It’s quite common to see an influx of roaches after a heavy rain. American cockroaches and Oriental cockroaches are commonly found outdoors. Heavy rain flushes them out of sewers and other hiding spots and sends them scurrying for a dry place to escape, often inside your home. Once inside, they’ll seek out dark, warm, moist hiding spots to take refuge. Cockoaches can be quite a problem when they infest your home. They contaminate any surfaces they touch and can trigger allergies and asthma. What can you do to keep these pests out of your home after a rain? Here are 10 roach prevention tips to utilize this season.
- Install screen drains in sinks and tubs.
- Keep your water traps full.
- Don’t leave any food out overnight, including pet food.
- Store food in sealed containers.
- Don’t leave dishes out overnight.
- Clean out sink drains regularly.
- Take the trash out often.
- Regularly inspect pipes to clear any blockages and help prevent leaks and/or bursts.
- Keep gutters clear of debris.
- Ensure weatherstripping is used on doors and windows.
If you implement these roach prevention tips and still have a problem with roaches or any other household pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
Roaches are one of the most common household pests. These pests are resilient, adapting to just about any environment. When you spot one cockroach, there are usually several more hidden out of sight. Cockroaches carry diseases, contaminate surfaces they come into contact with, and can trigger allergies and asthma. They are extremely difficult to get rid of once an infestation is established, both due to their resiliency and their ability to reproduce quickly and often. So what do you do if you see roaches in your home?
The first step is to identify what type of roach you are dealing with. Some of the most common cockroaches found in homes in the United States are American roaches, German roaches, and Oriental roaches. The type of roach you have and the size of the infestation are both determining factors in the course of treatment.
The second step is to contact the professionals. Because roaches are so difficult to get rid of, the services of a professional pest control company are beneficial. A technician will come out and give your home a thorough inspection to help determine the type and size of the infestation to set up a custom treatment plan that targets only the intended pests. They will also set you up with ongoing pest control in the future.
The final step is ongoing prevention to keep the roaches from coming back. Cockroaches come into your home in search of food and water. They usually thrive in warm, moist environments. Help keep them out by:
- Repairing leaky faucets
- Sealing pipes
- Wiping down countertops and appliances
- Storing food in containers
- Emptying garbage
- Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming regularly
- Carefully inspecting boxes, bags, appliances, and furniture before bringing it indoors
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Oriental cockroaches are one of the larger species of roaches. Despite their name, they are thought to have originated in Africa. They are also known as waterbugs (because of their habitats) and black beetle cockroaches (because of their appearance). Like any other roach species, these cockroaches can spread diseases to humans, contaminate surfaces in your home, and trigger allergies and asthma.
Although they are active year-round, oriental roaches are more prevalent in the warmer months. They are often found crawling around toilets, pipes, and sinks. In fact, once indoors they are known to live in rarely used sink drains, garbage disposals, under cabinets with plumbing, and in bathroom voids. Outdoors they are found in flower beds, under mulch, in woodpiles, or anywhere there is moisture. They get into your home under doors, gaps in siding, through pipes, sewers, and drains.
Oriental cockroaches are smooth and shiny black in appearance. They grow to about 1″ in length. Males are smaller than females and have wings. Females are much larger with no wings. Although the males have wings, they are unable to fly.
Once you’ve identified the oriental cockroach, the next question is why are they in your house? Oriental cockroaches are attracted to moisture; in fact, they depend on it for survival. If you’re seeing oriental cockroaches, odds are you have excessive moisture somewhere in your home. This could be a leaky pipe or faucet, leaky roof, moisture-laden crawlspace, clogged gutters, standing water in your yard, overpopulated flowerbeds that hold moisture, etc.
To get rid of these pests, check out these oriental cockroach prevention tips:
- Vacuum often and sweep up crumbs.
- Keep kitchens and bathrooms clean.
- Use a dehumidifier, especially in crawlspaces, to help control moisture.
- Seal entry points with a silicone-based caulk.
- Consider crawlspace enclosure.
- Eliminate standing water on your property.
- Divert water away from foundations with downspouts and splash blocks.
- Keep gutters clean or consider installing gutter guards.
- Repair any leaks immediately.
If you have a problem with oriental cockroaches or other pests, contact your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation.
Roaches are resilient pests that have survived millions of years on Earth. Cockroaches are naturally tropical pests, preferring warm, humid habitats to thrive in. In fact, most species of roaches will die off at temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Roaches have learned to adapt and are expert overwintering pests, making their way indoors to avoid exposure to cold temperatures and survive the winter.
There are four species of cockroaches in the United States that can survive year-round with the appropriate overwintering environment.
- American Cockroach: The American cockroach usually lives outdoors but will come inside during the winter months. These roaches like water and are often found hiding out in bathrooms and laundry rooms. If they overwinter outside they can be found in decaying trees and woodpiles.
- German Cockroach: The German cockroach is found throughout the United States. They commonly invade homes and can be difficult to eliminate once an infestation is established. They reproduce quickly, exploding their populations in your house. German roaches can survive winter as long as they find a humid environment and a food source (such as in your kitchen or under your appliances).
- Oriental Cockroach: The Oriental cockroach is an indoor species but they will venture outside in search of food. These roaches must have water to survive and can often be found in basements, crawlspaces, and floor drains. If they overwinter outdoors they will hide out in rock walls or other areas that offer shelter and warmth. Oriental roaches only reproduce in the winter so their survival through the colder months is critical. They can tolerate lower temperatures than most other species.
- Brown-Banded Cockroach: The brown-banded cockroach is found throughout the United States but is not as common as their German counterparts. These roaches are attracted to heat and can be found in near appliances, heaters, or anything else with an electric motor. They are often found in kitchens and prefer to hide out in high cabinets.
To answer the question above, roaches don’t necessarily die off in the winter. As long as they can find a warm place to shelter with a food source they can survive and reproduce year-round. The next question to ask yourself is, “How are they getting into my home?” Roaches can squeeze through openings as small as 3/16″ and will use any opening they find in your walls, siding, baseboards, and ceilings to get inside. Roaches are also notorious hitchhikers and will catch a ride indoors on bags, boxes, firewood, furniture, and appliances.
Keep roaches out this winter by:
- Emptying your trashcans often and keeping them clean.
- Cleaning up crumbs from counters and floors daily, including spilled pet food.
- Sweeping daily.
- Vacuuming frequently.
- Making sure food is not left in sink strainers.
- Running the garbage disposal frequently.
- Keeping food (including pet food) sealed in airtight containers.
- Not leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
- Keeping appliances clean of food and grease.
- Cleaning out clutter in your garage and attic, especially cardboard.
- Using plastic storage boxes rather than cardboard when possible.
- Sealing entrances around utility pipes.
- Ventilating crawlspaces to prevent moisture.
- Storing soap out of reach.
- Not leaving pet food out in bowls overnight.
- Drying all sinks, tubs, and showers before bed each night.
- Using a dehumidifier in your home.
- Carefully inspecting items before bringing them into your home.
If you have a problem with cockroaches or any other household pest, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation and treatment plan.
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The cockroach might just seem like a creepy, annoying nuisance, but it can cause more damage than expected. Cockroaches transmit over 30 different kinds of bacteria – E. Coli, Salmonella, and more. In addition to this, they can also trigger asthma and allergy attacks as their droppings, saliva and shed skin contain allergens that increase asthma symptoms, especially in children.
As one of the most common household pests, it’s important to keep roaches under control to lessen the effects they cause. Here we breakdown the types of cockroaches you could be seeing in your home and how you can prevent them in the future.
Types of Cockroaches
- American Cockroach: The largest of the house-infesting cockroaches, the American cockroach is found throughout the United States and worldwide. They are reddish-brown with a yellowish figure-eight pattern on the back of their head. They are often found in basements and sewers. These pests are attracted to moist surfaces and can also be found in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
- Brown-Banded Cockroach: This species first entered the U.S. in 1903 and is now found nationwide. The brown-banded cockroach got its name from the two light brown bands that appear across its wings. They prefer warmer, drier, and higher locations in a room and can be found mostly in cabinets and behind picture frames. This species will typically hide its egg cases in or underneath furniture.
- German Cockroach: The German cockroach is the most common species found worldwide and is found across the U.S. They prefer warm and humid spaces but are typically found in spaces where humans eat, such as kitchens. They can be identified by their light brown body with two dark brown stripes on their back.
- Oriental Cockroach: The Oriental cockroach exhibits a dark reddish-brown to shiny black color and is found in the northern regions of the United States. They are commonly found in sewers and enter homes through drains or door thresholds. This species is considered the dirtiest of all cockroaches due to the strong odor that they create.
- Seal Entrances: With cooler weather approaching, cockroaches are seeking warmer hiding places. Ensuring all openings in doors, windows, and foundations are sealed is the first step to take. Replace old weather-stripping and make sure there are no holes in window screens to help stop these intruders.
- Focus on the Kitchen: One of the most effective ways to prevent cockroaches is to begin pest-proofing in the kitchen. Clean up any spills or crumbs immediately and take the trash out regularly to prevent roaches from wanting to stay. The pantry can also be included by this – consider storing your food in sealed containers.
- Limit Moisture: Roaches need water to survive. Dripping faucets and leaky pipes will attract these pests inside your home. Look throughout the house for any loose pipes and seal them as soon as possible. To dry up areas in your basement, employ a dehumidifier to take care of that. If you have a crawlspace, consider enclosing your crawlspace to ensure no moisture is found.
- Declutter: Cockroaches like to find hiding places during the daytime, but by nightfall they emerge. Decluttering and cleaning out items to limit their hiding spaces may help in preventing them in the long run. Some ways to declutter include old newspapers, utilizing plastic containers over cardboard, and making sure clothing isn’t piled on the floor.
While prevention can help keep cockroaches away, sometimes it’s best to get a professional involved. A local pest control company will be able to inspect your home and provide you with the best treatment and prevention plan going forward.