Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dealing with Dreaded Cockroaches; Most Common Control Methods Are Dusts, Baits and Sprays

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dealing with Dreaded Cockroaches; Most Common Control Methods Are Dusts, Baits and Sprays

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY BRITE DELVALLE

While inspecting the hurricane shutters in the garage, my husband discovered several cockroaches and their young happily residing between the stacked panels. This is not an uncommon occurrence, especially after the heavy rains we experienced with Tropical Storm Faye. Lots of critters seek a safe haven in the garage or home to escape the elements.

There are many different types of cockroaches, but the ones that most frequently enter homes are the Florida woods roach, American, smokybrown, brown, Australian, German and Asian.

German, Asian and brown-banded cockroaches are similar in size and mature at about a little over 1/2 inch long. The others are larger roaches and are frequently referred to as "palmetto bugs." They range in size from 1 to 2 inches long. They are very intimidating, and many Northern transplants have threatened to return to their home state to avoid these close encounters.

When I first spot one of these lurking in my home, my first reaction is to move quietly and slowly in search of the first available shoe and then get in my attack mode.

With the exception of the German cockroach, they typically live outside in dark moist sites. Woodpiles, mulch beds, tree cavities and the base of palm fronds are favorite habitats. But some can establish residency and survive in the home. Closets, garages, attics, kitchens or bathrooms are all fair game.

So what are they looking for when they enter the home? Food, water and a place to stay are the three requirements, so that is also the key to control.

They like many of the same foods that we do. So food in trash cans, crumbs in the bottom of the toaster and beer residues in the recycle bin all serve as part of their meal plan. So the first step is to limit their food supply. Sanitation is critical, so good housekeeping skills are a must. Don't leave crumbs on kitchen counters or dirty dishes overnight. Make sure trash cans are cleaned frequently and closed when not in use. Don't leave pet food sitting out overnight.

Then eliminate water sources. Check for leaky pipes in bathrooms and kitchens. …

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