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Spring in Brisbane – Are Cockroaches making you sick?

Beautiful Jacaranda Trees at the University of Queensland - a sure time that spring has sprung in beautiful Brisbane!

While there’s little doubt that Springtime in Brisbane is perhaps our most beautiful time of year (in a region that is already known for it’s beauty), for some people there can unfortunately be an unpleasant side to spring.

Allergies. Hayfever. Asthma. Sound familiar? The Australian Government Department of  Health and Welfare reports that the prevalence of asthma in children in Australia is close to the highest in the word!

While most of us are aware of our sensitivity to things such as pollen, mould, smoking and pet dander, Missy Henriksen (VP for Public Affairs of the National Pest Management Assocation in the United States) reports that cockroaches are the leading cause of allergens and asthma.

The main issue is their saliva, droppings and their decomposing bodies. These contain allergens that are known to trigger allergies and increase the severity of asthma attacks, especially in the young.

So those of us with allergies and asthma (and those of us that have children who suffer with them) need to look out for any cockroach infestation in their homes (or school & daycare).

Cockroach allergens are often in places hard to see – under appliances and sinks, so make sure that those areas are as clean and dry as possible.

Cockroaches are found all over the world, with over 3500 species. Here in Brisbane and South East Queensland though,we are really dealing with 3 main varieties.

American Cockroach - these are large and a darker brown to black in colour

Oriental Cockroaches - darker and slightly smaller than the American

German cockroaches - the smallest of the 3 species we deal with most in Brisbane. These then to be prolific breeders and a light brown.

American Cockroaches are the largest of the three and are brown to almost black in colour. Oriental Cockroaches are medium sized and a dark brown . The other prolific species found here in Brisbane is the smaller, lighter German Cockroach.

Places cockroaches like to hide are near food preparation areas so they are close to water and food spills. They will hide in kitchen cupboards, under sinks, around water heaters, behind the fridge or pantry, drains and generally anywhere left undisturbed. They also tend to take advantage of cracks in walls.

Keep your house as clean as you can (though the thought that cockroaches only stay in a dirty house is a myth, they will invade anywhere), paying special attention to your kitchen. Regularly clean under the fridge, stove and toaster etc. Take your rubbish out frequently, clean up food spills right away. Also, don’t leave pet food lying around in their bowls.  All of these things will attract the hordes of cockroaches.

For an occasional cockroach sighting, you can attempt to treat them yourself (always follow the manufacturer’s instructions). But if you suspect you have an infestation, please call a licensed professional pest management technician to eliminate the problem for you. Bearing in mind the increase in severity of allergies and asthma cockroaches cause, it’s a small price to pay for keeping our families safer.

Cockroaches are rarely seen in daylight. They prefer to forage in the dark. Head into your kitchen at 2am and you may be in for quite the surprise!  In fact,  seeing a German cockroach in the day time is usually an indication that the infestation is so large that there are no longer any hiding places.

Most of the time, cockroach sightings are an indication that there are more around. They multiply much faster than you may think, especially the small German cockroaches. German cockroaches reach sexual maturity in just 90 days; so a population explosion like that if left unchecked is likely to make your house even more at risk.

Remember cockroaches cause and increase the severity of allergies and asthma attacks. Don’t leave dead cockroaches lying around, their casings could be making your family sick.

For a professional pest inspection or a General Pest control treatment (cockroaches, spiders, silverfish etc), call Conquer Termites. You can contact us now. Or call direct: Brisbane North-side – 3356 8801, Brisbane South-side – 3399 1226 Brisbane South Central – 3343 3934.

We can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ConquerTermitesBrisbane & on Twitter at @ConquerTermites.

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