Did you know that cockroaches are the most resilient, adaptable pest on the planet and have been traced back to prehistoric times? In fact, they can live with no food or water for up to a week! They are expert hitichhikers and will go wherever needed to ensure their survival.

There are over 4000 species worldwide, varying in size and colour from black to reddish brown. Cockroaches are commonly deemed repulsive. Upon mention of ‘cockroach’, images of grotesque, large bugs scurrying across floors and ceilings comes to mind. They are cause for many to lose sleep at night.

Depending the species, an adult cockroach is 1 and 5 cm in length with an oval, flattened body.  All cockroaches have 6 spiny legs and a pair of long antennae.

In Canada many roach species have wings, but do not fly, rather glide small distances. Cockroaches are scavengers and do not have discriminatory tastes.  Outdoors they consume decaying plants and organic matter. If they have sought out refuge in doors around people, they have been known to dine on starches, sugars in pantries, fabric, leather and even soap.

Cockroach Life Cycle

Cockroaches lifespan is approximately 1 year. Cockroaches are very elusive pests and they will hide anywhere and everywhere. These pests are nocturnal and scatter when exposed to light, allowing them to roam freely at night. They can multiply very quickly as some females are able to produce an extremely high number of eggs (100-200) in their lifetime, while others need only to be impregnated once in order to be capable of laying eggs for life.  Eggs are protected in a capsule called an ootheca, which protect the eggs from the effects of pesticides. For these reasons, you may find yourself dealing with a cockroach infestation seemingly overnight.

Cockroach Infestations

While cockroaches are dreaded and feared, not all species of roaches are actual pests that invade homes and businesses. That said, cockroaches in general are cause for worry as they are unsanitary when exposed to any indoor environment (home or business). They therefore pose a threat to any home or business they invade. By crawling through sewers and garbage they are carriers of germs and bacteria like streptococci, salmonella, staphylococcus, and coliform.

In addition, cockroach feces can be harmful when exposed to humans. When cockroach droppings become airborne, it negatively impacts air quality, and can act as an allergen. For those with asthma, this can cause wheezing, coughing and other asthmatic symptoms. People can also develop food poisoning if they ingest food that has been contaminated by roaches.

Cockroaches are often difficult to eliminate once they have infested your home or workplace, so you want to get rid of cockroaches as quickly as possible.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Homes

Getting rid of roaches is no simple task. The best place to start is to be proactive in prevention. Some tips for prevention include:

  • Seal gaps around doors and windows where cockroaches can enter the home.

  • Store food in airtight containers.

  • Seal any cracks in your exterior.

  • Cut off water sources and fix any leaky taps or faucets, as they can live up to a month without food, but only a week without water.

  • Clean your house thoroughly, particularly the kitchen. These pests love grease and dirty plates, so ensure your kitchen is spotless.

  • Take out the trash regularly.

  • Have one trash can in your home with the lid sealed tightly.

  • Move any yard debris that is within close proximity to your house. Cockroaches love wood piles and tiny spaces, especially as the weather turns colder.

  • If you are looking to bring home used appliances, take the time to thoroughly inspect them for live roaches as well as signs of cockcoahes (stains and egg casings) before you make any decsions on them.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in Apartments

Having a roach infestation in your apartment is bothersome, and usually requires the expertise of a roach exterminator. If you find cockroaches in your apartment, speak to your landlord or your property manager as it may be an issue with the building itself, not just your apartment. Here are some tips to eliminate cockroaches from your apartment:

  • Set traps to figure out where the pests are coming from.

  • Eliminate all food sources. Roaches love carbohydrates and sugar found in food, soap and even plants. Seal food containers and purchase liquid soap dispensers instead of using bar soap.

  • Wipe down kitchen counters after preparing or eating food.

  • Take your trash out frequently.

  • Inspect windows and the inside of your apartment for holes or gaps that cockroaches could enter from.


Cockroaches are difficult to eliminate, once they have infested your home, office, or workplace. Cockroaches vary in size, colour and have been known to withstand a wide range of environments from arctic cold to tropical heat. Cockroaches are also known to multiply relatively quickly and can quickly infest a home, so it is beneficial to call a pest control company to help.

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