Signs of a Cockroach Infestation. Cockroaches are insects that are unwelcome in any home. Their presence in any indoor space immediately causes distress to property owners since they are known to have a disagreeable odor and can cause damage to household items.
To make matters worse, these pests are tough to catch. They are nocturnal insects, which means they are most active at night and can flatten their bodies to fit in small areas. As a result, they are usually found in dark, moist environments like crawlspaces and basements.
In this blog post, we take a closer look at what causes cockroach infestations, common signs of cockroaches, and why these nasty critters can pose a threat to our health.
Are Cockroaches Dangerous?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cockroaches don’t bite, and they are also not poisonous. So, are cockroaches actually harmful to us? Here are three points to consider:
They Carry Diseases
Cockroaches are health risks because they can transmit diseases. A Cambridge University study identified 30 species of bacteria associated with cockroaches living in multi-family dwellings. These bacteria can be deposited in food which can cause several health problems for human beings.
According to CDC, cockroaches have known vectors for the following diseases:
- Salmonellosis: This is an infection caused by the bacteria Salmonella, which lives in the intestinal tracts of animals. The only way humans can become infected by this is through consuming foods contaminated by animal excrement spread by insects.
- Gastroenteritis: This is an intestinal infection caused by eating or drinking contaminated food. The bacteria that cockroaches transfer cause inflammation in the gut, leading to abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Staph infections: This is an infection caused by staphylococcus bacteria that an infected cockroach spreads. The bacteria are not harmful on their own, but when ingested, it produces toxins that cause gastrointestinal illness.
- Typhoid fever: This is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella typhi. Cockroaches acquire this disease because they consume feces contaminated with the bacterium. Once contaminated food is ingested, the bacteria quickly multiply and spread to the bloodstream.
Other illnesses from a cockroach infestation include cholera, dysentery, and leprosy. Even though insects aren’t the primary carriers for spreading these diseases, they are likely to play a supplementary role.
They Trigger Asthma and Allergies
According to the Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research study, cockroaches are one of the most prevalent sources of indoor allergens. Cockroach feces and shredding body parts become tiny particles that can become airborne, contaminating the air inside your home. Aside from that, the pests produce protein secretions that can prompt allergic reactions.
Cockroach allergens are most concentrated in the kitchen, where plenty of food and water attracts pests. However, allergens found in bedrooms cause more harm since it is the area where people spend more time in close contact with their sheets and pillows.
Cockroaches don’t have to be present to trigger allergic reactions. Even if they are eliminated from indoor spaces, their allergens remain and can only be disposed of through a deep clean.
They Multiply Fast
Cockroaches reproduce quickly. The number of eggs a female cockroach can lay varies from species to species, but generally, they can bring out 200 to 300 offspring a year. Therefore, if you’re not careful, a small roach infestation can quickly develop into a major one if you are slow to find ways to exterminate it. This means as soon as you spot signs of cockroaches, you should immediately deal with the pest problem.
Why Do Cockroach Infestations Happen?
Given all the dangers they pose to the health and well-being of humans, a roach infestation is the last thing you would want to have on your hands. But, why do they happen in the first place? Here are the top reasons why you have cockroaches in your home:
- Shelter: Like many other insects, roaches love to look for an excellent hiding place, especially during the colder seasons. They are fond of concealed and forgotten areas like beneath sinks, behind toilets, and at the backs of electronics. The more cluttered the space is, the more likely it is to invite roaches.
- Food: Food attracts a lot of insects, including roaches. Crumbs and spills that have been left out are a great way to invite unwanted critters into your space. Although they aren’t picky about what to eat, since they consume anything, they are particularly drawn to sweets, starches, meats, and greasy food.
- Water: Roaches need water to survive, and they will enter homes to find it. Leaky faucets and pipes indeed attract them. In addition, these pests prefer to stay in moist environments, which is why they are most common in laundry rooms, crawl spaces, and basements.
- Neighbors: If you live in an apartment, townhome, or condo and you have a neighbor with a cockroach infestation, there’s a high chance you will too. No amount of cleaning and decluttering will fix the issue if the people you share walls with are not dealing with the problem. The only way to eradicate the pests is through a building-wide pest control service.
When you spot a roach indoors, there are already more nearby. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for a full-blown infestation. Therefore, you need to proactively look for signs of cockroaches and contact your local pest control service providers to help you with your pest issues as soon as possible.
Unmistakable Signs of a Roach Infestation
As a property owner, you want to maintain the sanitation of your property. Having roaches indoors is too risky for the health of everyone who spends their time in the area. It’s tough to keep bugs out of indoor spaces. Cockroaches can crawl up walls and are small enough to slip through the tiniest spaces – even wall and floor cracks. In addition, some species of cockroaches can fly, so even leaving the window open can invite them in.
You can take preventive measures to keep them out, like keeping the kitchen clean and faucets tight. But, the instinct for survival of these insects always wins, and they will inevitably invade your place sooner or later.
The only way for you to prevent an infestation is to keep your eyes peeled for signs of cockroaches, so you can take the necessary steps to get rid of them.
The following are some things you should watch out for:
One of the most unmistakable signals of a possible roach infestation is seeing egg capsules in your home or commercial establishments. These are called an ootheca, and they look different depending on the roach species. But generally, they are tan, brown, or black and shaped like small pills. These capsules have a slight ridge called a keel that runs down their length. The keel is the weak point, where the nymphs emerge when they become too big for the capsule.
Each capsule can contain 14 to 18 eggs arranged in two equal rows; some species produce more eggs than others. For example, a German cockroach can produce 20 eggs in each capsule. Each egg contains a single developing cockroach nymph.
Another clear sign of the presence of roaches indoors is seeing droppings with a cockroach infestation. Their feces are easy to identify if you know what you’re looking for. Cockroaches leave droppings resembling black pepper or ground coffee. The bigger they are, the larger the feces they leave behind.
Since cockroaches like to dwell in dark, hidden spaces, you can usually find these droppings inside cabinets, beneath the sink, or behind large appliances. In addition, you can use their excrement to gauge the extent of your infestation. If you find many cockroach feces inside your property, you may have an extensive insect problem on your hands.
Roach Skins and Body Parts
Roaches shed their skin many times during their life cycle. As nymphs grow, they periodically leave behind their exoskeletons to accommodate the growth of their bodies. They can only grow past their limits if they get rid of their rigid exteriors to grow larger. Depending on the species, roaches can shed or mold 11 to 13 times from nymphs to adulthood. You usually find their skins in their nests or hidden away in dark corners of rooms.
But their skins are not the only thing you’ll find if you have a cockroach infestation. You are likely to locate dried body parts as well.
These insects spread fast, but they don’t live for very long. The average lifespan of a cockroach is between 20 to 30 weeks. However, when they feel close to death, they often leave the secluded crevice and migrate to the middle of the room before dying. This behavior is very unlike most animals that conceal themselves before passing. One possible explanation for this is it was exposed to pesticides and was attempting to flee the treated area before succumbing to its fate.
Cockroaches have a very distinct smell, especially with a cockroach infestation. If you have come across it before, you’ll have an easier time identifying the odor. No matter the species, cockroaches have a trademark scent they use to call other roaches. These pests secrete pheromones to communicate with their kind so they can congregate in a suitable nesting spot. Unfortunately, the odor hangs around in roaches’ dead skin and droppings, adding to the unpleasant atmosphere indoors and making matters more difficult for home and business owners.
The smell is described as musty, oily, or mildewy. It is so intense that you can smell like roaches if a cockroach comes into contact with your skin.
A Live Roach
Last but not least, the most obvious sign of a cockroach infestation is seeing a live cockroach. Since roaches are nocturnal creatures, the most common time for sightings is at night. They are active in the dark, so you’ll usually see them scatter and hide when you enter a room and flip on the lights.
Spotting one cockroach at night is not usually a cause of concern. But since they multiply quickly, you still must take preventive measures to stop their spread.
However, a cockroach sighting in the daytime is another story. This might mean that your rock infestation has already been going on for a long time. Cockroaches don’t leave the dark if they don’t have to, so seeing them out at day means they have become so overcrowded that they need to brave the daylight to survive.
How To Get Rid of a Roach Infestation Fast
Cockroach infestations are bad news for residential and commercial property owners. Fortunately, there are things you can do to get rid of them. For example, baking soda, essential oils and borax can keep the pests away. But these are just short-term solutions and don’t guarantee complete extermination.
The best way to get rid of cockroaches on your property is to let professionals handle the issue. As soon as you spot signs of a roach infestation, call the experts at Pest Control Unlimited. We offer specialized services that get rid of any insect problems. In addition, we have developed effective methods and solutions at affordable prices.
Contact us to get rid of your roach problem today!
Ever wondered how roaches have survived for thousands of years? Read more here!