Why is Nairobi a hotspot for cockroaches?
Many cities around the world grapple with cockroach infestations. Nairobi, our lovely capital city, isn’t spared from these terrible pests. Compared with other towns like Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Kitale, Nairobi has a larger cockroach population.
Why do I have cockroaches in my home?
There can be several reasons why you might have cockroaches in your Nairobi home. Understanding these factors can help you identify potential sources and take appropriate steps to prevent or address the infestation.
Here are some common reasons for cockroach presence in your Nairobi home:
- Food sources: Cockroaches are attracted to food and water. If your home offers easy access to these resources, it becomes an attractive environment for them. Many residents of Nairobi, especially the Eastlands areas, have cockroaches in their homes because they provide easy access for cockroaches. Unsealed food containers, crumbs on floors, and improperly stored trash can all provide sustenance for cockroaches.
- Travel and second-hand stuff: If you’ve recently traveled or brought in infested items from other places, you could unknowingly introduce cockroaches into your home. Many Nairobians like buying second-hand furniture or appliances like microwaves. These products can be having cockroaches and bringing them to your home means you are also bringing in the cockroaches. Mother cockroaches carry an egg capsule until a day or two before it hatches, then deposit it in a crevice or another protected place once hatching begins. If the egg capsule was deposited inside an appliance, say for example a microwave, then you take the appliance to your home, the eggs will hatch into nymphs and soon you will be having a cockroach infestation.
- Water and moisture: Cockroaches require water to survive, and they are often found in areas with high humidity or water sources. Many homes in Nairobi have leaky pipes. Leaky pipes, wet areas around sinks or drains, and condensation can create a damp environment that attracts cockroaches.
- Clutter and hiding places: Cockroaches prefer dark, secluded areas where they can hide during the day. Many residents of Nairobi usually pile things up. Cluttered spaces, piles of paper or cardboard, and unused appliances or furniture provide ideal hiding spots for them.
- Entry points: Cockroaches can enter your home through small cracks, gaps, or openings in walls, windows, doors, or foundations. Because of the widespread infestation of cockroaches in Nairobi, your neighbor could be having these pests. Thus, they can easily cross the corridor and enter your house through openings below the door. They can also enter through windows.
Is cockroach infestation dangerous?
Cockroach infestations can pose various risks and potential dangers to both your health and property. While individual encounters with cockroaches are relatively common and may not necessarily be a cause for alarm, a full-blown infestation can be problematic. Here are some reasons why cockroach infestations are considered potentially dangerous:
- Health risks: Cockroaches can carry and spread various pathogens, bacteria, and parasites that may lead to health issues. Many patients in Nairobi’s hospitals are there because of germs and diseases spread by cockroaches. Cockroaches can contaminate food, utensils, and surfaces with harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and other pathogens, potentially causing food poisoning and gastrointestinal infections.
- Allergies and asthma: Cockroach allergens are known to trigger allergic reactions and asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals. Even if you’re not allergic to cockroaches, prolonged exposure to their allergens can lead to the development of sensitivities over time.
- Asthma in children: Studies have suggested a link between cockroach infestations and the development of asthma in children. Children exposed to cockroach allergens early in life may be at a higher risk of developing asthma or experiencing exacerbations if they already have the condition. This may be the reason why some people are diagnosed with asthma in many of Nairobi’s hospitals.
- Unsanitary conditions: Cockroach infestations are often associated with unsanitary environments. They thrive in places with poor sanitation and can exacerbate existing cleanliness issues. This is especially true in Nairobi’s slum areas like Kibera, Mathare, Deep Sea, Dandora, Kawangare, Kiambiu, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Korogocho, Kware, Matopeni, and Majengo. The presence of cockroaches can contribute to an overall unhygienic living or working environment.
- Psychological impact: Dealing with a severe cockroach infestation can cause significant stress, anxiety, and a feeling of uncleanliness. This psychological impact can affect your well-being and quality of life. Many residents in Nairobi, especially in posh areas like Muthaiga, Karen, Kitusuru, Lavington, and Kilimani really loathe the presence of cockroaches. This can take a toll on your mental health because of the stress that comes about because of the presence of cockroaches.
Signs of cockroach infestation
Recognizing the signs of a cockroach infestation is crucial for taking prompt action to address the problem. Several indicators can alert you to the presence of these unwanted pests.
One prominent sign of a cockroach infestation is the sighting of live cockroaches, especially during daylight hours. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, preferring to hide in dark, secluded areas during the day. If you notice cockroaches scurrying around your home, particularly in the kitchen, bathroom, or other areas where food and moisture are abundant, it is a strong indication of an infestation.
Another sign of the presence of cockroaches is if you find empty cockroach egg casings. These egg shells indicate that mature cockroaches are in your home and are even reproducing.
Another tell-tale sign is the presence of cockroach droppings. These droppings are small, black, or brown, and resemble grains of ground coffee or black pepper. You might find them in areas where cockroaches are likely to roam, such as kitchen cabinets, drawers, or near food sources. The accumulation of droppings can provide valuable evidence of an infestation’s severity.
Cockroaches also shed their exoskeletons as they grow, leaving behind discarded skins. These exoskeletons, which appear translucent and similar in shape to the actual cockroach, can be found in areas where cockroaches hide or traverse. Discovering these remnants is a clear sign that cockroaches have been present in your Nairobi home.
An unpleasant, musty odor may permeate your surroundings when cockroaches are numerous. These pests release a pheromone that can leave an unmistakable scent in the air. If you detect a strong, oily smell reminiscent of rotting garbage, it could be an indication of a significant cockroach infestation in your Nairobi home.
How can I get rid of cockroaches in my home?
Here are some key steps to consider when attempting to eliminate cockroaches from your home or building.
- Identify the extent of the infestation: Before initiating any treatment, assess the severity of the cockroach problem. Determine the areas most affected and the specific species involved. This information will help you tailor your approach and choose the most appropriate methods for eradication.
- Improve sanitation practices: Cockroaches are attracted to food, water, and shelter. Start by maintaining a high level of cleanliness in your living space. Clean up spills and crumbs promptly, wash dishes immediately after use, and store food in tightly sealed containers. Regularly take out the garbage, ensuring that trash cans have tightly fitted lids. Eliminating easy access to food and water sources will make your home less inviting to cockroaches. In densely populated areas like Umoja, your neighbors could unknowingly be providing the cockroaches easy access to food by putting trash cans in the corridor. Discuss with your neighbors about the need to control cockroaches. You can team up and put a joint effort into getting rid of cockroaches.
- Remove clutter and hiding places: Cockroaches thrive in cluttered environments where they can find hiding spots. Declutter your living space by organizing storage areas, removing stacks of papers, and eliminating unnecessary items. Seal cracks and crevices in cabinets, walls, and baseboards to limit their hiding places.
- Seal entry points: Prevent cockroaches from entering your home by sealing off potential entry points. Inspect doors, windows, utility lines, and foundations for cracks, gaps, or openings. Use weatherstripping, caulk, or other appropriate materials to seal these entryways and minimize the chances of cockroaches infiltrating your living space.
- Implement targeted treatments: There are various methods available to treat cockroach infestations. These include baits, insecticide sprays, dusts, and traps. Baits are often effective, as cockroaches consume the poison and take it back to their colonies, spreading it to other individuals. Insecticide sprays can be used to directly target visible cockroaches or their hiding places. Dust can be applied to areas where cockroaches are likely to traverse, such as crevices or wall voids. You can get these insecticides in online stores like Jumia or Killimall.
- Seek professional assistance: If the infestation persists or is particularly severe, it may be necessary to seek the help of professional pest control services. Pest control professionals have the knowledge, expertise, and specialized treatments to effectively eliminate cockroaches. A pest control company like Agile Pest has many years of experience dealing with cockroaches.
Wrapping it Up
Cockroaches are pests that can particularly be difficult to control because they reproduce fast and can easily find food and shelter. Cockroaches are many in Nairobi because of the availability of food sources and water. For your health, it is important to take measures to control cockroaches.