Poor home sanitation, tolerance of residents regarding German cockroaches is a good indicator to detect the presence of pests in the resident’s apartments, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Economic Entomology.
The study included interviews with senior citizen and disabled residents in 388 apartments in seven apartment buildings. Apartment conditions were also checked and glue traps placed to detect cockroaches.
‘Lack of awareness regarding poor sanitation allows cockroaches to multiply, contaminate food, spread to neighbors and the allergens that leave can affect human health.’
The researchers found 29 percent of surveyed apartments had German cockroaches (Blattella germanica), a high rate compared with the rest of the society. Surprisingly, 35 percent of residents in apartments with cockroaches were unaware of their presence. This is alarming because lack of awareness allows cockroaches to reproduce, contaminate food, spread to neighbors, leave cockroach allergens that can affect human health and diminish future infestation control efforts.
The study also found that apartments with a “poor” sanitation rating in kitchens and bathrooms were 2.7 times more likely to have cockroaches than cleaner apartments. Residents who were more tolerant of cockroaches also had higher rates of cockroach infestation and higher cockroach numbers in their apartments.
Researchers concluded that improving cockroach control in these communities will require educating residents on the dangers of infestation and helping them to improve housekeeping through education and assistance from community and housing management.