American Cockroaches: How To Identify and Prevent

American Cockroaches: How To Identify and Prevent

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.

Identification

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.

Prevention

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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Dealing with Cockroaches in Pompano Beach

Dealing with Cockroaches in Pompano Beach

Pompano Beach Pest Control: Roach Prevention Tips

Cockroaches are sneaky pests, infesting our kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, and more! These household pests are highly adaptable and can live in a variety of conditions, but their populations swell and thrive in the summertime. In Pompano Beach, our temperatures are warm practically year-round, making it highly likely to see roaches roaming around looking for a food source. Check out our top do-it-yourself roach prevention tips to keep them from taking over your home.

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

The main reason roaches enter homes is to search for water and food. By eliminating these sources for them, you lessen the chance that you will come across these pests in your kitchen! After each meal, clean up your kitchen as much as possible. Don’t leave your dirty dishes in the sink overnight; instead, wash and put them away after each meal. If there are crumbs leftover, clean them from all surfaces and floors. Don’t forget to wipe grease from your stovetop and other appliances after cooking too. Take out your garbage before going to bed, placing it in cans with tight-fitting lids.

Seal Your Home

Roaches are small, fitting into the smallest hole or gap to access your home. If you can see daylight around a door or window, roaches can use it to enter. Make it a habit to check around your windows, doors, foundation, roof, attic, and even crawlspace vents for holes or gaps. Seal any openings you find with caulk or utilize steel wool or foam for larger holes.

Remove Moisture

Roaches need water to survive, seeking it out in our basements and bathrooms. Any leak or plumbing issue allows these pests to infest. Check the inside of your home for leaky faucets, sinks, refrigerators, or other appliances and repair them immediately. Crawlspaces are known to produce excessive moisture, attracting roaches, termites, and rodents. Consider enclosing your crawlspace to help reduce moisture and keep these pests away.

If you’ve exhausted your DIY roach prevention measures and are still seeing these pests, contact your local Pompano Beach pest control company for help. These professionals will provide you with a thorough inspection, identify points of entry, and provide the most up-to-date treatment and prevention options.

 

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How Do Cockroaches Get Into the House?

How Do Cockroaches Get Into the House?

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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How Common is the American Cockroach?

How Common is the American Cockroach?

There’s one pest that every homeowner would rather not see inside their home – cockroaches. There are many distinct species of cockroaches, and each has their own unique characteristics. There are two popular types of cockroaches in the southeastern part of the US, but the American Cockroach is the largest and one of the most common out of the two. Here is a breakdown of the American cockroach and how to decide your plan of action to remove them from your home.  

What is an American Cockroach? 

The American cockroach is a major pest in the United States and is the largest of the home-infesting roaches. They are commonly known as the water bug, the Bombay canary, or the palmetto bug. This specific species is not native to United States, despite its name. They are typically reddish-brown with a yellowish figure eight pattern on the back of their head. They are oval shaped and range from 1 1/4″ to 2 1/8” in length.  

Where are They Found?  

American cockroaches are typically found outside, but it is not uncommon to find them indoors. During the summer months they can be found outside in areas like flowerbeds and underneath mulch piles. They will typically move indoors when they experience a notable change in the weather or food shortage. They prefer warm, moist, and dark environments such as basements or crawlspaces. These pests can enter structures through the sewer system, via human belongings, or by mass migration from other structures.  

Are They a Threat? 

The presence of American cockroaches in a home can pose a serious threat to your health. Cockroaches have been known to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. Coli and Salmonella, along with different types of parasitic worms and other kinds of human pathogens. They have also been known to elicit year-round allergic reactions and asthma attacks due to their saliva, urine, and fecal droppings.  

How Can I Prevent Them?  

There are many ways to prevent roaches from entering your home. Here are some of our favorite ways to keep them out.  

  • Always keep your home clean and sanitary. Be sure to not let dirty dishes pile up in your sink and to clean up spills as soon as possible.  
  • Vacuum at least once a week to help remove food particles. 
  • Vent your crawl space to prevent moisture build up.  
  • Run water periodically in spare bathrooms to keep u-traps filled so that roaches can’t make an appearance.  

Finding these pests in your home can be quite alarming. Implementing cockroach prevention measures such as fixing leaks, sealing off entry points, and keeping kitchen and bathrooms clean will help keep these pests out. If this happens despite your best efforts at prevention, consider contacting a professional local pest control company that can help identify your pest, locate points of entry, and provide a prevention plan for your property to help keep roaches out. 

Do Roaches Die Off In Winter?

Do Roaches Die Off In Winter?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. Emptying your trashcans often and keeping them clean.
  2. Cleaning up crumbs from counters and floors daily, including spilled pet food.
  3. Sweeping daily.
  4. Vacuuming frequently.
  5. Making sure food is not left in sink strainers.
  6. Running the garbage disposal frequently.
  7. Keeping food (including pet food) sealed in airtight containers.
  8. Not leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
  9. Keeping appliances clean of food and grease.
  10. Cleaning out clutter in your garage and attic, especially cardboard.
  11. Using plastic storage boxes rather than cardboard when possible.
  12. Sealing entrances around utility pipes.
  13. Ventilating crawlspaces to prevent moisture.
  14. Storing soap out of reach.
  15. Not leaving pet food out in bowls overnight.
  16. Drying all sinks, tubs, and showers before bed each night.
  17. Using a dehumidifier in your home.
  18. 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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