Cockroaches are one of the most common household pests that homeowners have to deal with. These pests are resilient and are known to survive under the harshest conditions. So why do these pests seem so hard to get rid of? What are the best methods to eliminate them from making their way inside your home?
Cockroaches are built to be almost indestructible. Roaches have exoskeletons made up of overlapping plates connected by a stretchy membrane. This membrane is so flexible that it can allow them to fit through small cracks and crevices. Along with their stretchy membrane, they also have a thick outer layer that can protect them and shift when needed.
Since roaches can use their bodies to fit through small areas, they are great at surviving in harsh conditions. Cockroaches will find shelter to avoid harsh temperatures and other predatory pests that threaten them.
While cockroaches are durably built and sneaky, it doesn’t mean that they are impossible to keep from getting inside your home. Consider utilizing these roach prevention tips:
- Seal all cracks and crevices around the exterior of your home.
- Close any open gaps under windows and doors.
- Take out the garbage daily and store the trashcans away from the home.
- Clean up any clutter in rooms and areas that are less utilized, such as attics, garages, storage rooms, and closets.
- Call a professional pest control company. They will inspect, provide treatment, and implement a prevention plan to help avoid and eliminate these pests.
Most people equate cockroaches with dirty homes but this isn’t always the case. What attracts cockroaches to a clean house is food, water, and warmth. While the presence of one cockroach in your home can be enough to send you into a panic, one roach doesn’t necessarily mean you have a full blown infestation. Roaches are social pests, however, and reproduce quickly. If you spot one, odds are there are a few others lurking nearby, in dark corners or cracks and crevices and they could be fast on their way to a full blown infestation.
Cockroaches are dangerous to humans – they carry bacteria on their bodies and their feet, contaminating any surfaces they come into contact with. They can also trigger allergies and asthma. Besides seeing a live bug, how do you know you could have a cockroach problem? Signs of cockroaches in your home include dead bodies; eggs or eggshells (which are small, brown and oval-shaped); droppings (which are dark and powdery like ground coffee); and a strong, musty odor that doesn’t go away.
The best method of roach control is to be proactive in preventing them. Prevent cockroaches by:
1. Cleaning Thoroughly.
Roaches are attracted to dirt and crumbs as a source of food Make sure to always wash dishes after a meal and put them away. Clean up any crumbs and spills immediately. Take out the garbage before going to bed. Clean any grease from your stovetop. Keep food sealed in airtight containers. Sweep, mop, and vacuum on a regular basis. Don’t leave pet food, treats, and water out overnight.
2. Decluttering Your Home
Clearing out clutter gets rid of places roaches can use to hide. Keep rooms clutter free and dusted often. Use plastic storage bins with lockable lids versus cardboard boxes. Eliminate newspapers and cardboard altogether as roaches love to breed in these materials.
3. Sealing Your Home Up
Roaches get into homes under doors and through cracks. Identifying these and sealing them up helps eliminate points of entry for cockroaches and other pests. Thoroughly inspect around windows and doors, along foundations and the roof, in attics and crawlspace vents, and around holes used for utility and plumbing lines. For small holes and cracks, use caulk to seal them. For larger holes, especially around pipes, use steel wool and foam to seal. Fine mesh wire can be used to seal around attic vents and chimneys.
4. Fixing Leaks
Roaches, like most pests, need water and moisture to survive. Therefore, standing water or excessive moisture can attract roaches to your home. Regularly inspect your plumbing for leaks and repair them immediately. Make sure to check faucets, sinks, refrigerators, and appliances for leaks and excessive moisture. Crawlspaces are also a common source of excess moisture in homes. Consider crawlspace enclosure to help minimize moisture under your home.
5. Calling A Professional
A cockroach infestation can be extremely difficult to control. Prevention can only go so far in the battle against roaches. If you suspect you have a problem with cockroaches, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify the type of roach you have, thoroughly inspect your home to identify points of entry or food sources, and help set you up with a comprehensive roach control treatment and prevention plan.
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German roaches are the most common species of cockroach worldwide. They can be found infesting just about anywhere that humans occupy. How do you know if you have German cockroaches? What do they look like? Are these roaches dangerous to humans? Get the answers to these questions and more with our 411 on German cockroaches.
What do they look like?
German roaches are flat and oval-shaped with 6 legs and a pair of antennae. They are smaller than other species of cockroaches, measuring between 1/2″ and 5/8″ in length. They are light brown to tan in color with 2 dark parallel stripes on their backs, just behind their heads. Females are darker than males. This species has wings but rarely fly; they prefer to run instead.
Where do they live?
German cockroaches are an indoor pest, preferring warm, humid environments. They prefer temperatures between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit with 90 to 95% humidity. They make their way indoors by hitchhiking on grocery bags, cardboard boxes, and used appliances. They are often found above refrigerators or other heat producing appliances, under sinks, and around water pipes in kitchens and bathrooms so they can be near food and water sources. They are found throughout the United States.
What do they eat?
German roaches will eat almost anything. This includes soap, glue, toothpaste, food crumbs, and bindings of books.
Are they dangerous to humans?
German cockroaches have been linked to disease transmission in humans. As they crawl across fecal matter and other areas, they pick up germs on the spines of their legs and then transfer them to food and other surfaces. It has been proven that German cockroaches spread 33 different bacteria, 6 parasitic worms, and 7 other human pathogens. Their saliva, droppings, and even their dead bodies have proteins that can trigger allergies and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children.
How fast do they reproduce?
If you spot one German roach in your home, it is highly likely that there are many more hiding in cracks and crevices. Females can lay up to 40 eggs at a time which then mature within about 2 months. The female carries the egg case for up to a month and drops it right before it hatches. They can breed up to 6 generations per year. Adult German roaches can live up to 200 days. This quick reproductive rate combined with their lack of natural predators makes a German cockroach infestation difficult to control.
What are the signs of German cockroaches?
German cockroaches aggregate in groups when they infest your home. You are likely to find their droppings in areas that they frequent. These droppings appear as small, dark, pepper-like material that is often found on counters and in drawers. Their feces can also stain, leaving dark spots and smears in the corners of rooms, along the tops of doors, and around small cracks and openings in walls. When these roaches infest in large numbers, they can also give off a mild, musty odor.
How can you prevent them?
The first step in preventing a german cockroach infestation is practicing good hygiene. Keep your kitchen and bathroom clean, cleaning up crumbs and spills quickly. Sweep, mop, and vacuum often. Don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink. Don’t leave pet food and water bowls out overnight. Seal all the openings in the exterior of your home, especially around utility pipes. Ventilate or consider enclosing your crawlspace.
If you suspect you have a cockroach infestation of any species, contact a professional pest control company who can provide you with an in-depth inspection and set you up with an appropriate treatment and prevention plan.
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