If you've walked around Tucson at night with a flashlight you're likely to see cockroaches scurrying around. Cockroaches (or roaches) are the scavenger insects of the order Blattodea, which also includes termites.
About 30 cockroach species out of 4,600 are associated with human habitats. In Tucson, we have primarily three species: American, German, Brown-Banded. The cockroaches are an ancient group, with ancestors originating during the Carboniferous period, some 300-350 million years ago.
Cockroaches can be carriers of various diseases because they are commonly found near waste deposits or in the kitchen, where food is present, contaminating our food, and causing allergies -- even asthma.
Cockroaches can pick up germs on their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then transfer these germs to food or onto food surfaces.
Most roaches prefer sugar and other sweets, but they will eat just about anything: glue, grease, soap, wallpaper paste, leather, bookbindings, even hair. But they can survive a remarkably long time without food. Some species can go as long as six weeks without a meal.
A natural DIY method to rid yourself of roaches features a shallow bowl or small plate of baking soda mixed with an equal amount of white sugar, placed near a location where cockroach activity has taken place. The sweetness of the sugar will attract the cockroaches; ingesting the baking soda effectively kills them. It is a simple and safe way to eliminate these pests in and around the home. If using this method, make sure to safely dispose of any dead cockroaches.
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