Adult cockroaches are medium-sized insects, with a broad, flat shape and long antennae. Often confused with beetles, the cockroach's wings are membranous and they lack the thick, hard forewing of beetles. Nymphs (immature cockroaches) look similar to adult cockroaches but lack wings. All cockroaches are nocturnal and prefer warm, damp and dark environments. They will usually quickly run for cover when disturbed. Indoor cockroaches will infest any environment that has food preparation and storage areas or warm, damp areas like drains, basements or garages. Outdoor cockroaches tend to be found in sewers, or areas where livestock is produced, but have been known to move inside when the opportunity presents itself. Cockroaches reproduce very rapidly. One female and her offspring can produce over 800 cockroaches a year. Signs you have roaches include shed skin casts, accumulations of droppings (dark spots or greasy smears), egg cases and dead cockroaches.
Cockroaches will eat anything humans and animals eat, in addition to many things we don't eat (finger nail clippings, soiled clothes, paper, pet fur, dead insects, etc.).
The main danger cockroaches present are the transmission of disease. They may transmit bacteria that cause food poisoning (salmonella) and are capable of transmitting other disease-causing organisms like streptococcus, hepatitis virus, coliform bacteria as well as spreading typhoid and dysentery.
The key to preventing a cockroach infestation is good sanitation and making your household an unsuitable environment.
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