Cockroach Control and About Cockroaches
When turning on a light, nightmare images of cockroaches commonly include hundreds of bugs scattering from a dirty floor. While this is accurate in extreme cases, it is possible to have a cockroach problem, even in well-kept and tidy homes. Cockroaches are pests that quietly invade homes and buildings. Because of their stealthy behavior and extreme resilience, cockroach control is essential in homes and workplaces.
Cockroaches exist throughout the world. Most species are beneficial to the environment. They play essential roles in the ecosystem. However, when cockroaches make their way into homes, they bring disease, parasites, and allergens. In addition, due to being nocturnal, they often go undetected. This makes them difficult to eradicate. Practicing cleanliness, avoiding clutter, and employing professionals experienced in cockroach control will keep your home cockroach free.
The Cockroach Lifecycle
The lifecycle of cockroaches consists of three stages; egg, nymph, and adult. First, females lay eggs in a bean-shaped casing called an ootheca, holding 16 -40 eggs each. After 1 to 3 months, the eggs hatch, and tiny nymphs emerge. During the nymph stage, the cockroaches will continue to grow. Next, they will shed their skin until they reach their adult stage as they grow. Once adults, some species will develop wings and be able to fly.
An important part of cockroach control is understanding their habitat and what attracts them. Cockroach colonies build their nests in warm moist areas. They look for nesting sites with food sources nearby. Since cockroaches feed on such a wide variety of food and organic material, there are few places they won’t go. Common cockroaches congregate in basements, bathrooms, drains, and kitchens. Cabinets, furniture, crevices in walls, and under door frames are also likely hiding places. Limiting their access to potential nesting and breeding sites is imperative to effective cockroach control.
There are approximately 4,500 species of cockroaches worldwide. Of these, 77 live in the U.S, and only four are common in the Pacific Northwest. These species include the American Cockroach, German Cockroach, Brown Banded Cockroach, and Oriental Cockroach.
The American Cockroach
At an average length of 1.5 inches, although they can grow up to 2 inches long, the American Cockroach is the largest cockroach homeowner’s battle. They are a reddish-brown color. Sometimes called a water bug, or palmetto bug, both males and female American cockroaches have wings and the ability to fly.
The Oriental Cockroach
Oriental Cockroaches are also known as waterbugs or black beetle cockroaches. They range in color from dark brownish-red to black. One of the larger cockroaches grows up to 1 inch in length. Females are larger in size than males. Males have short wings, while females do not have wings but instead have tiny wing-like pads that cover a small section of their body,
The Brown Banded Cockroach
Aptly named for the two light brown or tan bands that run across their dark brown bodies, the Brown Banded Cockroach averages ½ inch in length. Males are longer and thinner than females, with wings longer than their bodies. Females are shorter and rounder, with wings only reaching ¾ of the way down their bodies. This prevents them from being able to fly. Their small size and coloring aid in camouflage, making cockroach control difficult.
The German Cockroach
The most common cockroach found in homes is German cockroaches. In their adult stage, they are light brown with two darker stripes along their back. Nymphs also have parallel stripes but are darker brown. They are between ½ inch and ⅝ inch in size. Male German Cockroaches have a smaller, more slender body shape, while females are larger and rounder. Females can lay up to 40 eggs per ootheca, causing infestation numbers to multiply.
Pest Threat Level 8/10
The Health Risks of Cockroaches
Cockroaches carry and transmit a variety of diseases and parasites. They are scavengers who feed on human and animal excrement and spoiled food. When cockroaches move into human spaces and onto food, they deposit bacteria and pathogens. As a result, cockroaches may carry diarrhea, salmonella, typhoid fever, and other diseases. They also spread parasites, such as giardia. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Cockroach Allergy is another condition caused by cockroaches. Cockroach allergy can trigger asthma attacks and prominent allergy symptoms.
Signs Cockroaches Are Present
Because cockroaches are nocturnal, infestations are difficult to spot. So instead, look for the following signs to determine if you have a cockroach control problem.
- Droppings: An insect with a voracious appetite like the cockroach leaves behind a clear indication of their presence with abundant droppings. Because cockroach droppings are small in size, often resembling pepper, they are difficult to notice if you are not looking.
- Smell: Cockroaches communicate using pheromones. They use these pheromones to attract mates and signal the location of suitable nesting sites. Also, they excrete them in their droppings. Therefore, there may be a musty odor when cockroaches are present in large numbers.
- Eggs: Cockroaches lay their eggs in larger ootheca casings. Hatched ootheca scattered around breeding areas is another sign of a cockroach control problem.
- Damage: Leather, book bindings, and paper products are also a part of the cockroach diet. When other food is not readily available or infestations are large, you may notice damage to these materials.
- Live cockroaches: A sure sign of a cockroach control problem is sighting a live cockroach. They generally stay out of sight, but where you see one, many more are hiding.
Cockroach Control and Prevention
Primary defenses against cockroach infestations are hygiene, cleanliness, and limiting access. Eliminate food sources and breeding ground by cleaning surfaces. This removes food, organic matter, and excess dampness. Make sure to store food in airtight containers, including pet food. Clean dirty dishes and remove trash from tightly covered trash bins. Inspect pipes, sinks, and plumbing, repairing leaks and drips. Fully seal windows and doors to prevent cockroach entry. Fill and seal any crack in the foundation, walls, and floors. If cockroaches have made it into your home traps and bait are additional tools to aid in cockroach control. However, cockroaches are resilient and difficult pests to banish. Calling in professional help, like the cockroach control experts at Prime Pest Solutions, is your best option.