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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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
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 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.
Roaches are often a source of confusion for a lot of homeowners. Where are they coming from? Why do I have them? Does it mean my house isn’t clean? How do I get rid of them and how do I prevent them? The answers to these questions largely depend on what kind of roaches you’re seeing. If you’re seeing large roaches, infrequently and at this time of the year, it’s most likely in the American Cockroach family. A more severe infestation is usually characterized by smaller roaches, seen frequently, usually in kitchens but often throughout the house in more severe cases. These roaches, German Cockroaches, are much harder to get rid of and often require a professional, monthly treatment by an exterminator. Find out more on German cockroach infestations here. For more on American roach prevention, keep reading.
It’s likely that you’re seeing these large roaches due to the changing of seasons, the abundance of rain, or from providing a food source to roaches, attracting them to your home. The good news: American cockroaches are easy to get rid of and prevent if the right pest control approach is taken.
Here are 5 things you can do at home to get rid of roaches and prevent them from coming back:
1. Keep floors clean – sweep, vacuum and mop often.
2. Don’t leave food out. Keep counter tops, floors, stovetops, & microwaves clean of debris and seal any leftover food in containers, including pet food.
3. Take out the trash. Leaving garbage in and around your home will definitely attract all kinds of roaches. Take it out often and keep it away from your home’s exterior.
4. Seal gaps, holes, cracks and crevices. If you’re not sure how to find these, contact your local pest control company. A professional will inspect your home and identify & correct potential entry points.
5. Treat. In order to get rid of existing roach infestations, an eco-friendly pest control treatment is recommended, consisting of interior and exterior applications – targeted for American roach elimination – and an ongoing prevention program which usually involves quarterly exterior treatments.
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Could Roaches Be Used to Cure Human Diseases?
Cockroaches serve no other purpose than to gross us out, right? Not anymore! New research was conducted using roaches as a guinea pig for new technology. Scientists injected the roaches with nanobots, tiny robots that can be programed to carry out a task. This is the first step towards using nanobots to help cure human diseases sometime in the future. The nanobots were labeled with a fluorescent marker so they would glow to let the researchers track their progress, and they performed exactly as they should. The nanobots look like DNA, which is how it was injected into the roaches, and then it unfolded and moved to the target area as programmed.
Advances in modern science and medicine aside, roaches are still high on the gross out meter for most people.
Does this new science help your roach “gross out meter”?
Now that it’s pollen season, many people are suffering sneezing, coughing and discomfort due to an allergy to different pollen types. Though many people know that this triggers allergies within them, they may not know that various household pests can also contribute to allergies. Additionally, those who have asthma may suffer to pests such as cockroaches or mice being in home because these pests can spread strong asthma triggers.
PestWorld.org provides facts about pests and asthma, as well as a ‘First Responder PSA’ that highlights the risk that household pests can put us at when we are indoors. For instance, 63% of American homes contain allergens from cockroaches, but if the home is located in an urban area, it can even reach 98%! Additionally, mice can spread asthma triggers found in 82% of homes. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, patients with cockroach allergies develop acute asthma attacks after inhaling cockroach allergens. Allergens can come from not only the actual body of the pest, but also its saliva and feces.
If you are experiencing minor symptoms such as, the AAFA recommends the use of antihistamines, decongestants and anti-inflammatory medications. An effective means to reduce the chance of exposure to pest allergens is using regular treatment through a pest control company. Northwest Exterminating offers services that eliminates and reduces the occurrence of a wide array of household pests including mice and cockroaches.