Roaches are one of the most common household pests. These pests are resilient, adapting to just about any environment. When you spot one cockroach, there are usually several more hidden out of sight. Cockroaches carry diseases, contaminate surfaces they come into contact with, and can trigger allergies and asthma. They are extremely difficult to get rid of once an infestation is established, both due to their resiliency and their ability to reproduce quickly and often. So what do you do if you see roaches in your home?
The first step is to identify what type of roach you are dealing with. Some of the most common cockroaches found in homes in the United States are American roaches, German roaches, and Oriental roaches. The type of roach you have and the size of the infestation are both determining factors in the course of treatment.
The second step is to contact the professionals. Because roaches are so difficult to get rid of, the services of a professional pest control company are beneficial. A technician will come out and give your home a thorough inspection to help determine the type and size of the infestation to set up a custom treatment plan that targets only the intended pests. They will also set you up with ongoing pest control in the future.
The final step is ongoing prevention to keep the roaches from coming back. Cockroaches come into your home in search of food and water. They usually thrive in warm, moist environments. Help keep them out by:
- Repairing leaky faucets
- Sealing pipes
- Wiping down countertops and appliances
- Storing food in containers
- Emptying garbage
- Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming regularly
- Carefully inspecting boxes, bags, appliances, and furniture before bringing it indoors
You May Also Be Interested In:
Add Some Shine to Your Crawl Space
Benefits to Winter Pest Control
Rodent Control Methods For Your Home
5 Winter Lawn Care Tips for Southern Homes
Which Season is Worst for Bed Bugs?
It’s never ideal to encounter cockroaches in your home. If you do, it’s best to know what types of cockroaches you’re dealing with to help determine the best way to eliminate them. Failing to remove these pests can lead to unpleasant outcomes, like allergies, that can potentially increase your chances of getting asthma.
We have broken down the three most common cockroaches found in the south and how to keep them away; let’s check it out!
This large out-of-the-house infesting roach can get up to 1.5 inches in length. These roaches develop wings towards the end of their life cycle, with males having some longer than their bodies. You can usually identify them by the yellow band located behind their head.
The American cockroach can typically be found where food is abundant. They also prefer drains that aren’t used as often. In the wild, they prefer dark or damp wood piles.
One of the most common species found worldwide, the German cockroach is generally light to dark brown and has two stripes near the back of its head. This species does have wings. They prefer dark, moist places. Since they don’t do well in the cold, they thrive in the southern climate.
This species first entered the U.S. in 1903 and is now found nationwide. The brown-banded cockroach got its name from the two light brown bands that appear across its wings. They prefer warmer, drier, and higher locations in a room and can be found mostly in cabinets and behind picture frames. This species will typically hide its egg cases in or underneath furniture.
- Focus on the Kitchen: Clean up any spills or crumbs immediately and take out the trash regularly.
- Declutter: Remove old newspapers, utilize plastic containers over cardboard, and make sure clothing isn’t piled on the floor.
- Limit Moisture: Roaches need water to survive. Be sure to fix dripping faucets and leaky pipes. If you have a basement, employ a dehumidifier to take care of any moisture. Also, consider getting your crawlspace enclosed to ensure no moisture is found.
While prevention can help keep cockroaches away, sometimes it’s best to get a professional involved. A local pest control company will be able to inspect your home and provide you with the best treatment and prevention plan going forward.
American cockroaches are a major household pest. Also known as water bugs and palmetto bugs, these pests are the largest of the cockroaches that infest homes. American cockroaches will make their way indoors in search of food and water. Their diet consists of leaves, wood particles, algae, fungi, small insects, food scraps, crumbs, and pet food. They can spread diseases and contaminate any surfaces they touch. They are also known to cause allergies and trigger asthma. These roaches will pick up germs on their legs and spread them to any surfaces they touch. They are known carriers of pathogens that cause diarrhea, cholera, leprosy, dysentery, plague, typhoid fever, and several viruses like poliomyelitis.
The first step in cockroach prevention is identifying the type of cockroach you are dealing with. Once that is determined, you can implement our favorite prevention tips to keep them from infesting your home.
American roaches are reddish-in color with a yellow band on the back of their heads. They range in size from 1-1/4″ to 2-1/8″ long, with some even reaching lengths of 3″. They have oval shaped bodies with 6 legs and a set of antennae. Despite their name, these cockroaches are found worldwide. Males and females both have wings and they can fly short distances. They can bite, but they rarely do. They normally live outdoors but will come inside looking for food and water. Outdoors they are commonly found in flower beds, trees, and under rocks. They are also commonly found in sewer systems. Inside the home they can be found in laundry rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and crawlspaces.
Signs of an Infestation
Learning how to spot signs of an roach infestation is critical to getting it under control. The most common sign is seeing the presence of cockroaches in your home. They will often flee to dark spaces when they’ve been discovered. They also leave behind droppings in the areas where they inhabit. These droppings have blunt ends and ridges on the sides and are often mistaken for mouse droppings. American cockroaches will also leave egg capsules behind. These are dark colored, about 8 mm long, and are often glued to surfaces near food sources. Finally, roaches emit a pheromone that gives off a musty odor. Smelling this in your home is another indication there is a cockroach infestation inside.
American roaches are highly resilient pests. They have evolved several adaptations over time that give them survival skills that make them difficult to eradicate. They can even survive up to a week without their heads! You can prevent cockroaches by:
- Inspecting your home to identify openings they can use to get into your home.
- Look for cracks in walls, gaps around electrical sockets, and bathroom and sink drains.
- Seal these openings with silicone-based caulk.
- Seal around doors and windows with weatherstripping.
- Keeping your home clean and sanitary.
- Keep counters sinks, floors, and tables clean and crumb-free.
- Clean up any spills immediately.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, especially overnight.
- Store food in airtight containers.
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight.
- Vacuum at least once per week.
- Ventilate crawlspaces to prevent moisture.
- Run water periodically in bathrooms to keep u-traps full.
If you have a problem with roaches in your home, contact your local pest control company who can identify what kind of roaches you have, how they are getting in, and the best treatment and ongoing prevention plan for your home.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Wildlife to Look Out for This Fall
DIY Mosquito Control Methods
Why Snake Control Is Important In The Fall
The Traveler’s Guide to Bed Bugs
Why Identifying Spiders is Important for Prevention
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.
Roaches are resilient pests that have survived millions of years on Earth. Cockroaches are naturally tropical pests, preferring warm, humid habitats to thrive in. In fact, most species of roaches will die off at temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Roaches have learned to adapt and are expert overwintering pests, making their way indoors to avoid exposure to cold temperatures and survive the winter.
There are four species of cockroaches in the United States that can survive year-round with the appropriate overwintering environment.
- American Cockroach: The American cockroach usually lives outdoors but will come inside during the winter months. These roaches like water and are often found hiding out in bathrooms and laundry rooms. If they overwinter outside they can be found in decaying trees and woodpiles.
- German Cockroach: The German cockroach is found throughout the United States. They commonly invade homes and can be difficult to eliminate once an infestation is established. They reproduce quickly, exploding their populations in your house. German roaches can survive winter as long as they find a humid environment and a food source (such as in your kitchen or under your appliances).
- Oriental Cockroach: The Oriental cockroach is an indoor species but they will venture outside in search of food. These roaches must have water to survive and can often be found in basements, crawlspaces, and floor drains. If they overwinter outdoors they will hide out in rock walls or other areas that offer shelter and warmth. Oriental roaches only reproduce in the winter so their survival through the colder months is critical. They can tolerate lower temperatures than most other species.
- Brown-Banded Cockroach: The brown-banded cockroach is found throughout the United States but is not as common as their German counterparts. These roaches are attracted to heat and can be found in near appliances, heaters, or anything else with an electric motor. They are often found in kitchens and prefer to hide out in high cabinets.
To answer the question above, roaches don’t necessarily die off in the winter. As long as they can find a warm place to shelter with a food source they can survive and reproduce year-round. The next question to ask yourself is, “How are they getting into my home?” Roaches can squeeze through openings as small as 3/16″ and will use any opening they find in your walls, siding, baseboards, and ceilings to get inside. Roaches are also notorious hitchhikers and will catch a ride indoors on bags, boxes, firewood, furniture, and appliances.
Keep roaches out this winter by:
- Emptying your trashcans often and keeping them clean.
- Cleaning up crumbs from counters and floors daily, including spilled pet food.
- Sweeping daily.
- Vacuuming frequently.
- Making sure food is not left in sink strainers.
- Running the garbage disposal frequently.
- Keeping food (including pet food) sealed in airtight containers.
- Not leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
- Keeping appliances clean of food and grease.
- Cleaning out clutter in your garage and attic, especially cardboard.
- Using plastic storage boxes rather than cardboard when possible.
- Sealing entrances around utility pipes.
- Ventilating crawlspaces to prevent moisture.
- Storing soap out of reach.
- Not leaving pet food out in bowls overnight.
- Drying all sinks, tubs, and showers before bed each night.
- Using a dehumidifier in your home.
- Carefully inspecting items before bringing them into your home.
If you have a problem with cockroaches or any other household pest, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation and treatment plan.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Preventing Wildlife in Attics
Mouse vs Rat: 5 Differences Explained
Cockroaches: Types and Prevention Tips
Where Can Bed Bugs Hide?
Preparing for Spring Lawn Care