Most people equate cockroaches with dirty homes but this isn’t always the case. What attracts cockroaches to a clean house is food, water, and warmth. While the presence of one cockroach in your home can be enough to send you into a panic, one roach doesn’t necessarily mean you have a full blown infestation. Roaches are social pests, however, and reproduce quickly. If you spot one, odds are there are a few others lurking nearby, in dark corners or cracks and crevices and they could be fast on their way to a full blown infestation.
Cockroaches are dangerous to humans – they carry bacteria on their bodies and their feet, contaminating any surfaces they come into contact with. They can also trigger allergies and asthma. Besides seeing a live bug, how do you know you could have a cockroach problem? Signs of cockroaches in your home include dead bodies; eggs or eggshells (which are small, brown and oval-shaped); droppings (which are dark and powdery like ground coffee); and a strong, musty odor that doesn’t go away.
The best method of roach control is to be proactive in preventing them. Prevent cockroaches by:
1. Cleaning Thoroughly.
Roaches are attracted to dirt and crumbs as a source of food Make sure to always wash dishes after a meal and put them away. Clean up any crumbs and spills immediately. Take out the garbage before going to bed. Clean any grease from your stovetop. Keep food sealed in airtight containers. Sweep, mop, and vacuum on a regular basis. Don’t leave pet food, treats, and water out overnight.
2. Decluttering Your Home
Clearing out clutter gets rid of places roaches can use to hide. Keep rooms clutter free and dusted often. Use plastic storage bins with lockable lids versus cardboard boxes. Eliminate newspapers and cardboard altogether as roaches love to breed in these materials.
3. Sealing Your Home Up
Roaches get into homes under doors and through cracks. Identifying these and sealing them up helps eliminate points of entry for cockroaches and other pests. Thoroughly inspect around windows and doors, along foundations and the roof, in attics and crawlspace vents, and around holes used for utility and plumbing lines. For small holes and cracks, use caulk to seal them. For larger holes, especially around pipes, use steel wool and foam to seal. Fine mesh wire can be used to seal around attic vents and chimneys.
4. Fixing Leaks
Roaches, like most pests, need water and moisture to survive. Therefore, standing water or excessive moisture can attract roaches to your home. Regularly inspect your plumbing for leaks and repair them immediately. Make sure to check faucets, sinks, refrigerators, and appliances for leaks and excessive moisture. Crawlspaces are also a common source of excess moisture in homes. Consider crawlspace enclosure to help minimize moisture under your home.
5. Calling A Professional
A cockroach infestation can be extremely difficult to control. Prevention can only go so far in the battle against roaches. If you suspect you have a problem with cockroaches, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify the type of roach you have, thoroughly inspect your home to identify points of entry or food sources, and help set you up with a comprehensive roach control treatment and prevention plan.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Honeybees & Their Importance
What To Do With A Squirrel in Your House
10 Common Spiders in Georgia
Turning A Yellow Lawn Green
Is Your CrawlSpace Effecting the Health of Your Home?
While they aren’t one of the most common cockroach species that are talked about, the brown banded cockroach (Supella longipalpa) can cause problematic infestations like their German and American counterparts. These roaches are one of the smallest species of invasive cockroaches with adults reaching lengths of about 11 to 14 mm. They are found throughout the United States. Brown banded cockroaches are named because of the light brown or tan double bands found on their bodies. These bands are found on the wings of adults and the bodies of the young. They are often confused with German cockroaches.
What attracts cockroaches is pretty simple: food, shelter, and water. These cockroaches need warm temperatures to survive and will often make their way into your home in search of food and shelter. They most often hitch a ride inside on infested furniture (where they often leave their egg casings), grocery items, deliveries, food products, and electronics. Once inside, they are commonly found in living areas where they have access to food supplies and hiding places. They tend to stay in drier locations that are at higher elevations, such as the upper cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms.
When you spot a cockroach in the house one of the first questions people ask is “are cockroaches dangerous?” The answer to that is yes, they can be. Brown banded roaches will feed on anything from trash and food crumbs to nylon stockings and glue. They are known to carry and spread 33 different bacteria, 6 different parasitic worms, and 7 kinds of human pathogens. They pick up these germs on the spines of their legs and bodies and spread them to any surface they touch. They are also known to trigger allergies and asthma in humans.
Once roaches have taken up residence in your home they can proliferate rapidly. They can be quite difficult to eliminate once they are there. The best way to handle roaches of any species is to prevent them from getting indoors in the first place. Check out these cockroach prevention tips:
- Properly Identify. The first step in preventing and treating cockroaches is to properly identify the species you are dealing with. Treatment techniques can vary by species. Brown banded cockroaches are not limited to high moisture areas like some other species are so a thorough inspection may be required to properly locate and identify them.
- Clean It Up. Brown banded cockroaches come indoors in search of food and shelter. Eliminating their food source will help deter them from their food search in your home. Vacuum often. Clean up crumbs and spills immediately. Wash dishes and put them away after meals instead of leaving them in the sink overnight. Store dry foods including pet food in airtight containers. Take the trash out regularly and use garbage cans with sealing lids.
- Seal Them Out. Roaches can also squeeze through openings smaller than 1/4″ in size. Seal all entrances around utility pipes and vents. Check for cracks in foundations and seal them also. Ventilate crawlspaces to prevent moisture buildup.
- Call A Professional. Roaches can be extremely difficult to get rid of on your own. If you suspect you have a cockroach infestation, contact a professional pest control company who can thoroughly inspect your home to properly identify the species of roach you are dealing with and help identify potential entry points into your home and then provide you with a comprehensive treatment and prevention plan to help eliminate existing infestations and prevent future ones.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Cockroaches: A Possible Allergy Trigger
Why Are Mosquitoes Inside My Home?
Mouse vs Rat: Can You Spot The Difference?
Getting Ready for Spring Lawn Care
10 Common Myths About Pest Control
Cockroaches carry many diseases and can cause several health issues in humans including food poisoning and can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. So where do roaches come from?
If you have a roach infestation in your home, there could be several reasons why. Roaches may have already been in your home before you moved in. Roaches are also very good hitchhikers and are easily transported from one place to another. They can get into your home in grocery bags, cardboard boxes, luggage, furniture, or appliances. They can also get in through the plumbing, sewers or drains. They can travel over from your neighbor’s home into yours, too.
But what attracts cockroaches if your house is clean? Like most pests, roaches are looking for three main things: food, shelter, and water. They are year-round pests and are incredibly resilient – making them difficult to control. Different species of cockroaches are attracted to and thrive in different environments.
German cockroaches are the most common indoor roaches. They prefer dark, warm, humid places near food and water, preferably in a temperature range of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You can usually find German roaches in kitchens, in cracks and crevices of cabinets, near sinks or appliances, and in food prep and storage areas. They can also be found in bathrooms when the roach infestation is heavy. Early detection and control of german roaches is extremely important as they can be very hard to get rid of.
Oriental roaches prefer dark, damp, cool habitats. Outdoors you can usually find them where there is an abundant supply of organic matter like mulch or wood chips, under patio bricks, or between the soil and your foundation. Once inside your home, they are often found in drains, basements, and crawlspaces. They can also be found near leaky water pipes, under sinks, refrigerators, floors, and washing machines.
Brown-banded roaches prefer warmer, drier places (greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit). They live in higher areas, usually at eye level or above, like your cabinets, pantries, closet shelves, behind pictures, in books, or under kitchen tables and chairs. They can also be found in warm areas such as near clocks, timers, TVs, and refrigerator motors.
American cockroaches are found in homes, restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores – anywhere food is prepped and stored. They prefer warm, moist environments and can often be found in boiler rooms, basements, around pipes and water heaters, and in drains and sewers.
Here are some tips to prevent roaches from infesting your home:
Clean up spilled crumbs and food immediately. Don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight. Throw away any food that is left out on the counter. Wipe down the surface of all food prep areas every night. Clean under your appliances and wipe down any that are on your counter. Make sure to clean underneath the refrigerator and stove, also. Rinse out milk jugs, juice cartons, and cans before throwing them away. Empty your garbage can every night and use garbage cans with tight fitting lids. Check kitchen drawers for any food debris and crumbs. Store food in airtight containers. Store pet food in airtight containers and elevate them off the floor. Don’t leave your pet’s food and water bowls out overnight. Roaches communicate through chemical pheromones they secrete as they move. Cardboard and paper are excellent absorbers of these pheromones. Replace cardboard boxes with plastic containers if possible. Don’t bring any cardboard boxes used for storage inside the home. Don’t store piles of newspapers – recycle them instead.
Carefully inspect the interior and exterior of your home. Seal any gaps or crevices you find, even the smallest ones. Roaches can squeeze through the tiniest openings to get into your home. Use weatherstripping around all entryways including doors and windows. Declutter as much as possible. Roaches can also get into your home through drainpipes. Use stoppers or metal baskets on all the drains in your sink and shower and make sure to keep your drains clean. Roaches will also hitch rides on firewood. Make sure to only bring in enough wood for one fire and don’t store any extra wood inside.
Most species of roaches prefer moist areas so eliminating water is key to helping prevent them. Remove any standing water in and around your home. Check for leaks and repair them promptly. Use caulk to seal gaps around your sink and tubs to keep water out of the walls. Don’t let water stand for long periods of time in plants and flowerbeds. Don’t leave your pet’s water bowls out overnight. Hang any wet towels and mats up to dry after using them. Keep your kitchen sponges dry and don’t store them on the counter.
Call The Professionals
Roaches can be incredibly difficult to control and eliminate. If you have a roach problem, contact a professional pest control company or schedule a free pest inspection now. A pest control technician can thoroughly inspect your home to identify not only where and how roaches are getting into your home, but also the specific type of roaches to better treat and eliminate them.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Why Are There so Many Millipedes in my House?
Is Your Hotel on the Bed Bug Registry?
Lawn Survival Tips for the Summer Heat
What Attracts Cockroaches to a Clean House?
Is Termite Protection Worth It?