Few things are hated more than a cockroach sighting in the home. These pests can pose a significant threat to health and homes. Below, learn how to identify which roaches are in your home, cleaning tips that will help prevent an infestation and how roaches can harm your health.
There are several types of roaches that may be invading your home.
The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting roaches and is a major pest in the United States. It’s also known as the water bug, the Bombay canary or the palmetto bug in various regions of the country. Surprisingly, the American cockroach is not native to North America. There is evidence that suggests these roaches were brought on ships from Africa as early as the 1600s!
This cockroach gets its name from the two light brown bands that run across their dark brown bodies. A brown-banded cockroach can live about 206 days!
This is the most common species of cockroach. German cockroaches can breed at a rate of up to six generations per year, and can fit through openings as small as ⅜ inch in width.
Despite their name, oriental cockroaches are believed to be of North African descent. Often, they are called “water bugs” because they come out of drains, and “black beetle cockroaches” because of their smooth, dark bodies. They are known for their strong, unpleasant, “roachy” odor.
To view photos of these roaches, be sure to visit our pest guide.
Maintaining excellent sanitation is one of the best practices in protecting the home against cockroaches. We recommend the below cleaning tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA):
- Kitchen: Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors meticulously clean every day. Clean dishes, crumbs and spills right away, store food in airtight containers and always avoid leaving food out—including pet food. Vacuum any crumbs stuck in corners and around cabinets, and regularly clean cabinets out with soap and water. Check under sinks and clean under appliances for moisture issues, and quickly address any found.
- Bathroom: Cockroaches are attracted to moisture and can only survive for a week without water, so always wipe up standing water around sinks, tubs and toilets. Fix leaky faucets and ensure sinks are clear of water before bedtime—cockroaches are nocturnal and will typically emerge to search for water and food at night when the house is dark and quiet.
- Basement: Eliminate clutter where possible to reduce hiding spaces for cockroaches. Basement windows and areas where weather-stripping has become worn are frequent points of access for cockroaches, so homeowners should be sure to seal any cracks or crevices using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
Oftentimes when people are experiencing allergy and asthma symptoms, they automatically chalk it up to the time of year without considering that their stuffy nose and itchy eyes could actually be triggered by the presence of cockroaches in their home. In addition to exacerbating asthma and allergy symptoms, cockroaches are also capable of spreading 33 types of bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli. This makes it all the more important to take the necessary steps to eliminate food, water and harborage sites for cockroaches within the home.
If you spot roaches in your house, don’t delay. Contact Dodson Pest Control today for a free inspection.