Clutter control is an essential part of cockroach control. Clutter is the perfect habitat for the cockroach. They love to live in cramped quarters and will take up residence anywhere they can happily eat and breed.
What Attracts the Cockroach to Your Home?
It is the food in your home that attracts this household pest. Like any living being they need food and water to survive, so any building where food is prepared and stored will be an attractive living area. The cockroach can easily live off the food from unwashed dishes, bits of pet food on the floor and even the glue on postage stamps or book bindings.
One cockroach will lead to many. With an ongoing food and water supply there is no reason for them to leave your domicile. They will continue to live and breed in your home as long as conditions are favorable.
Health Problems Associated with Cockroach Infestations
Once the cockroach come into your home you have more than just an unsightly pest. For more than two decades it has been recognized that cockroach parts are highly allergenic.
There is an established connection between an infestation and the development of asthma in children. Children are more vulnerable because they crawl around on the floor and come into contact with the feces, larvae, eggs and other cockroach parts that are embedded in the carpet, baseboards, and the household dust that has settled there.
The connection to allergy induced asthma is clear; over 60% of people with asthma test positive to cockroach allergens. Asthmatic children who are allergic to cockroaches are 3 times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma if they have significant exposure to large cockroach populations in their environment (National Cooperative Inner City Asthma Study, 1997)
Even if other allergies such as dust mites are present it is the level of cockroach allergens in the environment that is most closely associated with the severity of the asthma in children.
Additionally these pests carry various types of bacteria in their gastrointestinal system which are deposited all over your house whenever they defecate. Bacteria isolated from cockroach droppings include salmonella. Food poisoning, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal illness in human are associated with infestations.
Clutter Control for Cockroach Control
Pest management experts call the living areas for pests "harborages". While the cockroaches will come out at night when you are asleep they will seek out dark places to hide during the day and particularly like to be almost "cocooned" when they are resting. In other words they like to have all surfaces of their body touching something. This makes them seek out very, very small cracks and crevices where they can hunker down undisturbed for their daytime sleep.
The recommended strategies for cockroach control includes clearing clutter and useless debris. Stacks of newspapers, cardboard boxes, and piles of clothing are ideal harborages.
Clutter control strategies that help to reduce cockroach harborages include:
* Use plastic storage bins (not cardboard) if you must store items like seasonal clothing and make sure the lid fits tightly and the storage bin is not cracked.
* Do not store newspapers in your home, take them directly to an outdoor recycle bin
* Do not leave out pet food dishes with food and water. Feed your pet at a regular time, then take the dish and wash it after your pet has eaten.
* Do not store unused plastic bags under the kitchen sink. They make a perfect cockroach cocoon.
* Discard unused corrugated cardboard immediately. The crevices in corrugated cardboard are ideal harborages for the cockroach and they can live off the organic matter of the box so they will breed prolifically in cardboard boxes.
Clearing clutter also means clearing the exterior clutter from around the house. Things like firewood, recycle boxes, and garbage cans can attract roaches, and provide ideal harborages. Once the cockroach has taken up residence outside your home moving inside through tiny cracks and crevices around plumbing and electrical conduits is an easy task.
Another way that this pest gets into your home is by hitch hiking on something else. If your shopping habits include frequenting flea markets, auctions, or purchasing goods by the "lot" or "by the pound" make sure that these items are unpacked and carefully scrutinized for cockroach carcasses and egg casings before you bring them into your home. Kill any live eggs that may be present by washing used clothing before it goes into your closet.
If you build clutter the cockroach will come and it will stay. Clutter control is not just a mantra for organized living. It is also a strategy for health promotion.
About the author: Beverly Hansen OMalley invites you to view the information at www.organization-makes-sense.com for further insights into the real costs of clutter and how a disorderly and chaotic environment carries real risk on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level.