How to Identify and Get Rid of Cockroaches
What do cockroaches look like?
Cockroaches are invasive and dangerous pests that thrive in a variety of both indoor and outdoor environments. Cockroaches have flattened, oval-shaped bodies, six legs that are covered in spines, and long antennae. Cockroach nymphs (young cockroaches) look similar to adults, but they are smaller in size and are wingless.
What are common cockroach species in Texas?
Some of the most common species of cockroaches found living in the Southeast region of Texas include:
- German Cockroaches
- American Cockroaches
- Oriental Cockroaches
- Smoky Brown Cockroaches
- Vaga Cockroaches
German cockroaches are usually easy to identify. They are a tan color with two dark brown stripes on their backs which look like an equal sign. Like all cockroaches, they have six, spiny legs and two antennae.
German cockroaches are tricky pests. Their small size and naturally defensive behavior patterns can make them difficult pests to get rid of. But they can be controlled when field-tested methods and products are used, and systematic pest control strategies are followed.
When you think about where cockroaches roam, you'll understand why they spread disease. American cockroaches, in particular, like to live in sewer systems. They pick up germs on the spines of their legs as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage. All these nasty germs on their bodies can get transferred to surfaces in and around your property. Urine, saliva, and fecal droppings are also a cause for concern because they can result in allergy and asthmatic issues. Cockroaches spread over 33 different types of bacteria including E. Coli, and salmonella, human pathogens, and parasitic worms.
With significant changes in climate and a shortage of food and water, the American cockroach will seek shelter and sustenance. American cockroaches are extremely common in larger commercial buildings like restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, food processing plants, and hospitals because they usually have great food storage and food preparation areas. Do not think your property is exempt from an American cockroach infestation! Cockroaches can enter your property through the garage, underneath doors, or through basement windows.
Are cockroaches dangerous?
Cockroaches leave their saliva and excrement behind, contaminating food sources, utensils, plates, food prep areas, and other surfaces of residential and commercial properties. Cockroaches spread many diseases, including dysentery, salmonellosis, gastroenteritis, and E. coli. In addition, cockroaches' feces, saliva, and skin shedding’s can trigger allergies, cause skin rashes, and bring on asthma attacks, especially in children. Cockroaches are considered dangerous due to the severe health risks they pose.
Why do I have a cockroach infestation?
Cockroaches have the potential to find their way into any home or business while out foraging for food. They get inside through cracks and crevices in foundations and exterior walls of buildings, through spaces under doors and windows, through vents, and drains. Cockroaches are also often accidentally introduced into homes inside deliveries, in used furniture, or used appliances.
Where will I find cockroaches?
Where cockroaches live and nest depends on their specific species. Some prefer to live outdoors, others indoors, and some are happy either inside or outside.
- American cockroaches prefer to live outside on trees, in garden areas, underneath mulch, and in sewers and drains. They move inside while searching for food or when the weather outside becomes too hot and dry. When living inside, they are found in humid areas like kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and laundry rooms.
- German cockroaches are more often than not found living inside, nesting in warm, humid, dark, secluded places. Common nesting spots for German cockroaches include behind appliances, inside kitchen and bathroom cabinets, in laundry rooms, and pantry areas.
- Smoky brown cockroaches are prone to dehydration. Outside they live in warm, high-moisture areas, including underneath mulch, in tree cavities, and in and around gutters. They are attracted to lights, and often find their way inside through gaps around windows and doors.
- Oriental cockroaches need to live in areas with high humidity. Outside, they are often found in sewers, piles of garbage, leaf piles, woodpiles, and underneath landscaping timbers and decaying logs. Inside, they like damp, cool locations such as crawl spaces and basements.
- Vaga cockroaches thrive outside in leaf litter and under piles of grass and other organic debris. They find their way into homes during periods of warm, dry weather.
How do I get rid of cockroaches?
To find, eliminate, and accurately identify the cockroaches that are living and nesting on your property, or in your home or business, contact a professional pest control expert. At Bill Clark Pest Control, our highly trained 'Bugsperts' receive continuous education, and are up-to-date with the latest information and industry trends. To eliminate cockroaches, our professionals provide thorough inspections and treatment through our residential or commercial pest control programs. For exceptional cockroach control in Southeast Texas, reach out to Bill Clark Pest Control.
How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?
To stop cockroaches from choosing your home and property to nest on and breed in, the 'Bugsperts' offer the following prevention tips:
- Place mesh covers over vents that lead into your home from outside.
- Make sure weather stripping is in place around windows and doors.
- Repair leaky pipes and fixtures.
- Keep outdoor lights off when not needed.
- Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels inside your home.
- Store food in air-tight containers or in the refrigerator.
- Vacuum floors regularly.
- Inspect packages and boxes for signs of cockroaches before bringing them into your home.
- Thoroughly inspect used furniture or appliances for cockroaches.