South Florida Pest Control: Cockroaches
Spotting a roach inside your home is always alarming! These creatures are known to be resilient and adaptable, surviving in the harshest temperatures and conditions. While we don’t often see temperatures drop too much, we still experience colder weather in Golden Gate, Florida. Your home can provide a warm environment for roaches, food sources, and moisture for survival. We break down three easy preventative measures you can place to avoid a roach infestation below.
Avoid Leaving Dirty Dishes
The kitchen is a paradise for roaches! These pests will often utilize your dish rack, sink, trash can, and countertops to find a food source. Often, what attracts them to this area are the items left overnight. Leaving dirty dishes and food scraps will attract these pests to various kitchen areas. When dirty dishes are left out, it’s an invitation for roaches to go into the sink, roam on the countertops, and eat food not properly stored. This can all lead to contamination and pose a health threat to your family. Wash your dishes and put them away after each meal. Likewise, check underneath your dining table and cooking area for leftover food crumbs and spills, and clean them up as soon as possible.
Properly Store Food
Cockroaches will go to great lengths to find food, often raiding your pantries and cabinets if they have a chance. Once they’ve gained access and food is available, they’ll eat and contaminate it. It’s important to properly seal all the food in your home to prevent them from accessing it. Look to store grains, cereals, and sweets in plastic or glass containers with a tightly sealed lid. If you have bags of chips and other snacks, secure them with a chip clip or utilize plastic bags for the leftovers.
Seal Window, Doors, & Entry Points
Roaches can fit into the smallest hole or opening to get inside a home. A great way to spot any opening from inside is by seeing daylight around a door or window. Don’t forget to inspect the outside of your home for any entry points roaches could enter through, such as the foundation, roof, attic, and crawlspace. If you spot these openings, seal them with caulk, steel wool, or foam, depending on the size of the gap or hole.
If you’ve placed DIY roach preventative measures and you’re still dealing with these pests, it could be time to call in some extra help. Consider contacting your local South Florida pest control company to provide you with a thorough inspection of your home. These professionals will be able to recommend prevention and treatment options customized to your home.
Cockroaches have a negative connotation in the minds of the general public, but this is not always the case. Cockroaches are attracted to a tidy home because of the availability of food, water, and shelter. Although the sight of even a single cockroach in your home is likely to cause some level of alarm, it is unlikely that this lone insect is indicative of a widespread problem. Roaches are social pests that can quickly multiply. It’s likely that if you see one, there are others hiding in the shadows or in some crevices, and the situation could quickly escalate into a full-blown infestation.
Humans should avoid coming into contact with cockroaches because the bacteria they carry on their bodies and feet can spread to any surface they walk across. They also have the potential to bring on allergic reactions and asthma attacks. A cockroach infestation might exist even if you don’t spot any of the insects yourself. Signs of cockroaches include dead bodies, small, brown, oval-shaped eggs or eggshells, dark, powdery droppings that resemble ground coffee, and a persistent musty odor.
Preventative measures are the most effective means of cockroach control. Cockroach prevention can be accomplished by:
The crumbs and dirt that humans leave behind are a magnet for roaches. After each meal, clean the dishes and put them away. Get rid of the crumbs and mop up the spills right away. Get rid of the trash every night. Remove all grease from cooking surfaces. Put perishables in containers that can’t be opened easily. Make regular use of a broom, mop, and vacuum. Do not leave pet supplies out overnight.
Remove potential hiding spots for roaches by clearing away any clutter. Keep rooms decluttered, especially those that aren’t used frequently, and maintain a regular dusting schedule. Skip the cardboard boxes and opt instead for plastic containers with secure lids. Roaches thrive in cardboard and newspaper, so get rid of it.
Seal Them Out
Roaches can enter homes through crevices and under doors. By locating these entry points and sealing them, you can prevent cockroaches and other pests from entering your home. The areas around the windows and doors, the foundation and the roof, the attic and the crawlspace vents, and the openings for the utility and plumbing lines should all be thoroughly inspected. Caulk can be used to fill in tiny cracks and holes. Use steel wool and foam to seal larger holes, especially those near pipes. It is possible to use fine mesh wire to create a seal around roof vents and chimneys.
Moisture is essential for the survival of roaches and most other pests. For this reason, roaches can be lured into your home by the presence of standing water or an abundance of moisture. Make it a habit to routinely check for leaks in the plumbing system and to fix any you find. Inspect for leaks and excess moisture around the faucets, sinks, refrigerator, and other appliances in the home. Extra moisture in homes often originates in the crawl space. If you’re worried about moisture under your house, an enclosed crawlspace may be the answer.
Call The Professionals
It can be very challenging to get rid of a cockroach infestation. In the fight against roaches, prevention can only go so far. Get in touch with a professional pest control company if you think you have an infestation so they can help you figure out what kind of roaches you have, where they are getting in, and what they are eating, and then create a customized plan for cockroach control and elimination in the future.
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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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It’s never ideal to encounter cockroaches in your home. If you do, it’s best to know what types of cockroaches you’re dealing with to help determine the best way to eliminate them. Failing to remove these pests can lead to unpleasant outcomes, like allergies, that can potentially increase your chances of getting asthma.
We have broken down the three most common cockroaches found in the south and how to keep them away; let’s check it out!
This large out-of-the-house infesting roach can get up to 1.5 inches in length. These roaches develop wings towards the end of their life cycle, with males having some longer than their bodies. You can usually identify them by the yellow band located behind their head.
The American cockroach can typically be found where food is abundant. They also prefer drains that aren’t used as often. In the wild, they prefer dark or damp wood piles.
One of the most common species found worldwide, the German cockroach is generally light to dark brown and has two stripes near the back of its head. This species does have wings. They prefer dark, moist places. Since they don’t do well in the cold, they thrive in the southern climate.
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.
- Focus on the Kitchen: Clean up any spills or crumbs immediately and take out the trash regularly.
- Declutter: Remove old newspapers, utilize plastic containers over cardboard, and make sure clothing isn’t piled on the floor.
- Limit Moisture: Roaches need water to survive. Be sure to fix dripping faucets and leaky pipes. If you have a basement, employ a dehumidifier to take care of any moisture. Also, consider getting your crawlspace enclosed to ensure no moisture is found.
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.
American cockroaches are a major household pest. Also known as water bugs and palmetto bugs, these pests are the largest of the cockroaches that infest homes. American cockroaches will make their way indoors in search of food and water. Their diet consists of leaves, wood particles, algae, fungi, small insects, food scraps, crumbs, and pet food. They can spread diseases and contaminate any surfaces they touch. They are also known to cause allergies and trigger asthma. These roaches will pick up germs on their legs and spread them to any surfaces they touch. They are known carriers of pathogens that cause diarrhea, cholera, leprosy, dysentery, plague, typhoid fever, and several viruses like poliomyelitis.
The first step in cockroach prevention is identifying the type of cockroach you are dealing with. Once that is determined, you can implement our favorite prevention tips to keep them from infesting your home.
American roaches are reddish-in color with a yellow band on the back of their heads. They range in size from 1-1/4″ to 2-1/8″ long, with some even reaching lengths of 3″. They have oval shaped bodies with 6 legs and a set of antennae. Despite their name, these cockroaches are found worldwide. Males and females both have wings and they can fly short distances. They can bite, but they rarely do. They normally live outdoors but will come inside looking for food and water. Outdoors they are commonly found in flower beds, trees, and under rocks. They are also commonly found in sewer systems. Inside the home they can be found in laundry rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and crawlspaces.
Signs of an Infestation
Learning how to spot signs of an roach infestation is critical to getting it under control. The most common sign is seeing the presence of cockroaches in your home. They will often flee to dark spaces when they’ve been discovered. They also leave behind droppings in the areas where they inhabit. These droppings have blunt ends and ridges on the sides and are often mistaken for mouse droppings. American cockroaches will also leave egg capsules behind. These are dark colored, about 8 mm long, and are often glued to surfaces near food sources. Finally, roaches emit a pheromone that gives off a musty odor. Smelling this in your home is another indication there is a cockroach infestation inside.
American roaches are highly resilient pests. They have evolved several adaptations over time that give them survival skills that make them difficult to eradicate. They can even survive up to a week without their heads! You can prevent cockroaches by:
- Inspecting your home to identify openings they can use to get into your home.
- Look for cracks in walls, gaps around electrical sockets, and bathroom and sink drains.
- Seal these openings with silicone-based caulk.
- Seal around doors and windows with weatherstripping.
- Keeping your home clean and sanitary.
- Keep counters sinks, floors, and tables clean and crumb-free.
- Clean up any spills immediately.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, especially overnight.
- Store food in airtight containers.
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight.
- Vacuum at least once per week.
- Ventilate crawlspaces to prevent moisture.
- Run water periodically in bathrooms to keep u-traps full.
If you have a problem with roaches in your home, contact your local pest control company who can identify what kind of roaches you have, how they are getting in, and the best treatment and ongoing prevention plan for your home.
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