Cockroaches are some of the most annoying pests to get rid of – one of our recent posts is packed with solutions you might like. One of the most difficult things one must do when dealing with an infestation is locating the nest as not all species like to inhabit the same areas. Once you locate their nests, you should also know what steps you have to take to eradicate them.
Consider the type of roach that you are dealing with
One of the first things you have to do is to correctly identify the kind of roach that you are dealing with. Doing so correctly means understanding that several traits can help you distinguish between roaches.
The American cockroach
The American cockroach is one of the most common kinds of roaches that might invade your home. These roaches are also known as water bugs or palmetto bugs. Adults measure approximately one and a half inches and they have vestigial wings that they only use when they have to glide. Male cockroaches have longer wings than females.
Adults have a reddish-brown color or they are mahogany colored. The small area behind their heads features a yellow band that is easy to spot. Most American roaches like living outdoors. Still, some like finding homes where they have easy access to food and water.
These roaches like living in trees, under mulch, flower beds, as well as in the sewer systems of houses or cities. They enter people’s homes through basement windows or via garage doors. They prefer living in kitchens, basements, bathrooms and laundry rooms. These roaches eat scraps of food, crumbs and spilled leftovers.
The German cockroach
Another type of roach that you might have to deal with is the German cockroach. Adult roaches are easy to recognize because of their light brown color. They also have black stripes that start right behind their head. Nymphs are darker in color, almost black, and they also feature their distinguishable black straps.
Size-wise, most adults reach a total length of 0.43 to 0.63 in. Even though most adults have wings, they are vestigial as most of these roaches prefer to run. The German roach is one of the wild-spread pests all around the world. These insects like living indoors in small and dark spaces. They are smaller in size than other popular roaches.
In multi-unit apartment buildings, the German roach is a nuisance to get rid of. This happens because these insects like traveling between units by using the pipes as highways. You are likely to find them in your home if you like to buy second-hand furniture, electronics or luggage.
They gravitate towards spaces where they have easy access to water and food, as well as protection. They like to stay under sinks, inside kitchen cabinets and near and in garbage containers.
Because they can lay as many as 40 eggs at a time, these insects can become an issue pretty quickly. Their population grows extremely fast and, in most cases, professional help is required to get rid of them.
The smokybrown cockroaches
These roaches are strong flyers and they often use their ability to fly to enter homes. Adults are covered in a black, shiny mahogany color and they often measure one inch and a half in length. The nymphs are also similar in color, but they also feature a colored stripe on their thorax and antennae.
They like to stay in mulch and leaf litter and given how their bodies are colored, it is easy for them to blend in nature. When they enter a home, they prefer infesting the ground level or the basement. Most of these roaches are attracted to exposed trash, sewer openings, standing water and stacks of wood.
The smokybrown cockroaches enter your house by making use of the preexistent holes in your home’s foundation. Additionally, they can fly in through the open doors and windows.
The Oriental cockroaches
If your house is humid and dark, you should take the necessary precautions to avoid an infestation with Oriental roaches. Depending on their gender, these pests look very different as adults. Female roaches have a shiny dark reddish-brown color and large wing pads that cover most of their bodies. They measure around 1.25 inches.
Male cockroaches stand out because of their smaller size, most of them are not longer than one inch. They also have large wings as well as the same dark reddish-brown color that females have.
These insects are known to infest homes through the sewers and piping systems. They are attracted to indoor plants and they are known for eating anything from trash to organic matter. Because they enjoy foraging for food throughout your house, chances are that they will, most likely, spread bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella all over your countertops and stored food.
They have a powerful smell that is easy to notice. When the population of roaches touches your food, it can change its smell and even flavor.
Signs of an infestation
No matter the type of roach you are dealing with, the signs of an infestation are somewhat similar. For instance, in a home that is infested with roaches, you will most likely find droppings or fecal matter. According to the specialists, the amount of droppings is a good indication of the gravity of the infestation.
Besides, most species of roaches have a distinct, unpleasant smell that is very much similar to a musty, oily odor. You might also find bodies of dead cockroaches around whenever you are cleaning.
Another sign that you should not ignore is the presence of oothecae, or egg cases, used by roaches to reproduce. These egg cases are generally hidden behind furniture.
Nests in the home
When they infest your home, roaches usually like to nest in those areas where access to food and water is easy. Plus, they also seem to prefer areas where they can stay out of your sight. For instance, some species like to set their nest in your kitchen. Here, they can be found behind appliances, near plumbing and behind cabinets.
The Oriental roach, on the other hand, is a big fan of bathrooms and basements. This roach usually hides in the drains or in wall cavities where there is plenty of moisture infiltration.
Most species that like to live outdoors but that also move indoors when possible like to set their nests in one’s garden and then to slowly transition into one’s house when the weather makes it difficult for them to find food and water in nature.
For example, wood roaches are often attracted to trees and logs as well as to woodpiles. They might also hide behind wood shingles or under your home’s siding.
Similarly, the German roach is attracted to yards that have piles of carton boxes. To avoid an infestation, it is best that you clean your yard and that you invest in garbage cans that close perfectly.
Use glue strips
The easiest way to locate the infestation site indoors is by using glue strips. Once you have identified the area in which you believe the nest is located, place strips around it and wait for a couple of days to see how many roaches are caught.
Next, it is time for some repairs. For the methods that you use to work, you must start by closing the gaps that the pests can use to get in/out of your home. You can do so efficiently by using caulk. The experts also recommend that you utilize weather stripping on the window and door seals.
Using gel bait to reduce roach population is a vetted method you should try. This gel comes in a tube that allows you to apply its content in the areas that you consider problematic. You should also use bait stations at the same time. These devices can supply you with the expected results as they attract the roaches onto the stations to feed.
The food that the roaches find inside these stations has to be poisoned. The poison, however, does not work immediately. Instead, it becomes effective after a couple of minutes. This way, the roaches can make their way back to the nest and infect other cockroaches.
If you do not want to waste time dealing with cockroaches yourself, you should hire expert pest management.