You’ve prepped your home, made sure all messes are cleaned, and closed all open gaps, but you’re still seeing roaches in your home! Why are these pests still attracted to what’s inside your house and how do they keep entering?! We break down some common cockroaches you could be seeing and how they keep sneaking in!
The Species Matters
It’s important to note that there are several different species of cockroaches. Each species is attracted to and thrive off of very different environments. The Oriental cockroach prefers a dark, cool place to hideout. You can often find them in organic matter such as mulch, wood chips, and even between your home’s foundation. Brown-banded cockroaches, on the other hand, like warmer, drier environments. These cockroaches are commonly found in areas above eye-level, such as cabinets, pantries, and even TVs. Another common species is the American cockroach that prefers living in warm, moist areas. These pests can be found in homes, restaurants, grocery stores – basically anywhere food is prepped and stored!
What attracts roaches can be easily found inside anyone’s home. What if you’ve taken precautions, however, to ensure these pests won’t get into your house but they still keep coming back? There are several reasons why roaches keep finding their way back into your home. Roaches are extremely resilient and are excellent hitchhikers! These pests can be easily transported from one place to the other by hitching a ride in your grocery bags, luggage, and even cardboard boxes. Roaches can also travel from neighbor to neighbor, so if your neighbors aren’t taking great roach precautions they could be coming from next door!
Roaches are year-round pests making them extremely hard to control. Because of this, you’ll have to take precautions 12 months out of the year to keep them out of the house. Here are some tips to prevent roaches throughout the year.
- Eliminate any standing water in and around your home; check for leaks, seal gaps around your sink and tubs, and don’t leave pet bowls outside overnight.
- Inspect the interior and exterior of the home; seal any open gaps and tears throughout your house and use weatherstripping around all entryways
- Clean up all messes; clean up crumbs and food immediately, wipe down food prep surfaces, clean under appliances, and don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight
- If you’re still experiencing roach issues, call your local pest control company to provide a comprehensive plan to remove this nuisance pest from your home.
When cockroaches are spotted in your home several questions may run through your mind. The first one is most likely “Oh no,what do I do?” followed closely by “How do I get rid of them?” Once you get over the shock of having one scurry across your floor or countertop, several more questions may come to mind.
What attracts cockroaches? Cockroaches aren’t just attracted to dirty or cluttered houses. Roaches will come indoors in search of 4 things – food, water, heat, and shelter. While dirty or cluttered houses can provide an ample supply of food and shelter, clean houses can provide many of these necessities for roaches, as well. Appliances offer a source of heat so roaches are often found under or behind them. Leaky faucets or pipes can provide a water supply no matter how clean your home is.
Are cockroaches dangerous? The answer to this is a resounding yes. Cockroaches are known to carry bacteria that can cause illnesses in humans, such as salmonella, when it is deposited on your food or food prep surfaces. Roach excrement, shed body parts, eggs, and even saliva have been proven to trigger allergic reactions and asthma in affected people.
What do cockroaches look like? You may wonder why this is important. After all, a cockroach is a cockroach, right? Different species of cockroaches have different habits and require different treatments to completely eliminate a roach infestation from your home. While there are many different species of cockroaches worldwide, there are a few that are common to Georgia. Here’s how to identify each of them to help ensure you get the proper treatment.
The American cockroach is the largest and most common cockroach found in homes in Georgia. These roaches are a chestnut to light brown color with light yellow bands around the shield behind their heads. They are large with adults approximately 2 inches in length. Male and female American cockroaches have wings and they are capable of flying short distances. This species can live up to 2 years. They are active at night and are often found around water sources like pipes, sewers, and basements. They are also commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. They often cohabitate with smokybrown and Oriental cockroaches.
The German cockroach is another easily recognizable cockroach in Georgia. These roaches are tan with dark brown parallel stripes on the back of their upper thorax. They are smaller than their American counterparts with adults measuring about 1/2″ to 5/8″. German roaches can live up to 12 months. This species is also active at night and are often found in kitchens near food and heat supplies from appliances. They also produce more eggs than any other species.
The Oriental cockroach is another common species in Georgia. They are glossy with cherry to black coloring. They are large with adults measuring 1 to 1.25 inches in length. Males have short wings but females are wingless. These roaches can live up to 6 months. Although they often cohabitate with American cockroaches, they are not usually found indoors. Instead they are found outdoors where they feed primarily on decaying matter. They are active at night and have habits similar to their smokybrown cousins.
The Asian cockroach is tan with double parallel strips on their backs. They are often mistaken for German cockroaches. They are a smaller species with adults measuring 1/2″ to 5/8″. These roaches are also found outdoors usually under mulch, leaf litter, or high grass. They usually only come indoors when their outdoor habitat is disturbed. These roaches can fly and are attracted to light.
The smokybrown cockroach is dark cherry or red in color. They are large with adults around 1.5 inches in length. They prefer habitats in Southern neighborhoods with mature hardwood trees because they require high humidity and protection from the wind in their shelter. They can often be found in tree holes, attics, crawlspaces, and sheds. They are active at night.
Although you can take some preventative measures to keep roaches out of your home like tidying up, keeping kitchens and bathrooms clean, fixing leaks, and sealing cracks and crevices, they are resilient pests and can often be difficult to eliminate. Contact a professional pest control company who can help properly identify the type of roach(es) you are dealing with, locate points of entry and food and water sources, and effectively and safely eliminate them from in and around your home.
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There are thousands of species of cockroaches in the world but only a handful are found in the United States. The most common species found in the US include the German cockroach, the American cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. While there are significant differences between these four species, there are some common features that are shared between ALL species of cockroaches. All roaches have flattened, oval-shaped bodies with antennae on their heads. They all move surprisingly fast and they all present a health risk for households. Roaches are known to spread more than 30 types of bacteria and even parasitic worms. One can find all of these species of cockroaches in the house. However, each species has its own characteristics and can be found in different parts of the home – making treatment methods vary from type to type. Let’s take a look at the different types of cockroaches and some ways to prevent them.
The German cockroach, also known as Blattella germanica, is a smaller species of cockroach, usually only growing to about 5/8″ in length. They are usually pale brown or caramel colored with two dark brown stripes behind their heads. They have wings but do not fly. German cockroaches are found across the United States and prefer warm, moisture-rich habitats. They are often found near dishwashers, sinks, and stoves and are mostly found in kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroaches can live up to 12 months and produce more eggs than any other cockroach species. They eat a wide variety of things but prefer meat, grease, and starchy foods. They are notoriously responsible for outbreaks of illness and triggering allergic reactions in humans. Their small size allows them better hiding capabilities making them harder to get rid of.
The American cockroach, also known as Periplaneta americana, is one of the largest cockroaches found in homes. American cockroaches grow up to 1-1/2″ in length. They are reddish-brown or brown in color and have light yellow bands around the shield behind their heads. American cockroaches have wings and can fly short distances. They are found throughout the United States and are often found in warm, dark areas like basements, crawlspaces, bathtubs, drains, and sewers. They are also common in households where food is stored. They will eat everything from plant material to garbage and contaminate any surfaces they walk across. American cockroaches can live up to 2 years. They are active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher but have also adapted to survive at much lower temperatures with the right conditions.
The brown-banded cockroach, also known as Supella longipalpa, is a smaller species of cockroach found throughout the United States. Brown-banded cockroaches are distinguished by 2 light yellow to brown bands across their bodies. Males have larger, dark brown wings that lighten in color as they extend to the tips. Females have smaller, reddish-brown to dark brown wings. Even though they both have wings, only males can fly. Brown-banded cockroaches like warm, dry environments that are higher than other species. They are often found in upper cabinets, behind pictures hanging on the walls, or in the hollow parts of furniture. In fact, they will often hide their egg casings in or under furniture. They will also gather near larger appliances like refrigerators and TVs because of the heat they give off. These cockroaches are often found in offices, apartments, kitchens, and hospitals. Brown-banded cockroaches prefer starchy foods like glue from envelopes and stamps and also paper products. They can live from 3 months up to 1 year and will jump when they have been disturbed.
The Oriental cockroach, also known as Blatta orientalis, “water bugs,” and “black beetles,” has a glossy appearance that is dark brown or black in color. Oriental cockroaches can grow up to 1-1/4″ in length. These cockroaches cannot fly and are not as fast as other species. They prefer cool, dark, damp environments and are often found in basements, sewers, drains, and near woodpiles. They commonly enter homes through drains in search of food. Unfortunately they cannot climb smooth vertical surfaces and are often found stuck inside sinks and tubs. They primarily feed on decaying organic matter. Oriental cockroaches have a 6 month life span and give off a strong smell. They are considered one of the dirtiest species of cockroaches.
Prevention and Treatment
Seeing one or two cockroaches in the house usually means there are several more hidden out of sight. They are much more difficult to get rid of once a roach infestation is established. There are some steps you can take to help prevent roaches from taking over:
- Keep pet food stored in sealed containers and don’t leave it out overnight.
- Keep food sealed and stored properly, as well.
- Keep kitchen surfaces free from food debris and crumbs.
- Wipe down countertops often.
- Sweep often.
- Take out the trash frequently.
- Clean in, around, and under appliances.
- Check under sinks for leaks and drops.
- Vacuum carpets and mop floors on a regular basis.
- Keep basements and crawlspaces dry. Consider crawlspace enclosure to help prevent moisture buildup.
- Seal any cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior.
If you suspect you have a roach problem, contact a licensed pest control company. Professional pest control technicians can provide expert advice and thoroughly assess your home to help identify not only the type of cockroaches you have but also the most up-to-date treatment options and prevention techniques.
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Cockroaches carry many diseases and can cause several health issues in humans including food poisoning and can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. So where do roaches come from?
If you have a roach infestation in your home, there could be several reasons why. Roaches may have already been in your home before you moved in. Roaches are also very good hitchhikers and are easily transported from one place to another. They can get into your home in grocery bags, cardboard boxes, luggage, furniture, or appliances. They can also get in through the plumbing, sewers or drains. They can travel over from your neighbor’s home into yours, too.
But what attracts cockroaches if your house is clean? Like most pests, roaches are looking for three main things: food, shelter, and water. They are year-round pests and are incredibly resilient – making them difficult to control. Different species of cockroaches are attracted to and thrive in different environments.
German cockroaches are the most common indoor roaches. They prefer dark, warm, humid places near food and water, preferably in a temperature range of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You can usually find German roaches in kitchens, in cracks and crevices of cabinets, near sinks or appliances, and in food prep and storage areas. They can also be found in bathrooms when the roach infestation is heavy. Early detection and control of german roaches is extremely important as they can be very hard to get rid of.
Oriental roaches prefer dark, damp, cool habitats. Outdoors you can usually find them where there is an abundant supply of organic matter like mulch or wood chips, under patio bricks, or between the soil and your foundation. Once inside your home, they are often found in drains, basements, and crawlspaces. They can also be found near leaky water pipes, under sinks, refrigerators, floors, and washing machines.
Brown-banded roaches prefer warmer, drier places (greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit). They live in higher areas, usually at eye level or above, like your cabinets, pantries, closet shelves, behind pictures, in books, or under kitchen tables and chairs. They can also be found in warm areas such as near clocks, timers, TVs, and refrigerator motors.
American cockroaches are found in homes, restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores – anywhere food is prepped and stored. They prefer warm, moist environments and can often be found in boiler rooms, basements, around pipes and water heaters, and in drains and sewers.
Here are some tips to prevent roaches from infesting your home:
Clean up spilled crumbs and food immediately. Don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight. Throw away any food that is left out on the counter. Wipe down the surface of all food prep areas every night. Clean under your appliances and wipe down any that are on your counter. Make sure to clean underneath the refrigerator and stove, also. Rinse out milk jugs, juice cartons, and cans before throwing them away. Empty your garbage can every night and use garbage cans with tight fitting lids. Check kitchen drawers for any food debris and crumbs. Store food in airtight containers. Store pet food in airtight containers and elevate them off the floor. Don’t leave your pet’s food and water bowls out overnight. Roaches communicate through chemical pheromones they secrete as they move. Cardboard and paper are excellent absorbers of these pheromones. Replace cardboard boxes with plastic containers if possible. Don’t bring any cardboard boxes used for storage inside the home. Don’t store piles of newspapers – recycle them instead.
Carefully inspect the interior and exterior of your home. Seal any gaps or crevices you find, even the smallest ones. Roaches can squeeze through the tiniest openings to get into your home. Use weatherstripping around all entryways including doors and windows. Declutter as much as possible. Roaches can also get into your home through drainpipes. Use stoppers or metal baskets on all the drains in your sink and shower and make sure to keep your drains clean. Roaches will also hitch rides on firewood. Make sure to only bring in enough wood for one fire and don’t store any extra wood inside.
Most species of roaches prefer moist areas so eliminating water is key to helping prevent them. Remove any standing water in and around your home. Check for leaks and repair them promptly. Use caulk to seal gaps around your sink and tubs to keep water out of the walls. Don’t let water stand for long periods of time in plants and flowerbeds. Don’t leave your pet’s water bowls out overnight. Hang any wet towels and mats up to dry after using them. Keep your kitchen sponges dry and don’t store them on the counter.
Call The Professionals
Roaches can be incredibly difficult to control and eliminate. If you have a roach problem, contact a professional pest control company or schedule a free pest inspection now. A pest control technician can thoroughly inspect your home to identify not only where and how roaches are getting into your home, but also the specific type of roaches to better treat and eliminate them.
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Just as the weather changes with the seasons, pest activity shifts to usher in new groups of active pests. Let’s take a look at what pests are active in your area and some tips to keep them away.
The humidity and moisture that come with early summer is what helps to increase subterranean termite activity. “Swarm season” is in full effect, and this can present a problem for your home.
- Avoid water accumulation around your home, specifically around the foundation.
- Invest in a moisture-reducing program to help reduce humidity in your home’s crawl space.
Summer is the biggest travel time for many. College students are coming back home, and family vacations are planned. This increases the chances of having an incident with bed bugs, and a bed bug infestation is no easy battle.
- When returning from vacation, leave suitcases in the garage or driveway. Remove clothing and take immediately to your laundry room to be washed in warm water.
- Consider packing a large garbage bag to place your suitcase in while on vacation.
- Do not unpack your clothing and place them in the hotel drawers as these can be hiding places for bed bugs.
As the summer weather starts to rev up, American cockroach activity will skyrocket. While they live outdoors, if they find themselves low on food or if the weather experiences a drastic change (extreme heat or excessive rain), they will try move indoors.
- Put dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher or wash them immediately after using them instead of leaving them in the sink overnight.
- Make sure to eliminate any sources of standing water around your home.
Pest infestation can be costly and a major hassle. Contact a professional pest control company like Northwest for a free pest control estimate to protect your home from pests year-round.