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Nick's Notes

Nicholas Allen headshot_edited.jpg


Over the past two weeks I have come to learn my apartment building has become infested with cockroaches. German cockroaches to be specific. According to Alberta Health Services Environmental Public Health, the German cockroach is the most common type in the province measuring about one to two cm. I figured I would take this as an opportunity to teach others about these insects and the problems they pose. Thankfully my landlord has pest control on the job quickly.

Cockroaches reproduce very quickly. A female cockroach makes an egg case that holds about 50 eggs, leaves it in a place that isn’t likely to be disturbed and then the eggs take about one month to hatch. Cockroaches become adults in two to four months and live about six months, dying if they go without food or water for two weeks.

I discovered that cockroaches could live in any building. It’s not true that cockroaches only live in dirty and poorly kept buildings, but these buildings may be more likely to have cockroaches. During the day, cockroaches hide in groups in places like behind baseboards and under stoves, fridges, and dishwashers

Cockroach feces can have allergens and they can make asthma worse. The allergens can stick to dust and get into the air you breathe or on the food you eat. Cockroaches can also contaminate food with harmful bacteria like salmonella.

If the problem is bad, it’s best to hire a certified pest control professional. If you rent, your landlord must, by law, keep the home pest-free and hire a professional as needed. If your landlord doesn’t correct the problem, call Health Link at 811 to register a complaint for a health inspector.

To learn more, contact Alberta Health Services Environmental Public Health.

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