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Cockroaches are common household pests that are found worldwide. While they don’t bite or cause structural damage to homes, they can be harmful to your health by contaminating food and other surfaces and triggering allergies and asthma in those affected. Roaches can get into the cleanest of homes in their quest for food, water, and shelter which they need to survive. Once inside, roaches will seek out warmth, moisture, and darkness, often being found in kitchens and bathrooms.
How do they get inside? Roaches have become very resourceful when it comes to getting into places. They can crawl through small holes or cracks in the exterior of buildings, flattening themselves into the smallest spaces. They will also squeeze through openings around doors and windows or sneak through when they’ve been left open too long. They will hitch a ride (or even lay their eggs) on bags, luggage, backpacks, used furniture, used appliances, packages, and even groceries that you bring unknowingly into your home. They can also come in through pipes or other holes in walls (especially shared walls like those in apartments).
If you have the makings of a cockroach infestation, try some of these cockroach prevention tips to help get them under control.
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Cockroaches are household pests known for spreading bacteria and triggering allergies and asthma. These nocturnal pests come out at night to feed and hide in cracks and crevices during the day. Roaches are attracted to moisture and are most commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and drains. Because they are nocturnal, you may not notice you have a roach problem until a full blown cockroach infestation has set in. Spotting the signs of cockroaches can help you head off an infestation before it gets out of hand. Here are 7 signs you may have cockroaches.
If your neighbors mention having a roach problem, especially if you live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, the odds are likely that they will make their way over to your home, as well. One way to help prevent this is by getting rid of what attracts roaches in your home. Don’t put open food containers in the trash; don’t leave crumbs on the floor; clean up messes as they happen; keep garbage cans sealed; and try not to store outdoor trash cans near your home.
Roaches are attracted to moisture so they are often found in areas of high moisture in your home. In these areas, they will often produce dark, irregularly-shaped smear marks as they rest or crawl along walls. These smears are often seen on horizontal surfaces and where the wall and floor meet.
Roaches leave droppings behind wherever they are. The size and shape of droppings vary between species. Some species leave behind a small brown stain. German cockroaches leave behind pepper-like specks that can also resemble coffee grounds. The larger American cockroach species leaves behind droppings closer to a grain of rice. The most common places to check for droppings are floor corners, cabinets, under the fridge, and under the stove. It is important to clean any droppings up when you find them as they are known to spread bacteria.
Egg casings are long, hollow, light brown tubes that hold cockroach eggs, anywhere from 20 to 50 at a time. Although most species leave egg casings behind once the eggs are laid, some species actually carry them with them until their offspring hatch. Egg casings are usually found at the base of the refrigerator, in cabinets that store food, and near leaky pipes. If you find a casing that still has eggs in it, dispose of it by flushing it down the toilet.
Roaches and their feces give off a musky, unpleasant odor. While one roach usually doesn’t emit a strong enough odor to be detected by humans, when larger numbers of roaches get together the smell gets stronger and more easily detected. While the smell is usually associated with live roaches, dead cockroaches can also emit the odor as part of the decomposition process.
The feces and exoskeleton of cockroaches contain proteins that can trigger allergies and asthma. If you don’t usually have allergies and have symptoms appear without a known trigger; or your current allergy and asthma symptoms seem to get worse without a known trigger this may indicate the presence of cockroaches in your home. Symptoms include stuffy nose, wheezing, red itching eyes, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and the increased use of your inhaler.
If you see one roach, the odds are likely that there are many others present. Roaches are nocturnal and usually spotted at night. If you are seeing roaches during the day, overcrowding from an infestation may be forcing them out in the open.
The best way to avoid a roach infestation is to prevent them in the first place. Prevent cockroaches by:
If you have a problem with roaches or any other pest, contact your local pest control company for a free analysis and comprehensive treatment plan.
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One of the lesser known species of cockroaches, the oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis), also known as the black beetle cockroach and the waterbug, is actually one of the largest next to its cousin, the American cockroach. These pests are great at hiding and fitting into tight locations and have adapted to thrive both indoors and outdoors. Let’s take a look at how to identify Oriental cockroaches, as well as some cockroach prevention tips.
The Oriental cockroach is dark brown to nearly black in color with a smooth shiny exoskeleton. Although not quite as big as American cockroaches, these bugs do get up to 1 inch in length. Males are slightly shorter than females with stubbed wings and females are longer and skinnier without wings.
These roaches are found throughout the United States and prefer warm, moist, dark locations. They thrive outdoors, often residing under piles of leaves, mulch, stone, wood, flower beds, and debris. They will travel through sewers and can come into your home through pipes and drains. Indoors, they can be found in rarely used sink drains, garbage disposals, under cabinets with plumbing, and in bathroom voids.
Oriental roaches are omnivores, eating nearly any type of food source but preferring decaying plants and rotting garbage. They will also make do with crumbs, pet food, and leftover human food, too. They are very dependent on water which is why they are usually found in areas with high moisture. They can survive up to 1 month with no food but only 2 weeks without water.
These cockroaches are slower than most of their counterparts. They prefer to be active outdoors and are nocturnal. Males have wings but don’t fly. They have a lifespan of 1 to 6 months and their reproduction is seasonal – they produce more eggs in the spring and summer than they do the rest of the year.
Oriental cockroaches are dangerous to humans as they are known to transmit bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. Because they eat decaying food and other material, they can contaminate food and other surfaces with the pathogens picked up from their food sources. They also excrete odors which can trigger allergies and asthma in those affected.
There are 3 main signs of Oriental cockroaches in your home:
If you have a problem with cockroaches of any kind, contact a professional pest control company for proper identification, potential points of entry, and the most up to date treatment options available.
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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.
Cockroaches have been around for over 300 million years – even longer than the dinosaurs! These pests are resilient and adaptive with odd behaviors and survival tactics which have helped them survive for so long. While most homeowners are aware of the health risks associated with roaches, including allergies, asthma, and the spread of germs and bacteria, there are lots of interesting facts about cockroaches you might not realize. Here are 7 things you might not know about cockroaches.
Cockroaches are one of the most highly adaptable pests on earth which makes them extremely difficult to control or eliminate. To prevent cockroaches keep food sealed and stored properly; clean your kitchen daily; don’t leave food or pet food out overnight; dispose of garbage regularly and use cans with sealing and locking lids; identify any small cracks or holes around your home and seal them; and make sure basements and crawlspaces are kept dry and well ventilated. If you suspect you have a cockroach infestation, contact a professional pest control company who can provide you with a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment and prevention plan.
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