What has super strength, high speed, is nearly indestructible, and can fit into almost any space?
It's a cockroach.
There are over 4,600 different species of cockroaches. They can fit into spaces that are 1/10th their own size and can withstand over 900x their own weight.
As impressive as they may be, they are also considered disgusting and a clear sign of a dirty home. Any home can be a home for cockroaches as long as it has water and food. Cockroaches leave behind a lot of material including fecal matter, saliva, casings, and other debris. This is bad news for people with allergies and/or asthma. To make matters worse, these materials can also carry disease and leave a bad smell.
According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, there are a number of things which can be done to prevent cockroaches:
- Use materials that are easy to clean. This will make it more difficult for dust mites and mold spores to thrive.
- Dust is easily removed from smooth and cleanable surfaces (smooth flooring such as wood, tile, linoleum, and vinyl) through vacuuming and mopping.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with high filtration features (high efficiency or HEPA filter).
- Carpets pose several problems. They are generally more difficult to vacuum effectively than hard surfaces. Also, carpets and the sponge-like pads often installed under carpet can trap moisture once they become wet (due to a plumbing or water leak, flood, or condensation), providing a fertile setting for mold and dust mites.
- Short- and closed-loop-pile carpets (such as commercial grade carpet) are typically easier to clean than loose-pile carpets where dust and dirt falls through to the underlying material.
- Clean fabrics and other dust mite havens. The following measures will kill dust mites and reduce allergen levels.
- Wash sheets in soapy water at 130°F every one or two weeks to kill dust mites. Take blankets to the dry cleaner, hang them outdoors once a year, or wash them frequently.
- Cover conventional mattresses and pillows with allergen-impermeable covers or dust mite covers (micro-porous material to prevent infestation).
- Wash soft toys and stuffed animals regularly in hot water, followed by thorough drying. The heat will kill off the mites.
- Shampoo, steam clean, or beat non-washable rugs and carpets once a year. This removes large particles missed by the vacuum cleaner.
- Reduce the humidity of your home.
These are often problems that people in Los Angeles have to deal with, especially with the water so close.
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