They are black and sometimes red. They fly, they climb walls and furniture easily. They multiply very quickly, invading people’s homes and cause unmitigated terror, disgust and irritation to the creeped out inhabitants’– yes, I am talking about cockroaches!
During the summer months, these small, yet for many, intimidating pests, encroach on multiple homes, apartments and even restaurants, in the search of their perfect habitat; that is, somewhere warm, moist and filled with food crumbs.
Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and will run away when exposed to light. However, this does not mean they do not leave any residues or small ‘presents’ for house-owners to find in the morning.
Cockroach faeces are full of chemicals and pheromones which attract other cockroaches and cause them to peruse the same trail or path used by their comrades.
One may well find the sons and daughters of previously squashed insects in the same areas, especially if these areas have to do with sources of food, like the kitchen and the bathroom. That’s another thing – cockroaches need water and even one small drop which might be almost invisible to us, can be a means of sustenance for them.
Cockroaches also feed on pet food and trash cans, leaving microbes on any unprotected surfaces, such as ovens and furniture, as well as on any utensils left to dry in the kitchen sink, etc.
So, what is to be done?
How can one protect one’s home and domain from these small yet persistent pests?
Here are some preventive tips which might be useful, especially during the long summer months.
Keep all water and food stored away in sealed containers.
Use garbage cans with tight lids.
Clean the kitchen and bathrooms regularly, as these are usually the main points of entry, being well supplied with water and food.
Check out and repair any water leaks and dripping taps.
Seal off entry points, such as holes between kitchen cabinets, doors and windows.
Cockroaches reproduce quickly, therefore for every one you actually see, there may be many more hiding and multiplying underneath your tiles and behind every wall. Many fictitious accounts, such as the popular movie Man in Black II (2002), portray cockroaches as being capable of taking over the world. This, of course, is an exaggeration, however it highlights many people’s fears of the encroaching army of crawling flying roaches taking over their habitat.
After all, we are but mammals and other animals taking over our own territory have always provoked an almost irrepressible instinct to protect and secure our home terrain against possible pests, which might endanger it.
Therefore, although some people may find the fear or hatred of cockroaches unreasonable, seeing as they are so much smaller and seemingly feebler than human beings, if you feel grossed out or afraid of these ravaging hoards of crawling troopers, remember that it is just your internal instinct kicking in.
Joe’s Apartment (1996)