There’s one pest that every homeowner would rather not see inside their home – cockroaches. There are many distinct species of cockroaches, and each has their own unique characteristics. There are two popular types of cockroaches in the southeastern part of the US, but the American Cockroach is the largest and one of the most common out of the two. Here is a breakdown of the American cockroach and how to decide your plan of action to remove them from your home.  

What is an American Cockroach? 

The American cockroach is a major pest in the United States and is the largest of the home-infesting roaches. They are commonly known as the water bug, the Bombay canary, or the palmetto bug. This specific species is not native to United States, despite its name. They are typically reddish-brown with a yellowish figure eight pattern on the back of their head. They are oval shaped and range from 1 1/4″ to 2 1/8” in length.  

Where are They Found?  

American cockroaches are typically found outside, but it is not uncommon to find them indoors. During the summer months they can be found outside in areas like flowerbeds and underneath mulch piles. They will typically move indoors when they experience a notable change in the weather or food shortage. They prefer warm, moist, and dark environments such as basements or crawlspaces. These pests can enter structures through the sewer system, via human belongings, or by mass migration from other structures.  

Are They a Threat? 

The presence of American cockroaches in a home can pose a serious threat to your health. Cockroaches have been known to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella, along with different types of parasitic worms and other kinds of human pathogens. They have also been known to elicit year-round allergic reactions and asthma attacks due to their saliva, urine, and fecal droppings.  

How Can I Prevent Them?  

There are many ways to prevent roaches from entering your home. Here are some of our favorite ways to keep them out.  

  • Always keep your home clean and sanitary. Be sure to not let dirty dishes pile up in your sink and to clean up spills as soon as possible.  
  • Vacuum at least once a week to help remove food particles. 
  • Vent your crawl space to prevent moisture build up.  
  • Run water periodically in spare bathrooms to keep u-traps filled so that roaches can’t make an appearance.  

Finding these pests in your home can be quite alarming. Implementing cockroach prevention measures such as fixing leaks, sealing off entry points, and keeping kitchen and bathrooms clean will help keep these pests out. If this happens despite your best efforts at prevention, consider contacting a professional local pest control company that can help identify your pest, locate points of entry, and provide a prevention plan for your property to help keep roaches out. 

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