Monday, October 4, 2010

What Else Might You Find in Your Hotel Room?

On my Rarotongan travels the pest I had expected to encounter, but in fact didn't see at all, was cockroaches. When we are on holiday or travelling in warmer more humid regions of the world one can expect to encounter cockroaches and you should be aware of their habits and how to avoid them bothering you in your hotel room or bringing them home with you.

Cockroaches love warm moist conditions. Those of you in the warmer moister parts of New Zealand are probably well aware of them but those from the cooler drier areas south of Christchurch are only likely to come across them when travelling. Although there are many different species of cockroach their habits have many similarities and so controlling them can be generalised.

Roaches prefer warm, moist and sheltered areas close to food and water but it doesn't take much food to attract them. So when on holiday don't leave food in your room or if you do make sure it is well sealed in airtight containers. Although we tend to think of cockroaches as large, their nymphal stages can be quite tiny and so can get into non-airtight containers.

Cockroaches are largely active only at night and hide in cracks and crevices during the day. Their body shape is flattened so that they can squeeze into very small gaps. As nymphs the gaps can be tiny. So as with bed bugs mentioned in a previous blog it is important to place your suitcase where crawling insects will find it hard to access. You don't want cockroaches to hide in your case where there would be risk of taking them home with you.

Cockroaches lay eggs and egg cases in these cracks and crevices. Egg cases provide protection from insecticides and can remain hidden for months before hatching. So if egg cases were laid in your luggage you could unwittingly transport them home and only discover the infestation months later. You can protect your luggage from cockroaches by spraying with NO Bed Bugs luggage spray or NO Bugs Super prior to or during travel.

Cockroaches in tropical countries can fly. At night you might be woken by cockroaches battering themselves against you bedroom window. This is another good reason to keep your bedroom windows closed at night while in tropical countries or only open them when they are fitted with insect screens. In New Zealand the temperatures, although warm in some parts, re not generally high enough for cockroaches to fly.

Good hotels in tropical countries are used to proactively treating all areas of the hotel against cockroaches (as described below) and so you are only likely to have significant problems with cockroaches in accommodation premises with lower standards. Cockroaches are not just a nuisance pest; they are carriers of disease organisms. They can be found moving from drains, sewers and detritus to food preparation areas; kitchens, dinning rooms etc. and can be one of the ways that you can be at risk of picking up stomach bugs. You can reduce the risks of illness by maintaining good personal hygiene while on holiday. Wash your hands regularly or use NO Germs Hand Sanitiser after touching any surfaces that could be contaminated. Also avoid restaurants which might have lower standards and only eat food or drink water that you are confident has been cooked or boiled to high enough temperature to eliminate micro-organisms.

If you do bring cockroaches home with you, or you have a cockroach problem in your home carry out treatment as follows:

Place NO Cockroach Gel Bait in areas such as behind fridges and freezers, in rear of cupboards and areas where cockroaches have been seen. The bait will kill feeding cockroaches, those that these individuals regurgitate food for and those that cannibalise them after they die.

Knock down adults and immature cockroaches using NO Cockroaches (or NO Bugs) fumigators in each affected room. The fumigant penetrates into the nooks and crannies where cockroaches hide. Remove all dead cockroaches after treatment as females may be carrying eggs that could still hatch.

Spray around likely cockroach hiding places such as behind, ovens, fridges, freezers, cupboards etc. with NO Cockroaches or NO Bugs Super residual surface sprays. These give long lasting protection.

You can also spray accessible cracks and crevices with NO Bugs Crack and Crevice Spray or NO Borer Injector to flush out cockroaches and deny them these harbourages.

Also set NO Cockroaches Traps and NO Cockroach Gel Bait in affected areas. These will give early indication and control of any re-infestation.

Where do bed bugs save?
In blood banks.

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