Why is it so hard to get cockroaches out of homes? It is difficult to know where to begin. There are many reasons why cockroaches are hard to exterminate. They have survival abilities that are somewhat startling. They are naturally strong insects that can tolerate harsh conditions. They are adaptable and able to become even stronger. In the last century, they've developed a tolerance to pest control products. And, if all of this isn't enough, they really like living with humans. It is hard to convince them that you're Mooresville home isn't the most wonderful place on earth! Let's take a closer look at these facts because, in doing so, they can help you better understand what works to control cockroaches.

american cockroach on house plant
american cockroach on tile

The Survival Abilities Of Cockroaches

Have you ever thrown a cockroach into the toilet and tried to flush it? If so, you may already know a few things about cockroaches and their ability to survive. 

  • A cockroach can hold its breath underwater for a long time. Some estimates are that a roach can stay underwater for as long as 40 minutes. Good luck drowning these suckers.

  • A cockroach can live without its head for a week. This may seem to contradict our first fact but it actually doesn't. A cockroach doesn't breathe through its head. It breathes through its sides. So, why does it die after a week? It dies of thirst.

  • A cockroach has the ability to compress its strong body. You can swat a cockroach full force with a rolled-up newspaper and watch it crawl away, unharmed.

Natural Tolerances

Have you heard that cockroaches are the only creatures that will survive a global thermonuclear war? Well, this is partly true. There are several insects that have a tolerance for high levels of radiation. Roaches wouldn't be alone after a worldwide nuclear winter, but they would survive. This is because they are built to survive. The body of a cockroach can stand radiation levels and toxic chemicals that would easily kill a human. Keep this in mind if you attempt to exterminate roaches with toxic sprays. They just don't work.

Cockroaches Are Genetically Adaptable

If a young cockroach (nymph) is exposed to a toxic substance and survives, it has the ability to shed its skin and create a new skin that is more tolerant to that substance. With subsequent exposure to the same pest control substance, the cockroaches in your home can become immune. This immunity can be passed on to their offspring. So, within a few months, you could have a population of super roaches in your home—so to speak. The reality is that a combination of products must be used. These products need to be applied strategically to ensure complete extermination. You don't want any of your roaches surviving and passing on their genetic immunities.

Through The Years

In the last century, many people have gone after cockroaches with many things. It isn't surprising that a cockroach infestation can begin with roaches that are already immune to certain cockroach control products. But this isn't the only way they've altered their physiology to survive conventional pest control. Certain populations of German cockroaches have altered taste receptors. The sugars used in cockroach baits no longer taste sweet to them. This has led to bait aversion. If you have a cockroach infestation that begins with this species of cockroach, you're going to have a lot of trouble getting them out of your Mooresville home.

Some Cockroaches Love Living With You

There are only a small number of pest cockroaches. Most don't prefer to get into man-made structures at all. Of the roach species that do enter homes, only a few of them prefer to stay inside permanently. There are some that live outside in filthy places, such as inside dumpsters, in trash bins, or in sewers, and then go in and out of a home. This is because they breed in damp locations and within rotting organic matter. This rotting organic matter would be far too stinky for you to have inside your home. The cockroaches that live inside can live without an "ideal" breeding site for their newly hatched nymphs or, in the case of the German cockroach, they can carry their egg sacs around with them. This small group of cockroaches adapt to living inside and thrive in the shaded, cool, humid spaces of your home. For a cockroach, it is like living in a cave, or a giant tree. Along with this, your home is filled with water and food.

  • Cockroaches can drink droplets of condensation on your bathroom walls, drops of water left on surfaces after using the shower, tub, or sink, and moisture on your pipes.

  • Cockroaches can eat the food you eat, but they also feed on many other things you would never eat, such as hair, dead skin, the glue that holds boxes together, paper, cardboard, feces, and more.

It is possible to reduce water and food options to stunt cockroach populations and protect your family from illness, but removing these things will not arrest a cockroach infestation.

When you discover cockroaches in your Mooresville home, contact Lake Norman Pest Control. Our licensed professionals know what works to completely exterminate these tough bugs. You don't have to go it alone. We can help!


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