Cockroaches are never wanted guests in a home, and unfortunately, they can be extremely hard to get rid of. Luckily, there are some early signs of cockroach infestations that can help you get them under control before they become a bigger problem.
Signs of a Cockroach Infestation
Strange Smells and Smears
Sometimes the first sign of a cockroach infestation is a change in smell in your home. Roaches have a musty, oily, dirty smell to them. Since we all know what our own homes smell like, a sudden change to a dusty or musty smell in the home could be a sign of roaches. Roaches also tend to leave unusual smears across the surfaces they have been across. If you notice brownish or reddish smears on your walls, floors, or countertops, you may have a cockroach infestation.
Another sign of a roach infection is finding their droppings around your home. Cockroach droppings are dry and very small. They often look like coffee grounds or like little clusters of black dots. While you will often find them in dark spaces like inside drawers and cabinets, you may also find them in the areas that the cockroaches frequent like on your counters.
Empty Egg Cases
Empty egg cases, known as oothecae, are also a sign you may have a roach infestation. Depending on the type of cockroach in your home, egg cases can hold 30 or more eggs in them. German cockroaches, for example, can produce as many as 48 eggs in one case. And even though roaches don’t live very long, they reproduce quickly, which means they can get out of control quickly.
Empty egg cases are usually brown or reddish in color and are pill-shaped. The best way to prevent eggs is to target the female cockroach. Either use a bait that prevents her from producing eggs, or use an insecticide that’s specifically made to stop reproduction.
Living or Dead Roaches
The most obvious sign of a roach infection is seeing either alive or dead roaches in your home. Roaches are nocturnal and like to hide in dark, moist areas. They can often be found in your kitchen cabinets, drawers, or behind your refrigerator or stove. Cockroaches can flatten their bodies to fit even in the thinnest of places. They can also often be found behind your cabinets, underneath floor mats, or get behind your wallpaper or baseboards and go into your walls.
Are Cockroaches Harmful to Your Home?
While cockroaches don’t sting or bite, they can be a harmful pest to have in your home. Roaches can carry and spread various diseases that can be easily transmitted to your family or pets. Since they like to crawl all over the surfaces in your home and leave behind their urine and feces, they can make you more prone to diseases like salmonella, leprosy, dysentery, cholera, and other serious diseases. Cockroaches can also irritate your allergies and cause respiratory problems. The saliva that they secrete contains hundreds of allergens that can lead to the worsening of or the development of new allergies.
Roaches are attracted to water and food, and they can get into your food if it isn’t sealed well. Roaches will then contaminate that food and can cause you to have severe food poisoning if you accidentally eat that food. Roaches eat almost anything including paper, leather, glue, human food, plants, and soap. Anything in your home can become contaminated because of this.
Cockroaches should be treated by a professional to ensure that the infestation doesn’t keep reoccurring. However, there are some preventative measures you can take while you wait for pest control to take care of the problem. There are natural cockroach killers you can use around your home to kill any roaches that enter the areas that you want to keep bug free.
You can use diatomaceous earth around the edge of your refrigerator, lining your cabinets and drawers, and in any cracks or holes in your walls to kill roaches. Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic to humans and pets but will destroy the exoskeleton of cockroaches and other bugs. Roaches will also often take the diatomaceous earth back to their nests and feed it to other roaches, which will then cause them to die as well. While it won’t instantly kill them, you should notice a difference within two weeks.
Need Help Treating a Cockroach Infestation in Your Home?
If you’re ready for professional help, Classic Pest Control and Insulation can help take care of your roach problem for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment and we will ensure that your home remains pest free. Also, feel free to contact us if you have any questions.