What Attracts Cockroaches to a Clean House?

What Attracts Cockroaches to a Clean House?

Take out the trash regularly; keep your house spotless; store your food in airtight containers: these are just a few of the things you can do to prevent pests from coming into your home. So what attracts cockroaches to a clean house? Cockroaches are extremely versatile pests. They have a very wide-ranging diet and will eat just about anything you can imagine. They have highly tuned water-finding senses and are experts at hiding. All of these adaptations allow them to survive in just about any environment. Roaches also pose health concerns to humans. They are known to carry diseases and can trigger allergies and asthma. They are also extremely hard to get rid of once you have cockroaches in the house. But how do cockroaches get in your clean house?

Location

Some areas are more prone to cockroaches than others. The southeastern United States, especially Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, are home to a large population of American cockroaches (also known as palmetto bugs). If you live in these areas you can expect to see these pests in your home despite cleaning on a regular basis. Unlike German cockroaches, American cockroaches aren’t associated with unsanitary conditions. They may enter your home through a gap in a window seal or through a door that is left open for a prolonged period of time.

Accessibility

Roaches come into your home in search of three things: food, shelter, and water. They have also developed the ability to use even the smallest of openings as an entryway into your house. They can come in through cracks in the exterior walls, dryer vents, or even the gaps between walls and floors. Perform a thorough evaluation of the exterior of your home and seal any entry points you find.

Moisture

Roaches need moisture to survive and this search for water will bring them into even the cleanest of homes. Leaky pipes and faucets are one of the most common attractants for cockroaches and is one of the main reasons you often see them in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. They will also hide out under refrigerators and air conditioning units to indulge in their condensation, and even drink from pets’ water bowls when left out overnight. Roaches love places that are dark and undisturbed so you can often find them in basements, in the dark corners of cabinets, and underneath large appliances, especially those that use water.

Food Sources

Roaches will seek out food sources wherever they can find them. Despite your best efforts to keep your kitchen spotless, these resilient pests will make do with just about anything to eat. In fact, they have been known to feast on cardboard, wallpaper paste, book bindings, grease, leather, soap, and even human hair. They can often be found hiding out in stacks of cardboard in your attic and garage, books that you’ve stored away for extended periods of time, and even behind pictures that have been hanging on the walls.

Forgotten Areas

While these areas may not be in need of repair or even in plain sight, they can attract roaches and need to be addressed to prevent roach infestations. Roaches have been known to hide out in the spaces between outside doors and floors. They can get into your home through window screens that aren’t flush with the frame or that have rips or tears in them. They can also get in around air conditioning units that don’t fit properly in windows, and into trash cans that aren’t cleaned regularly, even the ones in your bathrooms.

Landscaping

Roaches will come into your yard in search of the same things as your home: food, shelter, and water. You can harbor as many roaches in your yard as you do in your home. Any standing water in places like bird baths, flower pots, and gutters will attract cockroaches. Compost and wood piles provide food and shelter. Trash and recycling bins provide an excellent food source. Leaf litter, dense vegetation, and mulch or pine straw provides ideal hiding places.
Roaches are versatile pests that are extremely hard to get rid of once they get into your home. There are some roach prevention steps you can take to help keep them from invading your house:

  • Seal any cracks around your home.
  • Repair any water leaks.
  • Remove any sources of standing water.
  • Try not to overwater houseplants.
  • Wipe down your kitchen counters after every meal.
  • Put dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher or wash them immediately after using them instead of leaving them in the sink overnight.
  • Wipe down your stove after cooking.
  • Sweep daily and vacuum weekly.
  • Keep firewood and compost as far away from your home as possible.
  • Keep your grass and landscaping neat and tidy.

It can be frustrating to work hard at keeping your house clean and still have issues with roaches. If you have a roach problem or if you want to get a prevention program started before they become a problem, call a professional pest control company who can provide you with a customized pest control program using only the most innovative and advanced pest products and equipment available. Give us a call or request a free estimate to get started.

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Battling a German Roach Infestation

Battling a German Roach Infestation

Any type of pest infestation is cause for a headache and panic, but no infestation is more difficult and stress-inducing than that of a German cockroach. They amass inside homes in large numbers, making them difficult to contain.
There are plenty of questions homeowners have when dealing with a possible invasion: “How do I know if this is a German roach?”; “Why are they in my home?”; and “What can I do to get rid of them?” Let’s take a moment to answer these questions.

How do I know if this is a German roach?

Adult German Cockroach Nymph German Cockroach

Adult German Cockroach                                               Nymph German Cockroach

German cockroaches are among the smaller of the cockroach species, measuring anywhere between ½” – 5/8” in length. Oval-shaped and light brownish, almost tan, German cockroaches have two identifying, almost parallel, dark lines that run down their back just behind their head.

Why are they in my home?

German Cockroaches
German cockroaches are very good at hitchhiking and can make their way in to your home by way of grocery bags and cardboard boxes. They prefer dark, warm places where they can hide. While they can be found anywhere in a home, they are primarily found in bathrooms and kitchens.

What can I do to prevent or get rid of them?

Practicing good sanitation is the best prevention to a German roach infestation. Vacuuming often and looking throughout the home for possible entry points to seal are great preventative measures. A properly ventilated crawl space will help prevent the moisture that German roaches seek out. As always, if you suspect you have a German roach problem, contact your licensed pest professional to set up an inspection as soon as possible.

Rain & The Bugs It Brings

Rain & The Bugs It Brings

With pollen season in full swing, the rain is more than welcome in order to get some relief. However, when the rain has decided to overstay its welcome, it can lead to unwelcome visitors in your home and pests that overtake your yard.

rain and bugs

The Repeat Offenders:

Spiders/Ants/Roaches – Once their shelter is compromised, these pests will seek refuge in homes, gaining access through small cracks that lead from the exterior of your home. Once these pests find that your home provides an excellent food source and shelter from the outside, they will attempt to establish a permanent residence.

Mosquitoes – Excessive rain leads to more sites of standing water that are perfect for mosquitoes to use for breeding, leading to mosquitoes progressively taking over your yard.

The Occasional Invaders:

Millipedes/Earwigs/Silverfish/Crickets – These pests thrive outside as their main source of food is decaying vegetation. While they like moisture, excess rain will push them out of their hiding spots, and the high levels of moisture in your basement will be an appealing new home.

You can take the following steps to make sure these unwanted guests stop invading your home:

  • Seal off pest entry points
  • Move leaf piles, mulch piles and other vegetation away from home
  • Keep food sealed in tight containers
  • Eliminate sources of standing water (inside or outside)
  • Interior and exterior pest control treatments by a professional exterminator
  • Monthly mosquito treatments
Rain & The Bugs It Brings

Rain & The Bugs It Brings

With pollen season in full swing, the rain is more than welcome in order to get some relief. However, when the rain has decided to overstay its welcome, it can lead to unwelcome visitors in your home and pests that overtake your yard.
rain and bugs

The Repeat Offenders:

Spiders/Ants/Roaches – Once their shelter is compromised, these pests will seek refuge in homes, gaining access through small cracks that lead from the exterior of your home. Once these pests find that your home provides an excellent food source and shelter from the outside, they will attempt to establish a permanent residence.
Mosquitoes – Excessive rain leads to more sites of standing water that are perfect for mosquitoes to use for breeding, leading to mosquitoes progressively taking over your yard.

The Occasional Invaders:

Millipedes/Earwigs/Silverfish/Crickets – These pests thrive outside as their main source of food is decaying vegetation. While they like moisture, excess rain will push them out of their hiding spots, and the high levels of moisture in your basement will be an appealing new home.
You can take the following steps to make sure these unwanted guests stop invading your home:

  • Seal off pest entry points
  • Move leaf piles, mulch piles and other vegetation away from home
  • Keep food sealed in tight containers
  • Eliminate sources of standing water (inside or outside)
  • Interior and exterior pest control treatments by a professional exterminator
  • Monthly mosquito treatments
German Roaches vs American Roaches: What’s the Difference?

German Roaches vs American Roaches: What’s the Difference?

Roaches can vary significantly in size and color (some even fly!), so it can be difficult to know what kind of cockroach you’re dealing with. Identification is the first step in roach control since the type of roach will determine the best treatment methods. Here are the 2 most common cockroaches you’ll see in your home and tips for getting rid of and preventing them:

German Cockroaches

German roaches are one of the most common pest nuisances in residential structures, especially common in multi-unit apartment homes. They thrive in filth but even the cleanest homes can be at risk.

A german cockroach on a white background

What do they look like?

  • Brown with 2 longitudinal stripes running down the thorax
  • 1/2 to 5/8 inches long

Where do they live?

  • German cockroaches will live anywhere humans build heated structures
  • Usually found in kitchens in secluded areas (behind and under appliances, in cracks and crevices behind backslashes, at counter edges, behind and under cabinets, in void areas around plumbing, backs of drawer wells)
  • Will infest warm areas around appliance motors such as refrigerators and dishwashers

What are the risks?

  • German cockroaches will invade your home and leave fecal matter and other debris in and around food and food preparation areas
  • Can enter homes when boxes or products are shipped moved from one location to another
  • Reproduces at a high rate, completing a life cycle in 30 to 45 days
  • Produces 30-48 eggs at a time
  • Difficult to get rid of once infested

How do you get rid of them?

  • German roaches are most commonly treated inside a home with baits, sprays, or an aerosol product (baits preferred)
  • Roaches disperse the bait back into their refuge sites when they ingest it
  • Most have a secondary and even a tertiary killing effect, meaning roaches that die in the harborage site from a bait are cannibalized by their fellows, causing additional mortality
  • Sprays are applied to surfaces that roaches crawl across or into harborage areas
  • Often mixed with insect growth regulators (IGR) will reduce or eliminate egg production and cause mortality in immature forms of the German cockroach
  • Aerosols are referred to as crach and crevice treatments; forces roaches out of their harborage sites with a product that excite their nervous system (flushing agent)
  • Then sprayed directly with a contact product
  • Residual aerosols may be applied into harborage areas and onto surfaces where roaches crawl in the same manner as sprays (commonly sold as over the counter remedies for homeowners, but typically has a short life span)
  • Professional pest control is recommended

American Cockroaches (Palmetto Bugs)

American roaches, also known as palmetto bugs or waterbugs, are large, sometimes fly, and usually only come indoors in search of warmth, food or water.

An American Cockroach with a gray background

What do they look like?

  • Reddish brown in color and have a yellowish margin on their body
  • 1.5 to 2 inches in length
  • Largest cockroach in the U.S.

Where do they live?

  • American cockroaches usually lives in dark, damp areas such as sewers, storm drains, steam tunnels, and outdoors in landscaping and tree holes
  • Prefer warm, dark, humid environments in homes such as wall voids, crawl spaces, basements, utility rooms, or attics
  • Typically feed on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods

What are the risks?

  • Not commonly seen in homes
  • May move indoors during colder months seeking warmer temperatures and food through openings in the foundation

How do you get rid of them?

  • Granular baits in attics and crawl spaces
  • Dust in attic and crawl spaces
  • Perimeter spray treatments
  • Perimeter granular bait treatments
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