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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.
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:
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.
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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.
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.
When a cockroach is seen inside your house, the first reaction is to figure out how to get it out; and the second is how to prevent it from coming back inside in the future! Understanding the difference between and identifying common roach species can help ensure proper treatment and prevention for your home, keeping your family and property safe and healthy. Here we break down the three most common roaches that could be infesting your home.
The American cockroach is the largest species in the U.S. These pests are reddish-brown with a shield-like structure that covers their head. Both males and females have wings and can fly short distances. They are also considered the fastest running insects, as they will quickly scamper out of sight when someone enters the room! While these roaches prefer warmer temperatures, they can survive the cold, often looking indoors for warmth. Common places American cockroaches are found are in basements, woodpiles, attics, and crawlspaces.
A very recognizable cockroach, the German cockroach is tan with dark brown parallel stripes on the back of its upper thorax. Smaller than the American roach, German roaches measure about ½” to 5/8”. They produce more eggs than any other roach species. While they do have wings, they rarely fly and prefer to run instead. German cockroaches prefer warmer environments, such as bathrooms or basements, but typically can be found in areas where people eat, such as the kitchen.
Smokybrown cockroaches are dark cherry or red with a long body length of around 1.5 inches. These roaches prefer areas of humidity and will shelter in neighborhoods with mature hardwood trees to protect them from the winds. Usually active at night, these cockroaches can be found in warm habitats such as tree holes, under mulch, and in sheds.
To avoid any type of cockroach, every homeowner should take preventative measures to keep them out of your home. Some roach prevention tips include:
If you have an issue with roaches, call your local pest control provider who can help properly identify the type of roach(es), locate points of entry, place preventative measures, and effectively eliminate them.
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.
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:
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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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.
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.
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.
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.