Signs of a Cockroach Infestation (With Pictures)

Posted: September 8, 2022

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For many homeowners, roaches are an unpleasant, but somewhat inevitable discovery. Roaches will eat almost anything, including paper, plastics, animal matter, and fabrics. These pests are also known to carry a variety of pathogens and can pose serious health risks if not treated swiftly. Cockroaches are nocturnal insects and favor dark, moist environments like basements and crawl spaces. They hide well and can move extremely quickly so they can be difficult to identify.

If you notice multiple of the following telltale signs of cockroaches, it’s time to contact a professional pest control company to address a potential infestation.

Live Cockroaches

The most obvious sign of a cockroach infestation is spotting live roaches. In the United States, there are four main species of cockroaches homeowners commonly encounter: German cockroaches, American cockroaches, oriental cockroaches, and brown-banded cockroaches. While each variety looks different, they do have some similarities. Like all insects, cockroaches have six legs. Roaches have long antennae, and most species are shades of brown. During a severe infestation, you may also encounter nymphs (young roaches) and egg cases.

Learn More about Identifying Cockroaches

Cockroach Egg Cases

When cockroaches reproduce, they lay their eggs in cases. Cockroach egg capsules, or oothecae, are less than two inches long. Each egg case can contain up to fifty embryos that will hatch within approximately 24-38 days depending on the species of roach. German cockroach eggs, American cockroach eggs, and oriental cockroach eggs are all varying shades of brown. They range in size from 5mm to 10mm. In some cases, roaches will carry the oothecae with them, but in others, they’ll drop them for homeowners to discover.

Cockroach Droppings

Cockroach feces are small specks often compared to coffee grounds or black pepper. Sometimes confused with mouse droppings, cockroach excrement is much smaller. Roach droppings can also leave behind dark brown smear marks. These droppings are usually found near where roaches live and feed like pantries or kitchens.

Cockroaches’ Shed Skins and Body Parts

As part of the cockroach life cycle, roaches will shed their exoskeletons and other body parts so they can continue to grow. Cockroaches can molt up to 8 times from the time they are freshly-hatched nymphs until they are fully grown adults. These shed skins can be confused with dead cockroaches. However, shed skins are hollow and will vary in size depending on the cockroach’s life stage when the exoskeleton was molted.

Unpleasant Odor

Like most pest invaders, cockroaches emit pheromones that smell unpleasant. In addition, cockroaches will wade through standing water, trash, and other forms of filth. As they maneuver your home searching for food sources and shelter, they may leave behind a musty odor that can be gradually detected over time.

Professional Cockroach Treatments

If you’re noticing a combination of these signs of cockroaches, you almost certainly have a pest problem. Cockroaches are hardy and can be extremely difficult to treat. While DIY treatments like diatomaceous earth and sticky traps can work, a severe cockroach infestation should be handled by professionals.

At Dodson Pest Control, we use professional-grade insecticides and treatment strategies to address cockroach problems. We would be happy to provide you with a free quote so we can resolve your cockroach infestation.

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