Most people associate cockroaches with filth and unsanitary conditions. However, cockroaches also can invade well-kept homes. Cockroaches haven’t been associated with any major disease outbreaks in the United States. But they can cause allergic reactions if people come in contact with contaminated food or house dust containing their feces.
The cockroach egg case is usually the size and shape of a bean. Young cockroaches appear similar to adults but are smaller and wingless. Most cockroaches are active at night. If you see cockroaches in the daytime, it’s an indication of a heavier infestation. Cockroaches will hide in cracks and crevices and eat anything of plant or animal origin. The most common cockroaches in Colorado are the German, American, brown-banded, Oriental and wood cockroach. They range in length from one-half inch to two inches.
Prevention and sanitation are the best management practices to control cockroach infestations. Caulking cracks and crevices, and cleaning up food particles, grease, unwashed dishes, pet food dishes and other items will discourage cockroaches from establishing themselves. Cleaning around kitchen pipes and recycling or discarding old newspapers, boxes and rags will prevent cockroaches from hiding in these areas.
You can use cockroach traps and insecticidal sprays and dusts if a cockroach infestation is established. Traps can help locate cockroaches, but they won’t eliminate an infestation. Orthene, Permethrin, Cyfluthrin or Baygon can be applied once you pinpoint the location of the infestation.
If the infestation is severe, a professional, pest-control service may be necessary.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).