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.