The Most Hated Pest in the United States

By Julie Miller
The Most Hated Pest in the United States

It hides well, stinks when squished, spreads disease, and is oily- and greasy-looking. Without question, the cockroach is the most detested pest in the United States.

What’s not to abhor about the infamous cockroach? The only thing worse than thinking about a cockroach...is seeing one in your home.

While the pest that creates the most nuisance is the ant, cockroaches are runner-up for plaguing your home and the absolute worst in terms of hate. It’s actually quite interesting that they’re the most hated, as mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest insect, spreading diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever. But have you ever seen someone scream and run away in terror as a mosquito tries to land on their arm? In comparison to a mosquito, seeing a cockroach should be a leisurely stroll through the park. It really shouldn’t be a house-invading insect that you fear.

Can Cockroaches Fly?

A single sighting of a scuttling six-legged winged cockroach can permeate your mind and paralyze your ability to make sense of the gravity (or actual light-heartedness) of the situation. I yearn to look on the bright side and be thankful that these nocturnal scavengers can’t fly and get entangled in my long hair or land on my sun-kissed face. But then I run an online search for "can cockroaches fly" and some species unashamedly can. The Asian, brown, and smoky brown roaches are very capable fliers, but others, like the American cockroach, only use its wings to glide. (We have all of these varieties in the U.S.)

Why Is the Cockroach Hated?

One of the reasons they’re hated is because they can fly and you may feel like they’re flying right at you. (They’re actually attracted to the flickering and buzzing fluorescent porch light right behind your head.) No need to panic.

Other traits that may cause slight panic and disgust:

  • Cockroaches are erratic
  • They look dirty
  • They move really fast
  • They seem to have no fear of people
  • They’re one of the fastest terrestrial animals on Earth (relative to their size)
  • Smashed cockroaches smell, as they store nitrogenous waste
  • Their bodies have a sickly slick feel

None of these traits foretell of a pleasant cockroach-sighting experience.

Is a Cockroach Dangerous?

Cockroaches aren’t inherently dangerous. They carry bacteria, yes, and getting scratched by one could cause an infection, but the probability of you getting scratched by a cockroach is quite rare.

A cockroach could potentially bite you. The chances of this happening, though, are very low. If you have food residue on your body and don't shower, a cockroach may just come after you. My advice—grab a bar of soap and jump in a steaming hot shower.

They may also run after you if you sport a pair of Air Maximus Burger sneakers, which are made of a sturdy sesame baguette, beef patties, pickles, tomatoes, and cheese for the iconic swish, as they do like food. You’re fortunate to be wearing shoes that you can run in. Though, I believe these were only for an exhibition...

If you are covered with food residue or wearing food and get bitten by a cockroach, the bite is not poisonous. Your skin may turn red and it may be itchy, but treating it with a simple home remedy should do the trick.

There is little evidence that links cockroaches with specific disease outbreaks. There is substantial evidence, however, that cockroaches linger and multiple in poor sanitary conditions.

Although I’m making a case that cockroaches aren’t dangerous, it’s important to know that they do carry bacteria and can induce allergies and asthma symptoms. These symptoms are present when a person comes into contact with a cockroach’s feces, saliva, and/or body parts.

After college, I lived overseas in a developing country in a cockroach-infested house. At night, I made sure that I was never the last person up and the one to turn off the lights. The moment that overhead kitchen light was switched off, those vile, sneaky creatures would begin to come out of their hiding places. I was so grotesque by the thought of them (let alone their sight) that I actually had a chamber pot in my room.

I distinctly remember one attempt of going downstairs to the bathroom in the pitch black of night. I eagerly swung my large red metal flashlight to and fro in a sorry attempt to scare these horrid little long-antennae insects away. It didn’t work. It felt like I saw them everywhere, scurrying, conversing, having little under-the-full-moon snacks… I didn’t care if they were dangerous or not. I was thoroughly disgusted and my skin tingled like they were crawling all over me.

How Do I Get Rid of Cockroaches?

If you see a single cockroach in your home, it probably has nocturnal friends that are just waiting for you to turn in. To rid your home of roaches, I highly recommend purchasing Dr. Killigan’s Insect Buster. I wish that I had known about this phenomenal tool years ago, when my housemates would place toxic-filled bug bombs in our kitchen cupboards with the dishes and cutlery, under the table in which we ate, and on the window sills that overlooked stunning rice fields. If you read the product label for these products, you are informed to leave the treated space and close all doors. You leave because there are chemicals that are being released throughout your home that you shouldn’t breath in. You close the doors so that these fumes can’t escape. These foggers are terrible for your health. I think back to all of my naive toxic exposure. Not any more.

Use Dr. Killigan’s Insect Buster to disperse diatomaceous earth (DE), which must be purchased separately, in all cracks and crevices that these intruders may use to access your beloved home. You can even puff it outside, around the foundation of your home.

As roaches walk across this fine powder, the tiny dust particles cling to their legs and bodies. Later, when the cockroach attempts to groom this powder off their body, it begins to poison itself as the DE builds up in their system, as it can neither digest nor excrete the substance. The roach then dies of dehydration or starvation as the diatomaceous earth does its inside work, affecting the roach's metabolism and ability to absorb nutrients. It simultaneously works from the outside too, as the abrasive compounds in DE scratches the exoskeletons of the cockroach. Say a forever goodbye to cockroaches.

Final Word on the Most Hated Pest in the United States

What pest do you hate the most? Is it the cockroach or perhaps the mosquito or the bed bug? It would be great to know what creepy crawly keeps you up at night and how we at Dr. Killigan’s can help. Dr. Killigan himself has a mission to restore Confidence, Peace, and Control to every person who finds unwanted pests in their home.


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