The sight of a disgusting black cockroach skittering across your counter, sink, or floor is enough to send you running for a broom, shoe, or can of insect repellant. Everyone hates roaches, and for good reason. Cockroaches carry diseases (including salmonella, E.coli, and even parasites), give off unpleasant odors, aggravate allergies (especially in children), and ruin food. In cases of extreme infestation, they even bite!
Whether you have already found a cockroach in your home or are concerned about preventing a cockroach problem, keep reading. We’ll talk about why cockroaches enter your home, how to spot signs of an infestation, and how to get rid of this pest.
Why Cockroaches Come Into Your Home
Cockroaches have simple needs: food, warmth, moisture, and shelter. Our homes have all of those things, from pantries stocked with food to lots of cracks and crevices where cockroaches can hide and lay their eggs.
Dirty homes, in particular, offer the perfect conditions for cockroaches. Cockroaches are attracted to food that has been left out on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink, and crumbs laying on the floor. They are also attracted to moisture, like from a leaky pipe underneath a bathroom sink or a wet bathmat on the floor.
Unlike other insects, cockroaches are a problem year-round. That being said, they are more prolific in the summer; they fare poorly in the cold, but they thrive in heat and humidity. This means that you should be especially vigilant for roaches now until when the weather cools.
How to Determine If Your Home Has a Cockroach Problem
There are many different species of cockroaches, but only a few are common to this region: the German cockroach, American cockroach, Oriental cockroach, and wood cockroach. American and German cockroaches are especially common.
All roaches have flat, oval bodies with a small head and six legs. Young roaches are pale, but they become darker in color as they mature. Each species of cockroach varies in size and color.
Oriental roaches are black and 1-1.5 inches long. Male Oriental roaches have short wings, though they can’t fly.
Wood roaches are brown and 1-1.75 inches long. Like Oriental roaches, male wood roaches have wings; however, this type of roach can fly.
German cockroaches are brown, with dark stripes behind the head, and about half an inch long.
Finally, American cockroaches are reddish-brown, with wings, and up to a 1.5 inches long.
Cockroaches may be found anywhere within the home, but they tend to concentrate near the kitchen and bathroom: their main sources for food and moisture. That said, it’s unlikely that you’ll actually see a cockroach. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, which means that they usually remain hidden until there is a serious infestation: cockroaches that you see during the day have been pushed out of the available hiding places by other roaches.
The good news is that, besides live roaches, there are other signs you can look out for. These include the following:
- Roach droppings, which will resemble pepper, coffee grounds, or oval pellets (often found in the kitchen and bathroom)
- The bodies of dead cockroaches
- Oval-shaped, brown egg casings (often found behind cabinets, furniture, and other hard-to-reach places)
- A pungent, oily or musty odor in your kitchen, bathroom, or other areas of your home
As an infestation grows, the evidence of an infestation will mount. For example, the number of roach droppings will increase, and the musty odor will become impossible to ignore.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
To help prevent a cockroach infestation, keep your home—specifically your kitchen and bathroom—as tidy as possible. We recommend doing the following:
- Put all food into your refrigerator or an airtight container after every meal
- Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately
- Clean under and behind cabinets and appliances regularly (especially the refrigerator)
- Take out the trash every day and seal the can with an airtight lid
- Use caulk to fill any gaps around the bathtub and sinks
- Fix any leaky pipes throughout the home
That said, having a clean home doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get cockroaches. Cockroaches and their eggs can come into your home in a number of ways, including through cracks, crevices, vents, and pipes and even on things like grocery bags, purses, boxes, and the bottom of shoes.
If you find evidence of a cockroach infestation, it’s important to take action quickly. Cockroaches reproduce quickly and are difficult for the average homeowner to get rid of for good. You might find some success using glue strips and gel bait stations; however, the best way to completely and permanently get rid of roaches is to call in the professionals.
Why does this make a difference? Pest control experts have the knowledge, experience, and tools to deal with the infestation. An expert will be able to identify the problem areas in your home, seal cracks and crevices to prevent further infestation from outside roaches, and eliminate the roaches inside the home. A good pest control company will also offer a guarantee of their work, providing re-treatment if the initial treatment doesn’t kill all the roaches.
Call Us Today
For help handling your cockroach problem, call the experts at Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control. We’re a trusted pest control company with more than 80 years of experience serving Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus, Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or via web inquiry, Facebook or Twitter.