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.
Your home provides warmth, shelter, and food – three things roaches are in search of this winter season. These pests will easily sneak in and infest your home if there are no preventative measures in place. Check out our top 3 ways to prevent cockroaches from entering your home.
Declutter Your Home
During the day, roaches tend to hide in dark secluded areas until nightfall arrives. By decluttering your home, you eliminate the chance of these pests from hiding out inside and finding items to use for shelter, such as cardboard or newspapers. Instead of using cardboard boxes for storage, switch them out for plastic storage containers. Always recycle and get rid of any old newspapers and unused cardboard boxes.
Seal Up Your Home
If you can see daylight coming through the outside of a door or window, chances are that cockroaches can get in. Roaches can fit into the smallest cracks or crevices leading inside the home. It’s important to inspect the exterior of your home frequently, always looking along the foundation, roof, attic, or crawlspace vents. If a smaller gap or hole is found, seal them using caulk. For larger holes, use steel wool or foam and for chimneys and attic vents use fine wire mesh.
Dry Out Your Home
Moisture will always attract roaches since they need water to survive. It’s important to check your home for leaking faucets, sinks, pipes, and even your refrigerators and appliances. If you notice a leak, make sure you get it fixed immediately.
While prevention can help keep these pests away, sometimes it’s best to call a professional. A pest control company will be able to thoroughly inspect your home, identify the type of cockroach you have, and provide you with the best treatment and prevention plan moving forward.
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.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Preventing a Mosquito Infestation
When Should You Start Fall Lawn Care?
The Essentials of Crawlspace Moisture Barriers
3 Reasons Why You Need a Gutter Cleaning System