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Cockroaches may become pests in homes, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices, and virtually any structure that has food preparation or storage areas. They contaminate food and eating utensils, destroy fabric and paper products, and impart stains and unpleasant odors to anything they touch.

Cockroaches, which can come into contact with human excrement in sewers and with pet droppings, may transmit bacteria that cause food poisoning (Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp.). They are also believed to be capable of transmitting disease-causing organisms such as Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., hepatitis virus, and coliform bacteria. They also have been implicated in the spread of typhoid and dysentery. Some people, especially those with asthma, are sensitive to the allergens produced by these cockroaches. However, a major concern with cockroaches is that people are repulsed when they find cockroaches in their homes and kitchens.

Cockroaches are medium-sized to large insects in the order Dictyoptera (formerly Orthoptera). They are broad, flattened insects with long antennae and a prominent pronotum. Some people confuse them with beetles, but adult cockroaches have membranous wings and lack the thick, hardened forewings or elytra of beetles. They are nocturnal and run rapidly when disturbed. Immature cockroaches (nymphs) look like adults, but are smaller and do not have wings.

There are three types of Cockroach in Cyprus: Americana, Germanica and Orientalis.