Brought to you by neighbourly.co.nz Nobody wants cockroaches in the house – but this is the time of year when you’re likely to spot them indoors.
New Zealand is home to a number of cockroach varieties, the most common being the German, Gisborne, American and native.
Species doesn’t matter to most of us though – just about everything about cockroaches is, well, gross.
They scuttle across food preparation surfaces; eat each other when there’s nothing else to chew on; grow up to 5cm long and run at speeds of 5.4kmh – which, when you compare that to their size, equals a human running at a whopping 330kmh.
Their speed and scuttle isn’t the worst of it, though.
Cockroaches can also spread serious disease like salmonella, dysentery, gastroenteritis and typhoid, which can be particularly dangerous for kids, the elderly or people who are already ill.
Unfortunately winter’s chilly and soggy conditions outdoors make this the ideal time of the year for cockroaches – and all the things you hate about them – to head inside.
Cockroaches thrive in warm, moist and sheltered areas that are close to food and water – or in other words, in or near your kitchen.
They head indoors as temperatures drop to find warm cosy nooks that are handy to everything they need to get through the winter. They are also very hardy.
There are stories of cockroaches being found alive in the back of pizza ovens, inside coffee machines or in the bottom of freezers.
It’s even said that they can handle phenomenal levels of radiation and still reproduce.
The best way to manage cockroaches inside is preventing them from getting in in the first place.
Seal gaps under doors windows and around pipes.
Fill cracks and crevices around skirting boards, under bathroom and kitchen sinks, and behind big appliances.
Fix plumbing leaks and control moisture in your home with a dehumidifier.
Cover rubbish and compost in bins or sealed bags rather than letting it pile up.
Always clean up at the end of every day and store all food inside sealed containers; if there’s no food or water handy cockroaches will move on to another unsuspecting home.
There are some tried and true ways to get rid of them if prevention doesn’t work.
Supermarkets, hardware stores and garden centres stock various DIY pest control products.
If cockroaches are really causing you grief though – or you believe you have an infestation on your hands – find a good local pest control company to save the day.
The experts get rid of the problem and also also aim to stop it occurring again.
Cockroaches aren’t the nicest creatures, but fortunately there are ways to control their impact on your day-to-day life.
The worst thing you can do is back away with fingers crossed – hoping they’ll find their own way outside!