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Research shows that cockroaches are far more hazardous to human health than most people think - and they've grown increasingly resistant to pesticides.
Roaches can pick up and then disperse disease-causing bacteria like salmonella, dysentery, typhoid fever and even cholera.
Susan Fries owns ECOLA – an alternative pest control service in Southern California.
She says the fact that roaches are becoming immune to many chemical pesticides could put millions of families at risk of contracting disease.
"These roaches are eating your garbage. And then they have parasites and bacteria on their bodies. If they walk along your kitchen counter, they're putting these diseases where you are eating," Fries explains.
The Centers for Disease Control reports there are more than 50 species of cockroaches in the United States.
Fries says the dirtiest roach of all is the one that could be nesting in your kitchen right now.
"The German cockroach is found usually indoors and they multiply very quickly. They're nocturnal, so if you see them during the day, it means you have a huge population," she warns.
Fries says German cockroaches seek out warm, moist areas and they conceal themselves under sinks, stoves, dishwashers and hot water heaters.
If you discover an infestation anywhere in or around your home, Fries says you need to take immediate action.
"You can't take care of this on your own. This takes a professional," she adds.
But exactly how do you "take care" of cockroaches that are immune to traditional insecticides?
Fries says one solution is to take a more natural approach by using botanicals, or oils from trees and plants.
Make sure your exterminator knows not to spray randomly, but to target the source of your cockroach problem.
"It used to be that we did broadcasting of spray," Fries explains. "Now what we do is we look for nests; we look for areas of infestation. And we address the nest."
She also suggests asking your exterminator about an insect growth regulator, or IGR.
"What it does is basically it causes the adults to be sterile, meaning they can't reproduce," she says.
To find a reputable exterminator, contact your state pesticide agency and ask for a list of licensed pest control companies in your area. Contracts should be written to include objectives specific to your site, as well as expected results.