Signs You Have a Cockroach Infestation
Unfortunately, cockroaches are among the most common pests in many homes. They are pests because of their filthy habits and bad smell. Within one year, a female cockroach and her first round of young can lead to an infestation of 800 cockroaches so if you have a cockroach infestation, it is actually easier to spot signs of their presence.
There are also a variety of ways cockroaches can enter your house. The most common are through cracks and crevices in walls and around doors or windows, as well as through plumbing, sewers and drains. Some cockroaches can also be easily transported from one location to another. So, if you’ve recently moved and are bringing cardboard boxes into your house, be sure to check them for cockroaches.
Cockroaches get into everything, multiply rapidly, and can survive for several months without food and up to two weeks without water. They are nocturnal, so are most active at night and generally hide throughout the day. If roaches are seen during the day, this could be a sign of a major infestation. Roaches are attracted to food and water that has been left out on the counter, greasy, dirty dishes in the sink, greasy spills, and food crumbs lying around.
Where might you find a cockroach home
Where a cockroach infestation can be found depends on the species of cockroach that has invaded your property and the ambient conditions in your area. Some species prefer warm and humid conditions, so these are more restricted in cooler climates, whilst others can tolerate cooler conditions.
Most cockroaches prefer moist, damp, humid places, so they are frequently found near leaky pipes under your kitchen or bathroom sinks and even areas near a wet bath mat on the bathroom floor. Some species such as Oriental cockroaches can survive in drier, cooler areas so check downpipes for cracks and crevices they might hide in, as well as damaged drain covers they could scuttle through. Because they can flatten their bodies to fit into narrow areas, cockroaches may also be found hiding beneath rubber mats, behind wallpaper and within wall cracks.
Cockroaches will be hidden in areas in or behind cupboards and cabinets, food packaging. Sometimes cockroaches can be found in the upper inside corner of cupboards, hanging upside down out of sight. They could also be around pipe work such as under sinks and behind dishwashers. These areas could provide moisture as well as shelter and are often the routes of infestation.
It’s important for your health and safety that you call a cockroach control company immediately if you see a cockroach infestation. You need to stop the cockroaches from multiplying and spreading to prevent any health risks that are associated with this unpleasant and unhygienic insect.
How to identify the signs of a cockroach infestation?
Cockroaches leave behind a dusting of black droppings that look like ground coffee, they are smaller than 1mm wide and come in varying lengths. Cockroaches eat pretty much anything from people food, dead skin cells to garbage, so they’ll produce feces wherever they’re hiding. Seeing roach droppings is one of the most common signs of a cockroach infestation. Roach feces can harbor more than 33 kinds of bacteria, so be cautious when cleaning them up. Wear gloves and a face mask, and use a vacuum to suck up loose feces before washing the surface with a disinfectant cleaner.
Cockroach smear marks
If there is water around cockroaches will produce an irregular brown shaped smear mark as they crawl around, or rest. Look for marks on horizontal surfaces at wall and floor junctions; this is where they are most active.
Cockroach eggs are contained inside egg cases that are known as oothecae. Each ootheca can contain 10 to 50 eggs. American and German cockroaches create brown coloured oothecae while the Oriental cockroach produces reddish-brown ones. Some species of roaches, such as the German cockroach keep their oothecae attached until just hours before the eggs hatch, but other species will attach an ootheca in a sheltered space several days before hatching of the nymphs occurs. Once the eggs hatch, the ootheca, nearly translucent casing, is left behind and sometimes visible behind furniture and in other dark hidden locations, such as the spaces between books.
As they grow in size from nymphs into an adult and progress through the various lifecycle stages into adulthood, cockroaches shed their skins 5-8 times. If cockroaches are present, you will likely see these shed skins of varying sizes around your home or business. Look for these shed skin in areas where you think they are living. Finding shed skins around your home is a definite indicator that cockroaches have been present but it does not necessarily mean there’s an active problem. The presence of skins and roach feces serve as antigens, and if inhaled, this foreign protein can trigger allergic and asthmatic reactions.
Cockroaches will eat nearly anything. They often leave behind chew marks and other signs of damage on items other than just food packaging. Look for signs of any unusual damage, cockroaches will also attack organic goods including books and leather.
Cockroaches emit unpleasant smells. Where they live and sleep cockroaches will defecate, this produces a pheromone that in turn attracts other cockroaches. For humans, it creates an unpleasant musty smell that lingers and will become more intense as the infestation grows. A single German cockroach can produce a noticeable odor on its own. The bodies of dead cockroaches will also cause odors, too as oleic acid is produced.
Usually, as cockroaches are nocturnal, you’d only see live cockroaches at night when it’s dark, so when you turn on a light you might see cockroaches scurrying around. German cockroaches need humidity and warmth and are often found around kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. They are also good at climbing, thanks to sticky pads on their feet, this means they can climb smooth, polished surfaces, such as metal and glass easily. Oriental cockroaches like cooler, damp conditions and are found in drains and basements, and, while they are not as agile as German cockroaches, they can climb surfaces such as rough brickwork.
Cockroaches mainly come out to eat at night and staying hidden during the daytime hours so if you see signs of a cockroach out and about while the sun is shining, you may have a bigger cockroach infestation.
How to get rid of a cockroach infestation
While surface sprays are useful in the prevention of cockroaches entering your home, here are a few more ways on how to get rid of cockroaches on your property without professional service:
Make sure your kitchen is clean
Wipe down your counters, put all food in secured containers, including pet food, and take the garbage out regularly, particularly when it has food debris. You should also clean small appliances, like toasters, that may collect crumbs, and avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink, especially overnight. Store all your food in airtight containers.
Get rid of any sources of moisture
This means fixing leaking or dripping faucets and properly sealing around pipes. Clean out your drains and garbage disposal as needed.
Check around sinks and drains for leaks and contact a specialist if you need any large leaks in piping to be professionally sealed.
Seal cracks and crevices
Make sure to seal up any entry points between walls or tiles, around windows and doors, crawl space vents and around holes used for electric, gas and plumbing lines. The roaches will be forced out of their dark hiding places and into the open where they won’t be able to survive for long.
Get rid of any cardboard boxes
Cardboard boxes are common breeding spots for cockroaches as well as being a reliable food source. Recycling or disposing of cardboard boxes is a good way to deter cockroaches from using them as food or reproduction grounds.
Use Sticky Traps or cockroach baits
You can find the sticky traps, gel baits and chemical baits available at your local store.
Use Boric Acid, Diatomaceous earth and Baking Soda
Boric acid is one of the best ways to kill cockroaches in your home.
Use Insect Growth Regulators to prevent cockroach infestations
IGRs can control many types of insects including fleas, cockroaches and mosquitos. IGRs use a synthetic pheromone to disrupt the lifecycle of insects in the egg and larvae state. It basically acts as a “birth control” for cockroaches and keeps cockroach populations under control by preventing molting and reproductive development.
Much like any animal on the planet there are certain smells that cockroaches don’t like so here are a few natural pest control solutions you can either make into a spray or have a scented candle with these smells:
- Bay Leaves
Call a professional pest control company
If you have noticed any of the signs above, it’s a good time to call in your local professional cockroach control services and have them come out to deal with your infestation quickly, using the very latest treatment and technology they will be able to deal with any issues promptly and efficiently. Where an infestation can be found will depend on the species of cockroach that has invaded your home and the conditions your home provides, some live in cooler climates, while others prefer warmer conditions. Your pest control expert will be able to identify and recommend the best treatment for your infestation.
We’re here to help
Here at CPS we are trained to provide you with the best service and most efficient solutions to your pest problems. Call us at 1300 766 614 so we can help get rid of your cockroach infestation immediately.
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