While there are some pests you may be fine putting up with in limited numbers, or even ignoring and hoping the problem goes away, the sight of just one cockroach is always cause for concern. Not only are these insects gruesome and unwanted in pretty much every scenario, but there’s also that old saying about how “seeing one means there are a hundred more in the walls.” That’s why if you believe there’s even a chance you’re dealing with a cockroach problem on your property, it’s important to get the issue taken care of ASAP. Fortunately, our team at Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc. offers expert roach control and extermination. Keep reading for the most common signs you’re dealing with a cockroach infestation, and remember that you can call our pest professionals 24/7 for any emergencies.
The Top 7 Signs Your Home Has a Cockroach Problem
- Droppings: Although they can be hard to spot initially, one of the first major signs you’ve got a roach infestation in your home are the little black droppings they leave behind. It is common to find roach droppings, or “frass” behind appliances like the oven, as well as underneath and on the side of little nooks and crannies in your kitchen. You may also spot them in cabinets and drawers, as well as other tight spaces in dark corners of your home, such as under sinks, inside closets/crawlspaces, between the voids above drop-down ceilings, and throughout the basement and/or attic. Typically, cockroach droppings are dark brown or black in color, have a waxy texture, and can smear like a thick film. Depending on what type of species you are dealing with, roach frass can be as large as a grain of rice or look more like spilled coffee grounds.
- Holes in Packaging, Clothing & More: When roaches invade your house in large numbers, they may start to chew holes in cardboard and paper to get what they want. For instance, it is common to look in your cabinets and notice holes in food packaging when dealing with a cockroach infestation. You may also notice holes in books and other stacks of paper around your home. In some cases, roaches can chew through fabric too, so you may find small holes in your clothing. And in certain instances, roaches have even been known to chew through wallpaper. Granted, there are other insects such as moths and beetles that can cause this kind of destruction, but if the other signs are there, don’t rule a roach infestation out.
- Skins: Cockroaches shed their skin several times over their life cycle (which, remember, is a long one for the insect world; the average cockroach can survive for up to one year in the right conditions.) You may find shed roach skins in tight places and dank, dark voids around your home, such as the spots we already mentioned above. They also commonly turn up in old furniture, so be sure to check there, too. Granted, skins are not the only type of shedding roaches leave behind. This brings us to…
- Egg Casings: A cockroach egg case, also known as an “ootheca,” is a small, brownish-red or orange-colored pouch, approximately 6-9 mm in length. These casings tend to turn up in humid and/or dark corners, and may be intact or a mere husk from awhile ago when you find them.
- Nasty Smells: Cockroaches release extremely pungent pheromones that you are definitely likely to notice if you are dealing with an infestation. Watch out for a sweet, oily, and musty odor, somewhat similar to the smell bed bugs release, though distinctly unpleasant in its own way.
- Sanitation/Moisture Problems: This one isn’t actually a sign left behind by roaches, but a combination of manmade conditions that can lead to a roach problem. Cockroaches will flock to anywhere that’s dirty or messy, so it’s extremely important to practice proper sanitation if you want to avoid a roach infestation (or pretty much any pest problem, for that matter.) Make sure to put away food right away, throw over leftovers/rotted fruit in a timely manner, take out the garage regularly, and wipe down surfaces often. You should also watch out for spills and excess water in the kitchen and bathroom, since roaches are among the insects that will often flock to water.
- Visible Roach Sightings: At the end of the day, the biggest sign of a roach problem is seeing these insects with your very eyes. Watch out for them in the kitchen, especially at night, when they often scurry away as soon as you turn on the lights. Cockroach infants, or “nymphs,” have six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. They are small and wingless, and can have different coloration. As they grow, they can range in size from 50 mm to three inches long, depending on the species. With their reddish/brown, almost mahogany color, they can blend in easily, though they move fast, and are great climbers. All these attributes just add up to more reasons why it is always better to call for roach extermination sooner rather than later, and to contact an experienced professional if you believe you have a roach problem.