Cockroaches are not only the most hardy and resilient insect pests in the world, but they have adapted to living within human populated areas better than any other arthropod species. It should be mentioned that of the 3,500 cockroach species that have been described worldwide, only 30 have adapted to living among humans. A mere four cockroach species are considered significant pests to homes and buildings in the northeast, and each of these species are unusually difficult to eradicate from structures in urban and residential areas. The American and German cockroach species are the most commonly found roach species within homes in the northeast, and like most roaches in the US, neither one of them is native to the country.

The American cockroach is actually not American at all, as researchers believe that this species originated from Africa and eventually spread to the US during the 1500s. The American cockroach is difficult to kill for many reasons. For instance, genetic researchers have found that this roach species has an incredibly strong immune system, allowing it to survive the most unsanitary environments, like sewers, landfills and any other location that is heavily contaminated with a variety of pathogens. The American cockroach can survive long periods of time without food and water, and their 154 olfactory receptors allow them to track down food sources with ease. This species’ heightened sense of smell means that it actually prefers the strong odor of rotting food more than the odor of fresh food. This roach has even been known to enter homes through drains that lead to larger roach habitats in the sewer. Household roaches that have been exposed to pathogen-rich sewer conditions are a crawling hazard to a home’s occupants, but you can assume that any roach that you find within your home is carrying pathogens that can cause potentially deadly human diseases. If you find a group of roaches within a home, a vacuum can be used to remove the insects, but a vacuum containing a HEPA filter is ideal. After vacuuming roaches, the vacuum bag should be removed and then placed in a sealed bag before being thrown away in an outside dumpster. Many insecticides are not toxic enough to kill cockroaches, but cockroach baits that contain poison have proven relatively effective. However, baits can take up to two weeks before showing results.

Have you ever used a vacuum to remove roaches from your home?