Why Are Cockroaches So Hard to Get Rid Of?

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Finding It Hard to Get Rid of Roaches In Your Home? You’re Not Alone

Getting rid of bugs is never easy. There are many factors to consider when putting together a pest control strategy: the type of insect in question, the severity of the infestation, and so on. At the end of the day, professional pest control is usually your best option, as getting rid of pests on your own can be a challenge.


 But of all the insects that you might run into in your home, few are as difficult to eliminate as roaches. Roaches are literally genetically programmed for survival: their gene code includes cytochrome P450 genes, which code for various detoxifying enzymes that help the roach deal with toxic environments and substances (including insecticides). And believe it or not, they can even survive for days without their head!

Here in South Carolina, roaches are an incredibly common household pest. Ever wondered why they’re so difficult to eliminate? Read on to find out.

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Roaches Have a Strong Exoskeleton

When you swat a fly or step on a spider with your boot, you can be fairly certain that the bug in question isn’t going to survive. But with roaches, this isn’t the case.

In fact, roaches have extremely strong exoskeletons. Their external anatomy consists of several durable, overlapping plates, each connected together by a membrane that’s capable of stretching under pressure. As a result, roaches are able to absorb the shock of a forceful impact. This means that trying to step on or crush a roach often fails to do any noticeable damage. Plus, their stretchy membrane makes it easier for them to fit into tiny cracks and crevices, making it harder to find and eliminate them in the first place.


Roaches Are Experts at Survival

Many bugs are capable of going for periods without food or water. Roaches, however, are experts at it.

Believe it or not, roaches can live for an entire week without access to water. Even more surprisingly, they can survive for a month without food. This means that eliminating roach food sources isn’t likely to make an immediate dent in the population. Plus, roaches are capable of ingesting things that humans would never consider to be food, including cardboard boxes, book bindings, and even fingernail clippings (gross!).


Roaches Can Live Without Their Head

It may be hard to believe, but roaches can actually survive for an entire week without their head attached.

How is this possible? Roaches have what’s referred to as an open circulatory system. They breathe through tiny holes located throughout their body, rather than solely breathing through their head. This means that even with their head removed, roaches can continue to breathe and will often survive for days. No wonder it’s so hard to kill cockroaches.


Roaches Are Fast

Roaches are fast, and their speed is another reason that roach control can be so difficult.

Ever tried to crush a roach as it’s crawling across the floor? Combined with their strong exoskeleton and ability to squeeze into the tiniest of spaces, the roach’s speed means that it may find a small crack or crevice to hide in before you’re able to eliminate it.


Roaches Are Experts at Reproduction

Various species of cockroaches reproduce at different rates. However, one thing is true across the board: they reproduce quickly and in large numbers.

German cockroaches, for example, are capable of laying a single egg capsule containing 48 individual eggs. The baby roaches hatched from these eggs will reach reproductive maturity in just 50 to 60 days, meaning that what starts as a small roach problem can quickly turn into a full-blown infestation. Plus, to make things worse, roaches are capable of what’s called parthenogenesis: that is, females don’t need to mate with males in order to reproduce.


Roaches Have No Natural Predators

Many insects have natural predators that will assist in controlling their population. For roaches, however, this isn’t the case. If you want to get rid of roaches, you can’t leave it up to nature to sort it out for you. Instead, you’ll need the help of roach control professionals.


Roaches Are Immune to Many Roach Killers

Of all the reasons roaches are so hard to kill, this one may pose the biggest challenge. Some species of cockroaches have developed an extremely strong resistance to various roach killers and insecticides. Simply put, many over the counter roach treatments won’t work to eliminate these species.

Trying to determine which species of roach you’re dealing with and selecting the appropriate insecticide is difficult to do on your own. This is one reason why working with a home pest control professional is your best option for eliminating roaches in your home.


Roach Control for Your Home

As you can see, roaches are notoriously difficult to get rid of. With this in mind, it’s important to take preventive action in order to reduce the likelihood of an infestation.

Keep food in your kitchen properly sealed and stored, and be sure to keep the surfaces in your kitchen clean. Don’t allow trash to build up in your home. It’s also a good idea to go around the outside of your home and seal up small cracks and crevices, as these can serve as points of entry for cockroaches. Finally, remember to keep your basement or crawl space dry and well ventilated.

If you already have a roach infestation on your hands, don’t try to deal with it on your own. Contact the professionals at Home Pest Control. Our team of pest experts have years of experience when it comes to roach control. We’ll put together a detailed treatment plan to eliminate roaches in your home.

Want to learn how to prevent pests all year long? Download our free pest control calendar for homeowners!


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May 15, 2019

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