Remember when you spray that roaches like crevices. They prefer for their backs andlegs to touch the surface at the same time. “Roaches have survived for more than 300 million years,” said Paul Guillebeau, anentomologist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. “They have changedvery little, according to fossil evidence.” Cockroaches need three things to form a population: food, moisture and shelter. “They’re very effective, so you may not need to use as many pesticides as we oncedid,” Guillebeau said. “However, if you already have a large roach population, you’llprobably have to spray some kind of pesticide.” They range from about a half-inch for German cockroaches to two inches for smokeybrown adults. Recent reports that cities like Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Atlanta have roachproblems don’t surprise many. Roaches are an age-old problem, and they don’t seem tobe going away. “You usually find larger populations in cities,” he said, “due to the number ofapartment buildings. And the climate has some effect.” “Some roaches come in from outdoors, like smokey browns, and they like warmclimates,” Guillebeau said. “Others like German cockroaches live almost exclusivelyindoors, and the outdoor climate doesn’t matter to them.” “Be scrupulously clean,” Guillebeau said. “Even a crumb is a feast for a cockroach.” So how do you keep a population of roaches from taking over your home? A study by Combat Insect Control Systems ranked Atlanta as the 12th mostcockroach-infested city in the nation. Los Angeles topped the list. The study was basedon 1996 sales of roach control products. He also warns you to quickly fix leaks in the kitchen or bath, because even smallamounts of water will attract roaches. “Apartment buildings usually provide all of these,” he said. “Once a few getestablished, it doesn’t take long for a huge population to form.” He recommends cleaning the kitchen every night and putting away all food, includingpet food. “Roaches like pet food as much as your pet does,” he said. Some factors out of your control, such as climate, attract roaches, too. To help get rid of roach populations, some new roach baits are now on the market. Roaches come in more than 3,500 varieties. But you can tell most from other bugs bytheir flat, long, tinny, oval-shaped, brown bodies. The adults typically have wings. “The most common varieties in the United Sates are the German, brown-banded,American, Oriental and smokey brown cockroaches,” Guillebeau said.