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The Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

Nobody likes the sight of cockroaches. From shady restaurants to schools, cockroaches can get just about anywhere they can fit their beady heads through. Being nocturnal, they’re hard to spot during the day, and by the time you do catch them the infestation has already begun. So what do you do about these six-legged problems? How exactly do you spot them? In this article, we will point out the signs of an infestation and provide tips on how to exterminate cockroaches.

What exactly is a Cockroach?

Cockroaches are pests that invade homes looking for their next meal. They grow up to two inches long, and they’ll eat anything from garbage, food, paper, plastics, fabric, leather, and even your favorite furniture! There are four major varieties that American homeowners have to deal with most, the German cockroach, The American cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, and the Brown-Banded cockroach. The American cockroach is the biggest of all at around 1½ inches, and a light shade of brown. The oriental follows it in size, but is black and resembles a cricket. The German cockroach and the Brown-banded cockroach are similar in their small sizes, being about the size of a penny, but the German cockroach is black with the brown-brand is, well, brown. 

Cockroaches can be detrimental as they spread illness like e. Coli and Salmonella and can taint food and countertops just by walking on them. They’re extremely durable, being able to survive three months without food, a month without water, and forty-five minutes without air, and can survive up to fifteen times the level of nuclear radiation a human can survive. Not only that but they can leave long-lasting structural damage to your home, which is why it’s so important to watch for the signs.

Infestation Signs

1. Spotting a live cockroaches crawling about

The most basic and obvious sign you have an infestation is seeing cockroaches crawl around your house. They prefer narrow cracks and crevices, so they can live behind fridges, under sinks, and even in cabinets. They also like dark and moist environments so basements and crawl spaces are typically good areas to look for them. The best way to try to detect them is to enter a dark space and flick on the light suddenly. They’ll scurry away quickly but you’ll be able to spot the movement and thus spot a cockroach. You can also spot the damage they’ve left behind, such as  chew marks on food packaging, and damage on other materials like leather.

2. Discovering a dead one

Another way to figure out you have cockroaches is finding a dead one. Although disgusting, it’s better than finding a live one. You can sometimes spot their sheddings and mistake that for a dead one, however their shedding is hollow and missing the squishy buggy insides. Their sheddings can be a bit misleading as they come in a variety of sizes. Cockroaches shed a maximum of 8 times before reaching their full adult size, and because of this you can never presume the species based on the sheddings. 

3. Finding feces in your home

Cockroach droppings are another sign of infection. They typically look like small coffee grounds and pepper, although they can be cylindrical if the cockroach is of a larger size. The droppings are commonly mistaken for mouse droppings; they’re quite a bit smaller and more fine. However their droppings are usually found where they’re most active so look out for them to find the source of the cockroaches. 

They also leave behind smear marks. You can typically find these on walls, especially light-colored walls. They’re dark, irregular smudges and can be spotted where they’re most active, so be sure to keep a lookout.

4. A musty or oily smell coming from infested areas

An infested area can have a particular scent caused by the pheromones left behind by their droppings. It’s a musty smell that attracts other cockroaches, and the worse the infestation the worse the small. It’s an unpleasant, damp odor that can stick to any surface and sink in deep. But like the droppings, it can be a sign as to where they are lurking so you can use your nose to help you find your way to the problem.

5. Finding egg capsules or egg casings 

Cockroach egg capsules, also known as ootheca are oval-shaped egg pods and typically under two inches long. They’re often found throughout the home, but some species carry their eggs with them on their backs. Each egg capsule can contain up to forty embryos and can take about 30 days to hatch depending on the species. Most of the time they’re brown, but that can also vary from species to species.

What to do about it?

The easiest way to prevent cockroaches is to keep your home clean. Sealed containers, locking up your trash cans. and making sure your garbage has proper lids is a great way to deter a cockroach infestation. If you can find them with smell, sight or any other method mentioned you can leave glue traps around certain areas of your home or possibly use bait stations. Caulking entry points of your home is also quite helpful at deterring pests. Unfortunately, Cockroaches are externally hard to get rid of once they’ve set in, so many DIY methods can prove ineffective, leaving a final option: Calling a professional.

Cockroaches are a pain to deal with, and considering the sheer numbers and bulking size it’s better to leave it to the experts like Pure Pest. Pure Pest has decades under its belt of battling cockroaches and not only do they kill cockroaches, but they have a wide range of services to perfect any household pest that comes your way.  With a simple phone call, you can easily set up a pest control plan and have your home regularly visited to make sure the cockroaches stay out. No one wants cockroaches, and no one wants the diseases they carry. So it’s better to get rid of them straight and save some peace of mind early, and who better than Pure Pest.