Cockroaches are among the most common household pests that can lead to allergies and other issues. Not only are they unsightly, but they can also carry diseases and cause serious health problems.
If you have a cockroach infestation, knowing everything possible about these pests is vital so you can take the necessary steps to keep them out of your home.
This article will explore all you should know about cockroaches, from their habits and behaviours to the best prevention and elimination methods. Whether you want to control an existing infestation or protect your home from future cockroach invasions, this guide will provide the knowledge and tools to keep your home free of these unwelcome guests.
Types of Cockroaches – German and Common Cockroaches
There are over 4,000 cockroach species worldwide, but you can mostly find German and so-called Common cockroach types in homes as pests. German cockroaches are small, light brown or tan, with two dark stripes on their backs. American and Australian cockroaches are more prominent, reddish-brown, and have a yellowish figure-eight pattern on their backs. Smokey Brow cockroaches are very dark brown. These three species are also known as common cockroaches.
Characteristics and Habits of German Cockroaches
German cockroaches are notorious for their fast reproductive rate, which can lead to severe infestation in a short time. They prefer warm, humid environments, and you can find them mostly in kitchens and bathrooms. German cockroaches are also known for their ability to hide in small spaces, making them difficult to spot.
One of the most distinctive characteristics of German cockroaches is the foul odour they emit. This odour results from the pheromones they release to communicate with other cockroaches. They are also nocturnal, searching for food and water mostly at night.
Characteristics and Habits of Common Cockroaches
Common cockroaches are larger and prefer cooler environments. You can often find them in dark, damp areas such as basements and crawl spaces. They are also known for their ability to fly short distances, making them more mobile than German cockroaches.
Like German cockroaches, common cockroaches are nocturnal and also come out at night to search for food and water. They are omnivores and will eat anything from dead insects to plants.
Dangers of Cockroach Infestations
It is well known that cockroaches pose several health risks to humans, including asthma and allergies. They are more than just a nuisance. Cockroach droppings, saliva, and shed skin can trigger some people’s allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
Cockroaches also carry diseases such as salmonella, typhoid fever, and dysentery. They can contaminate food and surfaces with these diseases, putting humans at risk of infection. Cockroaches can also lead to a foul odour in homes they infest, making it an unpleasant living environment.
Signs of Cockroach Infestations
Cockroaches can be difficult to spot because they are nocturnal and prefer to hide in small spaces. However, there are several signs of cockroach infestations to look out for. The most obvious sign is seeing live specimens scurrying around your home. Other signs include finding cockroach droppings, shed skins, and egg cases.
You may also notice a musty odour in your home resulting from the pheromones that cockroaches release. Cockroaches can also leave grease marks on walls and floors due to their oily bodies.
Cockroach Prevention Tips
Prevention is critical when it comes to cockroach infestations. Here are a few tips to help prevent cockroaches from entering your home:
- Keep your home clean and free of clutter
- Store food in sealed containers
- Keep garbage in closed containers and take it out regularly
- Seal cracks and crevices in walls and floors
- Fix any leaky pipes or faucets
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight
By following these tips, you can make your home less attractive to cockroaches and prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place.
Cockroach Control and Extermination Methods
Several control and methods are available if you already have a cockroach infestation. The most effective way to get rid of cockroaches is to hire a professional exterminator. They have the knowledge and tools to find and eliminate the source of the infestation.
If you prefer to try to do it yourself, several products, such as baits, sprays, and traps, are available. Cockroach baits are effective because they contain a slow-acting product that the cockroach will take to their nest, infecting other cockroaches. However, it can take several weeks to eliminate the infestation.
Sprays and traps are also effective but only kill the cockroaches that come into contact with them. They may not eliminate the entire infestation, but they can help reduce the number of cockroaches in your home.
Natural Cockroach Repellents
Several options are available if you prefer to use natural methods to repel cockroaches. You can use peppermint oil, bay leaves, and catnip to repel cockroaches. You can also try boric acid, a natural insecticide safe for humans and pets.
Remember that natural repellents may not be as effective as professional products, and you may need to repeat the treatment more frequently.
Cockroaches are one of the most unpleasant pests, but you can keep them out of your home with the proper prevention methods. If you already have an infestation, don’t hesitate to contact a professional cockroach control company for help.
By acting and being proactive, you can ensure a pest-free home.