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All major cockroach pests in the United States are ultimately non-native species, most of which originate from the tropics of Africa or southeast Asia. Despite its common name suggesting an American origin, the large American cockroach arrived in North America for the first time centuries ago, and today they are abundant in sewers and commonly infest commercial buildings, and to a lesser extent, residential homes. Along with the Oriental cockroach, American cockroaches usually prefer outdoor habitats, but both of these species can establish an extensive reproductive presence within homes.

The German and brown-banded cockroach species dwell primarily in homes, and most infestations start when adults, nymphs and/or eggs are inadvertently transported into homes in grocery bags, cardboard boxes, luggage and furniture. German cockroaches are the most commonly controlled roach pests within homes, and they are far more abundant in the country than brown-banded cockroaches. German cockroaches are resistant to insecticides and according to Patricia Zungoli, an entomologist and psychologist from Clemson University, humans are unlikely to ever find a way to eradicate domestic cockroaches from indoor environments.

Studies and surveys have shown that cockroaches are the most widely hated animals in the US, and most people would like to see them completely eradicated from the planet. While there exists a small number of cockroach enthusiasts who keep roaches as pets, there is no subset of the general population that does not mind cockroaches skittering around their home. One study that aimed to investigate the psychological effects of finding indoor cockroaches found that feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are experienced by most people who fall victim to multiple roach infestations. In addition to being psychologically damaging, both live and dead indoor cockroaches produce allergens that sensitize people to asthma, and it is believed that cockroach allergens are responsible for a significant proportion of all asthma cases. Homes must be thoroughly sanitized following the eradication of cockroach infestations, as decomposing roaches and their body fragments continue to put children at risk of developing asthma.

Have you ever deep cleaned your home following a cockroach infestation?