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.
- Find the entry points. The first step is to identify where and how they are getting in. If you’re only noticing them in one room (e.g. the kitchen), it’s likely that’s where they’re making their way inside. You can put out sticky roach traps; the traps with the heaviest traffic are most likely closer to the nest and closer to where they are getting in. Seal any cracks or crevices you find with flexible caulk. Use weatherstripping on doors and windows. Carefully inspect any items before bringing them into your home.
- Clean up food sources. Roaches will use clutter (especially areas that aren’t disturbed often) to hide out during the day before they forage for food at night. They also especially like to feed on items that contain glue (magazines, books, cardboard, etc.). Clean out piles of old newspapers and magazines, cardboard boxes, paper bags, and any other areas of clutter in your home. Take bread, fruit, and veggies off your countertops and store them in airtight containers. Make sure any open boxes or bags are secured. Clean your stove thoroughly, including the eyes and inside the range top and oven. Clean your microwave and other appliances. Sweep and vacuum behind larger appliances and get rid of any food stuck in the bottom of the dishwasher. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Sweep after cooking and take the trash out regularly.
- Check for water sources. Roaches need water to survive. Check your home for water sources and keep them dry, such as plants, the drip plate under your refrigerator, and condensation around pipes. Check for leaky faucets and repair them immediately. Place stoppers over your drains at night. Cover faucet spouts with screens.
- Call the professionals. Cockroaches are extremely resilient and an infestation can grow seemingly overnight. If you have a problem with cockroaches or any other pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation and appropriate treatment plan.
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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.
The last thing a homeowner wants to deal with is a pest infestation. One of the most common household pests is the cockroach, multiplying at a rapid rate and taking over in practically no time. The most common roaches found in households are American cockroaches, German cockroaches, and brown-banded cockroaches. Just because you see roaches in your home doesn’t mean you live in a dirty house; what attracts cockroaches may surprise you! Here are 5 common ways to attract cockroaches and how to prevent them.
Roaches thrive in dark, warm, moist, humid environments. Some of the most common sources of water in your home include leaky pipes under sinks and tubs, damp basements, AC units that leak, roof leaks, standing water, and piles of wet leaves. It is important to manage any moisture problems as soon as possible. Routinely inspect these areas of your home for leaks and fix them immediately. Consider enclosing your crawlspace to help control moisture under your home. Make sure gutters are functioning and downspouts are pointed away from foundations. Consider installing gutter guards to help prevent clogs.
Roaches will also come into your home in search of food and they will eat anything they can find. Roaches will forage in the garbage can for food scraps, grab any crumbs or food residue left on counters or floors, and can even chew through thin plastic or cardboard food containers. Make sure to clean your floors regularly by sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming. Wipe down countertops and stoves each night. Wash dishes nightly and empty the garbage regularly. Store food in plastic or glass containers rather than cardboard boxes.
Paper and Cardboard
One of the main things roaches eat are fibrous, organic materials found in paper and cardboard. Roaches love to feed on cardboard storage boxes that go undisturbed for long periods of time in attics, garages, and basements. Declutter as much as possible, getting rid of old boxes, newspapers, and magazines. Try to use plastic storage containers rather than cardboard boxes when possible.
Roaches don’t just get their food and water from humans. They are notorious for hijacking pet food and water bowls, especially at night, in their quest for survival. Try to feed your pets multiple times throughout the day rather than once at night. Don’t leave pet food or water bowls out overnight. Store pet food in airtight plastic containers rather than pet food bags. Clean up any spilled pet food and water, especially at night.
If your neighbors have a problem with cockroaches, there is a good chance you’ll end up with them, as well. This is especially true for apartments and other attached homes but can also occur with single family homes that are in close proximity to each other. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent your neighbors from getting an infestation; but you can take the above preventative steps and schedule routine pest control for your home to help keep them away.
Roaches can be extremely difficult to control and eliminate once they have established themselves in your home. If you have a problem with cockroaches or any other pests, contact a reliable pest control company who can identify the type of pest you are dealing with and provide you with an appropriate treatment and prevention plan.
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Although cockroaches are considered a year-round pest, their populations swell in the summertime. Particularly in the southeast, roaches cause problems for both residential and commercial properties during these hot summer months. Cockroaches are hardy pests that are highly adaptable to a variety of conditions. They particularly thrive in warm, humid environments, which are readily available in the hot, muggy summer heat. Infestations are more likely in the summertime because this increase in temperature spurs them to feed and reproduce at a much faster rate. When the temperature gets too hot, even roaches that usually stay outdoors will make their way into your home or business in search of food, water, and shelter.
How can you prevent a cockroach infestation this summer? Check out these tips to prevent cockroaches from taking over your home.
1. Clean It Up
Roaches will come indoors in search of food and water. Eliminating their food source is one way to discourage them from coming into your home. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight; wash them and put them away after each meal. Clean up any crumbs or spills immediately. Wipe up any grease from the stovetop and other appliances. Seal food, including pet food, in airtight containers. Mop and vacuum on a regular basis. Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight. Take out the garbage before going to bed. Use garbage cans with tight fitting lids. Wipe out the trashcan regularly. Make sure to check behind cabinets and appliances for spills/crumbs. Roaches like these areas because of the warmth the appliances give off combined with the likelihood of spilled food.
2. Clear It Out
Roaches hide out during the day so they will seek out dark, protected areas to hole up in until nightfall. Declutter your home and get rid of anything they can use for shelter. Roaches also love to breed in cardboard and newspaper. Recycle any old newspapers and get rid of unused cardboard boxes. Try to use plastic storage containers rather than cardboard boxes if possible.
3. Seal Them Out
Roaches are very creative when it comes to finding ways into your home. A good rule of thumb is if you can see daylight around a door or window, roaches can get in. Inspect at least once a year around windows and doors, along foundations and the roof, attic and crawlspace vents, and around holes used for electric, gas, and plumbing lines. Seal any cracks and holes you find. Use caulk to seal smaller holes, steel wool or foam for larger holes, and fine wire mesh on chimneys and attic vents.
4. Dry It Out
Roaches (along with many other pests) are attracted to moisture because they need water to survive. Regularly inspect your home for any leaking faucets, sinks, or pipes and check refrigerators and appliances to make sure they aren’t producing excess moisture. Get any known leaks or plumbing issues fixed immediately.
5. Call A Pro
Prevention can only get you so far when it comes to keeping roaches out. Nothing eliminates a pest as well as professional service. If you suspect you have a roach infestation, contact a pest control company who can thoroughly inspect your home to help identify which type of cockroach you are dealing with, help identify any potential areas where they are getting in, provide you with the most up-to-date elimination and control methods, and help you with a prevention plan going forward.
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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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