Cockroach Control - know what you are dealing with

Cockroaches are probably the most hated household pest and the very mention of their name is enough to give most people the creeps.  Unfortunately they are probably also the most common household pest in the USA.

So even if you don’t like them there is a good chance that at some point you will have a need for cockroach control.

The most common types of cockroach

There are 4 main species of pest cockroaches:

The German cockroach

The American cockroach

The brown-banded cockroach

The oriental cockroach

The most common type which will live anywhere but particularly likes dark, damp places

Sometimes know as the palmetto bug. These prefer to live where it is warm and damp or wet

These like to live in dry places off the floor such as behind pictures on walls or near electrical appliances where it is warmer

These prefer to live in cool damp secluded places

Cockroaches are nocturnal and they like to hide in cracks and crevices and close to food sources such as under cupboards and fridges in the kitchen.

They lay eggs which they carry around in pouches until just before they hatch. A German cockroach pouch will contain up to 30 eggs and the female can produce an egg pouch every few weeks.

That means that in ideal conditions a single female German cockroach can produce up to 30,000 offspring in a single year.  No wonder they are the most common type of cockroach pest!

Problems cockroaches cause

Cockroaches are not pleasant insects, they eat garbage and waste matter and then leave a trail of fecal matter (poop) as they walk. Yes, across your floors and counter tops!

They can spread the bacteria and organisms that cause Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus, and Hepatitis and others. There is also evidence that links cockroaches to the spread of Typhoid and Dysentery.

Studies have also linked the presence of cockroaches to the triggering of asthma attacks in sensitive individuals.

And finally – they stink.  Cockroaches give off a pungent odor, the more there are the greater the stench.

What to look for

Because cockroaches are nocturnal they are sometimes hard to spot. You may catch a glimpse of them when you first switch on the light as they head for their hiding places.

If you do spot the live insects – especially if you see one during the day – it is likely that you have a serious infestation.

It is much more common to spot the tell-tale signs that they leave rather than the live insects.  Look for their small dark brown oval shaped egg casings.  Another sign is their “specks”, these look like ground black pepper and is comprised of their droppings and regurgitated food.

And finally, use your nose. Cockroaches leave a distinctive odour – the more there are the greater the smell.


How to deal with cockroaches

As with all pests, prevention is better than cure.

To prevent entry seal any cracks and in bathroom and kitchen walls. Use tightly fitting doors and install window screens.

Also make sure that you inspect any items you carry into your house, particularly boxes of food that may have been stored in shops or warehouses where roaches are present.

Another sensible approach is to deny them access to food, water and shelter.

  • Keep food in sealed containers.
  • Clean spills and crumbs from counter tops and shelves as quickly as possible.
  • Wash up regularly and don’t leave dirty crockery and utensils out overnight.
  • Regularly clean under the cooker, fridge and kitchen cupboards to remove fallen food scraps
  • Don’t leave pet food out overnight
  • Clean pet litter boxes daily

Individual cockroaches can be swatted but remember that cockroaches are social so it’s likely that if you do see one there are others close by.

If you suspect you might have a problem put down traps  either homemade or commercial versions such as sticky paper.  Traps will confirm that you have a problem and help eradicate small scale problems.

If your traps get over-run, or you just can’t face dealing with them or you suspect that you might have a serious infestation, call a professional exterminator who is experienced with cockroach control. They understand the lifecycle of the cockroach and will deal with them in the most efficient and safe manner.


For rapid help with your pest problems call Pest Responders

Learn more about local pests:

Counties we serve in California

Alameda Contra Costa

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