbing than a giant cockroach crawling around your home.  This is enough to spook any person into being scared to open anything a cockroach could hide in. This makes the American cockroach, which is the largest roach in Montclair, Clark, and throughout New Jersey, so disturbing to have around. Let's take a closer look at these giant roaches and see what we can learn.

The American cockroach

This roach should, perhaps, actually be called the African cockroach, since it was brought here by ships from Africa as early as the 1600s. It measures at around 50 mm in length, is reddish-brown and oval-shaped, with 2 antennae, 6 legs, and 2 sets of wings which stack on its back and make the tail look rounded. Though mostly red in coloration, it has a yellowish-tan coloring throughout, mostly on the back of the head where this tan coloring combines with 2 dark brown spots, which forms a shape that sometimes looks like the number 8 (in the right lighting). The American cockroach has thorn-like tactile spines on its legs and, since this roach is so much bigger than other roaches, these spines are easy to see.

While this is a very large roach, it is able to easily get into man-made structures because it can compact its body to slide through thin gaps. It is also able to climb walls and walk across ceilings, the same as smaller cockroaches. Though the American cockroach has the ability to fly, it isn't very good at it, and will only fly when temperatures are warm enough. Cockroaches that can fly have more opportunities to get into homes and businesses since they can more easily reach hard-to-reach places where it can squeeze in.

Why an American roach infestation is dangerous

  • Cockroaches exacerbate asthma. Studies show that asthma symptoms increase in homes where roaches are present. When they leave droppings, saliva and shed parts, they can trigger an allergic reaction. This is made even worse when cockroaches get into ventilation systems and particles become airborne.

  • Cockroaches can cause stomach illness. Cockroaches will climb from filthy places outside (or inside) such as trash cans, toilet rims, drains, dumpsters and sewers, and then climb on food preparation surfaces, pantry shelves, cabinets, food storage areas, and the food itself, spreading harmful bacteria.

  • If populations are large enough, cockroaches will venture out and bite sleeping humans. While they are not normally prone to bite, if they are hungry enough they will do this. Bites from roaches usually occur on the eyelids, since these insects like to nibble on eyelashes. These bites usually become red and swollen because of harmful bacteria being transferred to the wounds.

  • Cockroaches are linked to many human diseases. According to WHO (World Health Organization) cockroaches are suspected of (or proven to) causing dysentery, cholera, leprosy, plague, typhoid fever and viral diseases such as poliomyelitis.

  • Cockroaches may be carrying the eggs of parasitic worms which can lead to respiratory problems, stomach and intestine illness, or dermatological symptoms.

Cockroach prevention tips

  • Remove areas of clutter or overgrowth on your property. The less clutter and hiding places, the fewer roaches will hide out near your home.

  • Make sure all outside trash is kept in containers with tight-fitting lids. This will keep smells in and roaches out.

  • If you have compost, store it well away from the perimeter of your home.

  • Trim back bushes and trees from your foundation and outer walls. Not only do roaches use these as bridges to get to your walls and roofline, but they also prevent things from drying up after wet weather. Having an open area directly around your home will allow air and sunshine to get in and keep things dry, which is unattractive to cockroaches and other pests.

  • Examine the outside of your home and seal up any gaps, cracks or holes you find. It doesn't take much of a hole for a cockroach to squeeze through since they can compact their bodies.

  • Inside, thoroughly clean your home of any food particles or spills. Pay special attention to areas where bugs love to hang out, such as the space between the stove and counter, and underneath refrigerators and toasters.

  • Keep your home as dry as possible by using fans or dehumidifiers. Also, repair any leaky pipes or fixtures.

How Arrow's NJ pest control pros can help you get rid of roaches! 

Rather than attempt DIY roach control consider partnering with Arrow Pest Control. We are one of a select group of local pest control companies in New Jersey which has earned the QualityPro designation. This is the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval of the pest industry. Don't be afraid of cockroaches crawling out of places in your home, reach out to Arrow today to discuss which residential pest control program is right for you. 

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