Friday, July 18, 2008

Waterbugs....uhhhh, those are cockroaches

I don't know if people call them waterbugs to soften the fact that there are cockroaches in their house or if they just really don't know what a cockroach looks like. But the truth of the matter is waterbug=cockroach; it's the same thing, just a "cuter" name. Actually, now that I sit down and think about it, those little guys need a cuter name given to them. So many people think cockroaches are extremely disgusting, but I personally think they are quite beautiful. Not only the American cockroach (a.k.a. waterbug), but also others that put the American cockroaches to shame- Pale Border Field Roaches and Cuban cockroaches both come to mind. Now please realize that I'm not some demented mind, I worked on cockroaches for many years while going to college, so my fondness for them grew from there.

Many people are now seeing cockroaches venturing into their homes. With the weather we've been having this summer, it's really not a big shock. It's hot and dry outside; the cockroaches often move in during times like we're having in search of water. So, don't panic when you see a cockroach scuttle across your kitchen floor or when it attempts to dive bomb you. You can either squish it with a shoe or, if you're like me, capture and take it back outside.

To reduce the incidence of having these cute little guys and gals coming to visit, inspect the outside perimeter of your home for areas where they might be getting in. Check the weather stripping around your doors and windows and replace any areas that do not have a good seal (if you can see daylight around your door from the inside of your house when the door is closed, bugs can get in). Check the outside perimeter for and cracks & crevices or pipe penetrations that need to be sealed with expanding foam or caulk. Stuff weepholes of homes with brick or stone facades with steel wool or copper mesh (use copper for light colors as steel will rust when it gets wet). All trees and shrubs should be trimmed or pruned so they do not touch or overhang the house as they can be used as a bridge to move into the house. Also, don't pile items up near the house such as firewood, stones, etc.; these can offer good hiding places for cockroaches and provide easier access to the house. You can also apply a perimeter pesticide around the outside of your house if you choose. For more information on cockroach management, see this publication:


Pam/Digging said...

Wizzie, you're the only person I've ever heard of who rescues cockroaches. How very Buddhist of you. :-)

Your blog is full of great information, and I'm going to link to it on my gardening blog. Thanks for all the great information.

P.S. I found your site from the "Central Texas Gardener" episode about new garden pests.

Kim said...

I found you from Pam Penick's blog Digging, and I'm enjoying reading your posts. Be careful with those cockroaches (water bugs, palmetto bugs). I grew up with way too many of them in Florida in a drafty old Victorian home you could not seal up. They BITE, and it's a nasty bite. They can eat right through aluminum foil, too. They are the only bug that gives me the willies, and I'm so glad we don't have them in Maryland.