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It is often easier to spot signs of a cockroach problem than the actual insect pest. Cockroaches are mostly nocturnal, during the day they prefer to stay hidden in cracks and crevices, coming out to feed mostly at night time.
Cockroaches are attracted to all types of food available in your home. They will eat anything from foods, paper, packaging, plastics and fabrics to animal matter (i.e. hamster and rabbit droppings). If you suspect a problem in your home or business there are some simple ways to tell if you have cockroaches.
Property identification of a cockroach infestation can help to quickly and effectively eliminate it. Look out for the following indications of a cockroach infestation:
Cockroaches leave behind dark droppings that appear very similar to ground coffee or black pepper. The droppings are less than 1mm wide and vary in length. If you do find what you suspect to be cockroach droppings, use caution in cleaning them up. Cockroaches will eat just about anything, and the pathogens from their past meals live on in their digestive systems. Bacteria can easily be spread through their droppings.
In areas with high moisture, cockroaches will produce dark, irregular shaped smear marks as they crawl along walls or even when they rest. You may see these marks on horizontal surfaces and at wall-floor junctions where cockroaches are most active.
Cockroaches lay capsules, or oothecae, full of multiple eggs. The ootheca is a bit different for each cockroach species. The German cockroach ootheca has about 18 segments, whereas the brown banded cockroach only about 8 segments. Conversely, Oriental and American cockroach oothecae have no clear segmentation. Instead they have circular, raised areas just below the keel.
As they grow in size and progress through the various lifecycle stages into adulthood, cockroaches shed their skins 5-8 times. If cockroaches are present, you will likely see these shed skins of varying sizes around your home or business.
As previously stated, cockroaches will eat nearly anything. They often leave behind chew marks and other signs of damage on items other than just food packaging. Cockroaches will even eat through materials such as leather and book pages.
Cockroaches leave feces behind wherever they live and sleep. These droppings produce a pheromone that attracts other cockroaches to the area. To humans, the pheromone presents itself as a lingering and unpleasant musty smell. As a cockroach infestation grows, the scent will become increasingly intense, tainting more and more items and surfaces.
Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures. If you do have a cockroach infesation and turn on a light at night, you might see cockroaches scatter. German cockroaches, in particular, require warmth and humidity and are often found around bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchen areas. Due to their sticky foot pads, they are also good climbers. They can scale smooth surfaces like glass & polished metal with ease. Oriental cockroaches can handle cooler, damp conditions and therefore are often found in basements or drains. Though they aren't as agile as German cockroaches, they can climb rougher surfaces like brick walls.
Identifying the location of a cockroach infestation can depend greatly on the species of cockroach that has invaded your property. Some prefer warm and humid areas, while other species can tolerate cooler conditions.
Bathrooms - right at the back of bathroom cabinets (especially if they are full of soaps and toiletry products that have been stored for a while) or medicine cabinets. Check plumbing behind sinks, baths and toilets, anywhere they can hide in sheltered dark spaces with access to water even if it's simply condensation. Cockroaches will happily eat soap residue, toilet paper and tissues - even shed skin cells and hair.
Kitchens - look in cupboards and cabinets, pay particular attention to hidden areas with pipework such as under sinks and behind dishwashers. Sometimes cockroaches can be found in the upper inside corner of cupboards, hanging upside down out of sight. Nooks and crannies of appliances with motors, offering warmth and hidden crevices like backs of cookers, fridges and freezers are another area to check carefully. Even smaller kitchen appliances like microwaves, coffee makers, toasters and blenders could harbor cockroaches.
Laundry rooms - cupboards under sinks, where plumbing enters through walls or floors leading to washing machines and tumble dryers. Also check warm areas near the motors at the back of washers and dryers.
Basements - search along the base and corner joints of walls in cellars for any gaps cockroaches could squeeze through. Cracks in wood baseboards or floor cavities are opportune areas for them to hide. Cockroaches will hide in and eat cardboard and newspapers, so check boxes and piles of paper stored for long periods of time.
Drains - as some species like Oriental cockroaches can survive in drier, cooler areas. Look around down pipes for cracks and crevices they might hide in, as well as damaged drain covers they could scuttle through. Other areas to check are pipe ducts and any opening beneath porches or decking. Undisturbed areas of garages and outbuildings may also offer shelter to Oriental cockroaches. They are also known to survive in landfills.
Don't deal with a cockroach infestation a moment longer. Call us at 800-937-8398 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.
No matter what type you have, Western Exterminator specialists know how to get rid of cockroaches. We will help you find their hiding places, remove them, and help you find ways to keep them away.
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