Just the sight of one of these multi-legged, hard-shelled visitors crawling across the floor is enough to make your toes curl, and your screams can hit high notes you didn’t realize were possible. But what are you dealing with?
Roaches are a large, disgusting insect, with six legs, and 18 knee joints. (We were sure you’d want to know that.) There are more than 5,000 species in the world, but the most common are the German cockroach, and the American cockroach.
Initially cockroaches may infest your home from the outside, finding cracks, gaps under doors, and other ways to enter the home, attracted by warmth, darkness, and spoiling food or standing water, in things like open garbage pails, unwashed dishes. As big as they may seem, a cockroach can insinuate itself through an opening as thin as a dime when young, or a quarter as an adult. They don’t like light, which is why many homeowners can’t believe it when the cat or dog presents them with the remains of their latest victim. But you can’t depend on your pets to control the population.
The first measure in getting rid of cockroaches is hygiene. If you have stored vegetables...