Roaches… Q/A’s

roach.jpgテつ I hate roaches! It’s time to take a stand.

Q: I heard that cockroachs’ eggs spread when u squish them with your shoe and you can spread them around where you walk?

Q:テつ Do cockroaches bite humans?

Q: What is the best, non-toxic way to kill cockroaches?テつ

We have answers!

Q: What is the best, non-toxic way to kill cockroaches?テつ

A: I often tell people that I am not interested in killing cockroaches but rather learning about their life style and physiology.テつ I realize however that most people are more interested in killing them since they are pests in their houses and can contribute to spreading disease in hospitals and childhood asthma in the home.
Beware of most commercial preparations, even those that depend upon the ‘natural’ insect juvenile hormone.テつ Since these are relatively slow acting, the manufacturers often add a ‘knock-down’ additive poison which gratifies the user since it provides visual proof that the treatment works when it comes in direct contact with the pest.テつ Read the label of whatever poison you use.
I have come across several methods of killing cockroaches that are non-toxic to humans:
(1) Boric Acid.テつ The crystals of boric acid are sharp and get between the joints of an insect’s exoskeleton. The sharp crystals abrade the cuticle and make the cockroach lose water and die of dehydration. This is a simple and cheap method. Dust the boric acid (which is relatively non-toxic) around the corners of rooms and in hiding places frequented by the roaches. A more expensive industrial version of this method is called Permadust. It is finely ground ruby dust which performs the same function as boric acid crystals but is more permanent. Boric acid washes away when you want to get rid of it.テつ You will find the dried carcasses of cockroaches in various hiding places as well as out in the open where they marched their last step searching for water.
(2) Live Traps.テつ Take a bowl or wide mouth bottle with steep sides; lightly Vaseline the inside wall up to the lip so that a cockroach can not climb up the slippery surface; place the bowl in a typical hiding place such as under your kitchen sink; place some food (bread, carrots, etc.) in the bowl as well as some toweling dampened with water; build some ramps up to the lip on the outside with paper toweling to encourage the cockroaches to easily enter the bowl.テつ This trap will quickly overnight accumulate a good sample of your household cockroach population.テつ Flush them down the toilet each morning for sanitary disposal.テつ Soon the cockroach population will be quite low and perhaps undetectable by you.

Q:テつ Do cockroaches bite humans?

A: The cockroach is a n omnivore, that is, it eats everything edible, animal and vegetable. So if we do not move around too much while sleeping they might be inclined to nibble on our earlobes at night. They are rarely aggressive enough to attack us while we are awake. When visiting Tulane University in New Orleans many years ago I slept in a dormitory room and cockroaches were flying down from the ceiling onto my head. I would guess that these large American cockroaches, _Periplaneta americana_, would be capable of taking a good bite out of me.テつ Only the larger species could take a bite through our skin.

Q: I heard that cockroachs’ eggs spread when u squish them with your shoe and you can spread them around where you walk?

A: You are possibly responding to the urban paranoia about contracting and spreading cockroaches in ones work and home environments. It seems that they are everywhere and if your apartment or home gets infested one can begin to speculate on how those buggers got into your ‘space’. You have correctly identified it as an urban legend.
It is highly unlikely that a cockroach egg case (ootheca) would survive a classic smooth leather soled shoe. But who wears smooth soled shoes these days? If an ootheca was lucky enough to lodge itself into the honeycomb of a sport shoe tread and the person took off the shoe in disgust and threw it in the corner, I could imagine the eggs surviving and the brutal attempt to end their young lives might have failed.
However the ootheca and contained eggs are huge and mechanically fairly fragile. Any good mashing should kill them all.
I am sorry if I have started another urban legend about the paranoia of passing cockroaches with improper footgear!
I am not recommending going back to smooth soled shoes but I would recommend looking at the size of the waffle holes in your sport/walking/running shoes to see how they compare to the size of an ootheca which is about the size of a pea.

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9 Responses to “ Roaches… Q/A’s ”

  1. If you do happen to step on a cockroach with a sneaker, will pouring rubbing alcohol on it kill the eggs?

  2. Nah. It just gets the roach amazingly drunk…Harharhar.

    Actually, I’m not sure. I got this stuff from the internet.

  3. I just had cockraoch the size of a mouse scurry on the floor near me in my place. We don’t usually have roaches, but when the windows are open, they just fly in sometimes. In my fit of panic, I subdued it with a mop and then sent it on its first ride down the sewer sysem. I should have marked it to check if it will come back.

  4. I squashed a big one in the apartment yesterday. I thought that moving from Muzha to Xinyi would save me from those buggers but dammit, they’re here again!

  5. Any soap will kill them because it destroys the oils that protect their organs; hand soap, dish soap, maybe even shampoo. Mix in some water and splash it on them and you’ll have a head start on the cleanup, too.

  6. A dollar spray bottle filled with isopropyl alcohol make an excellent roach killer. Non-toxic, evaporates in minutes kills them in a glorious spasm of pain and helplessness. Really quite satisfying as they are associated with invincibility, but not with this simple readily available defense. Make sure you use the trigger type as it’s more accurate and can be tuned to deliver just enough killing blow. 91% works best. And no left over toxic residue.

    Just great entertainment!

  7. Windex does a great job killing them as well.

  8. One thing I recomend is that you empty your dishwasher frequently. Roaches are attracted to the left over food particles and damp area a dirty dishwasher provides.

  9. i stepped on a roach that was in my shoe and the legged poked my foot i had no idea it was in there can i get sick from that?

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