Cockroaches are some of the most common pests in homes across the country. They enter in search of food, water, and shelter, and in the process can spread germs and bacteria and contribute to roach allergies and asthma. Early detection of roach infestations can save a lot of time and money. Here are some of the things you should watch for.
The first sign of a potential roach problem is seeing live roaches. While one or two might not set off any alarms, if you start regularly seeing roaches, you should probably have your home checked. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are typically only active at night. Seeing roaches during the day may indicate that there is a food shortage due to a large population of roaches. The more roaches you see during daylight hours, the more seriously you should take the problem.
Cockroach poop is another common sign that accompanies roaches. Smaller roach species leave tiny droppings that may be difficult to spot. This would include German cockroaches and brown-banded cockroaches. Their droppings may look like coffee grounds or ground black pepper. In humid environments, their excrement may look like small dark stains on walls, floors, and cabinets. American roaches and oriental roaches are much larger in size, and their droppings are also larger, approximately 2 mm long. These droppings are usually cylindrical in shape with blunt ends and small ridges running from tip to tip. Roach droppings can often be confused with mouse or rat droppings, but the size, ridges, and blunt ends can help you tell them apart.
Household Pest Droppings (Clockwise from the top) Norway rat, American cockroach, and mouse droppings by NY State IPM program at Cornell University [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) via Flickr
Roach Egg Cases
A female roach will produce an egg case, known as an oothecae, with anywhere from 15-40 eggs inside, depending on the species. Some species of roaches will carry the oothecae around with them, and some will hide it in a safe location until the eggs hatch. Oothecae are normally reddish-brown to dark brown and approximately 5-10 mm long. They are purse-shaped and may have ridges running along them. These egg cases can be found in dark, quiet places near a food source like under appliances, in cupboards, under sinks, and anywhere else cockroaches live and spend time. Finding oothecae around your home is a sign that you have a roach problem and will soon have a much bigger one.
Cockroach Oothecae by Happy1892 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Homes that have large cockroach infestations may begin to smell musty or oily. This smell is from a pheromone produced by the cockroaches to promote gathering. The only way to truly get rid of the smell is to get rid of the roaches and then clean thoroughly.
Like other insects, cockroaches go through several molts as they develop from nymph to adult. The outer skin of the cockroach will split along the back, allowing the cockroach to crawl out. Roaches will then leave these old yellowish skins behind.
If you are seeing these signs of a cockroach infestation, call the experts at EcoArmor Pest Defense. As a veteran-owned company, honesty, integrity, and a strong work ethic are at the center of everything we do. For pest control in Anna, TX and surrounding areas, contact EcoArmor Pest Defense today.