Friday, October 4th, 2019 by Stephanie Adams
Having roaches is often a big source of embarrassment (and disgust) for a lot of people. Unfortunately, roach infestations are fairly common and can happen to anyone. Due to physical and behavioral characteristics, cockroaches are a particularly difficult pest for homeowners to get rid of on their own. They’re fast, eat virtually anything, and pose some serious health risks. Because of their unsanitary nature, the need to eliminate roaches from homes and businesses cannot be overstated. If you have roaches, it’s important to know what motivates these creatures to invade your home, as well as how to prevent them. Knowing this information can help you and other home and business owners know what to do to resolve roach problems, and prevent future infestations.
Ever wonder how long we’ve been dealing with cockroaches? According to the fossil record, roaches have been invading the planet for 350 million years- that’s before some dinosaurs! If they’ve been able to stick around for this long, it’s no wonder they’re so hard to get rid of. The most common type of cockroach in Connecticut is the German cockroach. Other common roaches found throughout the United States include the Oriental and American cockroach. Overall, roaches come in varying shades of brown, with two long thin antennas and wings that lie flat against their back. Even though roaches have wings, they seldom use them and much prefer crawling over flying. Roaches are also fairly large compared to other crawling pests, ranging anywhere between half an inch to two inches in length.
Roaches really love to eat. They prefer to look for food at night when it’s dark. They are omnivorous scavengers and will eat whatever is most conveniently and readily available to them. They also like moisture, and can live for up to a month without eating if they have a water source. Roaches will eat the same food that people eat, so it’s essential to keep food tightly sealed and stored away. Roaches will also eat man-made products like toothpaste, soap, makeup, book bindings, wall paper, glue, and countless other household things. They will even feed on hair, nail trimmings, and excrement. Roaches have three life stages: egg, nymph, and adult. An adult female cockroach may lay anywhere between 200 to over 300 eggs in her lifetime. Females can lay new egg capsules after a gestation period of one week. This fast reproduction makes roaches even harder to get rid of.
Why don’t they die?
Roaches are particularly famous for being able to withstand nearly anything: shoes, sprays, baits, nuclear bombs...it seems like nothing will get rid of them! Why? Their exoskeleton is a big reason for this. A cockroach’s exoskeleton allows them to withstand up to 900 times their body weight and is very flexible. As a result, the roach may be a little squished but will still be alive. Not only that, but the flexible exoskeleton allows the roach to fit through very small crevices unscathed. Many roaches, especially the German cockroach, have developed immunity to sprays and pesticides over the years. Roaches are also extremely fast- they will immediately dart away from lights at lightning-fast speed. Roaches can move at a few hundred miles an hour- as such, catching them is simply not humanly possible.
Roaches will always prefer the inside of your home over nature- the great indoors provides them with everything they need right at their disposal: food, water, and warmth. Cockroaches will perish in cold climates, but thrive in warm and humid environments.Tiny cracks, corners, nooks, and crannies provide the perfect spots for females to lay their eggs. While many insects are seasonal pests, cockroaches are a potentially year-long problem. However, they fare poorly in the cold and will seek relief as the temperature drops. Dirty or messy homes can make cockroaches feel even more welcome: food left out or dirty dishes provide food sources, and leaking pipes provide moisture. However, this doesn’t mean pristinely clean homes are safe from these tough bugs: food sources and hiding places may still be present. If you suspect you have roaches, signs to look for are:
Roaches during the daytime. This could indicate a large infestation that has been going on for a considerable time, as these roaches are likely being pushed out of primary hiding spaces.
Roach droppings. These look like coffee grounds, although big roaches may leave larger behind. The more you find, the more roaches you will have.
Egg casings. Cockroaches produce egg casing that have multiple eggs inside. These egg casings are long and brown.
Dead roaches. Cockroaches are nocturnal by nature, so seeing them during the day will not be a common occurrence. If you see dead ones during the day, this could indicate a large infestation. To catch them, you may need a few bait traps.
You smell odor. A single roach may not give off much of a smell, but put a bunch of them together and their smell becomes much more noticeable. Many describe a roach infestation as smelling oily or musty. If you smell roaches, the infestation is growing larger and action must be taken immediately.
Roach infestations are difficult to eradicate and typically require multiple visits before being completely removed from the home. However, there are many steps homeowners can take in preventing roaches so that this nightmare doesn’t happen to them. The best thing homeowners can do is to eliminate food sources. While this may take some time and effort, the difference can be night and day. Take some time to clean cabinets, appliances, countertops, walls, and floors. Roaches will feed off crumbs, spills, and small amounts of grease or food remnants that may have been left behind. Thoroughly cleaning surfaces so that no food traces are left gives roaches no reason for them to stay, as their food sources have just been drastically limited. Roaches also need water to survive, so eliminating water sources will also help you. Repairing pipes, fixing leaky faucets, drying showers and bathtubs after use, and stopping up drains before bed are effective tactics against cockroaches. Roaches like to hide, so don’t give them places to. Seal cracks and crevices with caulk, seal off holes, and make sure windows and doors fit tightly within their frames. In addition to the interior of your home, your exterior should be roach-proofed as well. Keep shrubs, bushes, and overgrown plants trimmed back so they are not touching the home. Make sure leaf piles and debris are cleared away so roaches aren’t able to hide.
Roaches are a big problem for homeowners and business owners alike. Don’t let a roach nightmare become your reality. Taking preventative measures like eliminating food sources, hiding spots, and moisture are your best methods against roaches invading your domain. With roaches, commitment and consistency are important- solutions to roach infestations are never “one and done”- repeat treatments are necessary to fully eradicate them from the property. If you ever feel overwhelmed by roaches, contacting your local pest control company will help you breathe easy: they have the professional experience and tools needed to remove roaches quickly and effectively.
Connecticut Pest Elimination, Inc.
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