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Last Updated: February 27, 2019


Pests: Mice, Rats, and Cockroaches

Images: purchased or NCHH image

Big Idea: Now we will cover rodents (mice/rates) and cockroaches to understand what an infestation looks like and health impacts on humans.

Talking Points:

  • Understanding pests’ sources of food and shelter is important because the removal of these sources should be the first line of prevention/elimination of pests.
  • Mice/rats are omnivores. Mice can squeeze through holes ¼ inch in diameter and trail urine as they walk. Feces looks like dark grains of rice and collects in cupboards, along floorboards, on windowsills, etc.
  • Cockroaches can live almost a month without food and about two weeks without water. Cockroaches will eat almost anything including plants, food, cardboard, or glue.
  • Common locations for cockroaches are in kitchens, bathrooms, crawlspaces, basements, and any place a person eats/drinks frequently.
  • Fecal matter is called “frass” and gets smeared on surfaces where cockroaches frequent.

What do pests have to do with allergies and asthma?

  • Mice, rats, and cockroaches can be an asthma trigger
  • Because of allergens in fur, feces, decaying body parts
  • in fact, cockroach allergen is one of the three environmental triggers known to cause asthma in preschool age children (along with dust mites and tobacco smoke)

NC Department of Agriculture, ND
Dr. Bed Bug
NC State: Schal Lab
IPM for Homes, Cornell Cooperative Extension, ND

Categories: Pest/Pesticides