Backyard ban­ter

Central Leader - - NEWS - By SARAH MOORE

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.

and

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!

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