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Cockroach infestation and its public health significance

Cockroaches are one of the most repulsive and resilient pest encountered on a daily basis in a Jamaican home. These insects never seem to give us a break; they infest our furniture, laundry and most importantly our food. They normally become established in the home by an infested grocery bag(s), laundry or from simple wandering from outdoors. Cockroaches are nocturnal in nature and frequent premises where food is handled, as they like to live where they eat. During the day they will hide in cracks, crevices, voids in the wall and warm and moist areas in the home, e.g. sinks, drains, manholes, stoves, the back of the cupboard and in the refrigerator units.

Cockroaches are the type of pest that we should not ignore or take for granted. They are vectors known for numerous deadly diseases e.g. Dysentery, Typhoid, poliomyelitis and many more. These roaches are famous for crawling over faeces and other insanitary areas and then come crawling and feeding on our foods and utensils.

The four most common cockroach species that have been encountered in our island are the;

  • German cockroach (Blatella germanica)
  • American cockroach (Periplaneta Americana)
  • Brown-banded cockroach (Supella longipalpis)
  • Drummer cockroack (Blaberus giganteus)

The German cockroach may be considered to be the most successful and shows a greater resistance to insecticides as they are small and readily hid in cracks and crevices. In addition the female roaches will carry their ootheca for a long time (up to just before hatching). As a result, they may not be killed during the pest control process.
The first step you should take when dealing with a cockroach infestation is to keep your home clean and sanitary. Pest needs three things to survive; water, food and shelter and an insanitary environment provides all three.  The next step is to use a licensed pest control operator to implement the pest program or seek advice before you implement the same. This is very important because there is certain information that needs to be obtained before treatment begins and only a trained person will be competent enough. Adding to that fact, pest control chemicals are very poisonous and should be handled with caution therefore, a layman is not equipped to take on such risky task. A pest control program may include the use of baits hence, it’s crucial that adequate information is obtained from a train pest control worker. This is because the behaviour of the roaches need to be identified in order to know where you should locate your baiting station(s).

Do you currently have cockroach infestation in your home?

23 Comments to Cockroach infestation and its public health significance:

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pet on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:25 AM
I hate roaches we should do all that we can to get rid of them.
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Sherika on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:27 AM
Very informative.
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Visible on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:27 AM
Thank you for this post . it is informative, i have visited business placed and seen cockroaches crawling on food. I just made a u-turn and you know what i couldn't eat for days.
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Loura Chong Reid on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:25 PM
Hey guys thanks for commenting on this blog, its a very important issue that we need to pay more attention to. @ visible its sad that operators of these food premises don't take the necessary steps to keep their food premises free from these pest. You can always make a complain to any health centre or hospital at the public health inspectors office. Thanks again guys and please visit again.

John brown on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:31 AM
i have not seen any cockroaches in my home for sometime now but yes i have seen cockroaches in my home before. How i deal with them, insect spray or smashing them using a flat object. Preventing cockroaches from entering your home is not a guaranteed action but there are habits that you can form that will decrease the chances of cockroaches appearing in your home.
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Anonymous on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:36 AM
'Advion Syngenta Gel Bait' is a killer product that can be used to get rid of these pest that continues to infest our homes. The product can be purchased on amazon.com
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Lettisha on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:36 AM
That was very informative. Raoches are dominant in the many homes today. They are very rare in my homethough One amazing thing that I would like to share is that I dont use pesticides on them. As soon as i cleanse my floor with some bleach, I may see one dead on the floor. I kill hem naturally..............just keep the home clean and dust the corners regaurly!
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Concerned on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:38 AM
I have seen an increase of these insects in the Montego bay area MOSTLY ON SAINT JAMES STREET (That's my regular route by taxi or on foot) I strongly think that the MOH need to host a forum with theses business owners to educate them on how to properly dispose their garbage and how they can prevent the high breeding of these pest....
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Jessica on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:38 AM
The cockroach infestation is a very big issue in Jamaica as most areas or communities don't have proper ways of disposing of their garbage and as for the areas that do usually the garbage trucks are late or unavailable due to mechanic issues, this is SERIOUS because this helps the cockroach to reproduce more. unacceptable.
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