Seeing a cockroach in your home can be alarming. We all associate cockroaches with unhygienic conditions; their presence is often an indication that there’s something wrong with your current cleaning routine.
If you spot a cockroach in your property, assume that there are more nearby. Don’t panic, though. Below is everything you need to know to understand cockroaches and why they have invaded your home.
What Problems do Cockroaches Cause?
The sight of cockroaches can be distressing for anyone, but this isn’t the only problem that cockroaches can cause in your home. Cockroaches present several potentially serious issues for homeowners and their families.
- Viruses: Roaches can act as carriers for a range of viruses. People often underestimate the danger that cockroaches pose in this regard.
- Allergies: For urban dwellers, cockroaches are one of the leading causes of allergies. Their skin, saliva, and droppings can all trigger an allergic response in some people.
- Food spoilage: Cockroaches are attracted to rotten food and other unsanitary environments. They can easily track germs, bacteria, and other substances from these places to your home. If they gain access to your food or ingredients, they can contaminate them and leave you with food poisoning.
- Dysentery: Dysentery is a serious disease that occurs when humans ingest faecal matter. If cockroaches come into contact with faecal matter, and then your food, they can bring dysentery with them.
- Tapeworms: A tapeworm can make a person severely ill and cause nutritional deficiencies. They also affect pets and other animals.
- Roundworms: Parasites like roundworms and pinworms are an even graver threat than tapeworms. They can cause trichinosis, among a range of other diseases.
- Fungus: The shed skins, droppings, and other materials that cockroaches leave behind can all turn into fungi that cause damage to human eyes and lungs. Asthmatics are particularly vulnerable to these fungi.
How to Detect Cockroaches
One of the surest signs that you have a cockroach infestation is the presence of a unique odour. Individual cockroaches don’t produce a noticeable scent, but a large group of them gives off a distinct smell. Most people describe this odour as sweet and musty; some people compare it to the scent of almonds. Cockroaches will also leave this smell behind on any surfaces they come into contact with.
If you notice a new and unusual odour in your home that matches the description above, it could well indicate a cockroach infestation.
Where access to water is limited, cockroaches will produce distinctive brown or black cylindrical droppings. These are usually just a couple of millimetres in length, so they’re easy to miss. However, if you have a full-blown infestation, there will likely be a lot of them.
On the other hand, if access to water is plentiful, cockroaches will leave behind irregularly shaped smear marks. You will find these on flat horizontal surfaces, and junctions between floors and walls.
Another dead giveaway that you have a cockroach problem is shed skins. Cockroaches will shed their skins several times as they mature. If you find any shed skins, you know that their shelter is nearby. Knowing this can help locate where cockroaches are hiding.
Where do Cockroaches Hide?
Cockroaches are good at avoiding people and staying out of sight. They can infest your home right under your nose without you even noticing. Cockroaches will use ceiling space, pipework, and cavities behind your walls to move around without being seen.
But at night, cockroaches are much bolder. They will come out of hiding and walk all over your furniture and appliances. Not only this, but they will even lay their eggs in or on these surfaces. Cockroach lay their eggs in yellow to white egg cases. If you start to notice these (you can find pictures online) on your furniture, it’s a good indication that you have a cockroach problem.
If you have a collection of long-forgotten appliances and electronics in your garage, these offer a perfect refuge for cockroaches. They have been known to hide in toasters, fridges, coffee makers; just about every appliance you can think of is a potential hiding spot. Ovens and microwaves are perfect hiding spots because they provide a lot of space.
One of the most overlooked hiding spots for cockroaches is stacks of cardboard and paper. Lots of us have cardboard boxes filled with old documents, magazines, and photographs stashed away in cupboards throughout our homes. These are a common source of shelter for cockroaches.
How to Deal With an Active Cockroach Infestation
If you have already confirmed the presence of cockroaches in your home, the first thing you should do is thoroughly clean your home. Make sure you throw out any old and spoiled food that might attract them. You should also check that your bins are properly secured and that any bin bags within have been tied and sealed completely. Give your kitchen a deep clean and ensure there’s no food debris lying out in the open anywhere in your home.
If your infestation is a minor one, you might be able to solve the problem using traps and baits. You can buy these at supermarkets and home improvement stores. However, while these can be effective at luring and trapping individual cockroaches, they won’t do anything about any eggs they might have laid. It’s no good killing mature cockroaches if you don’t deal with their eggs. If you do, the infestation will return before long.
The most efficient and reliable way of dealing with a cockroach infestation is to call in a professional pest control business like Bon Accord. Our pest control technicians have the equipment, experience, and knowledge needed to identify a cockroach infestation, locate the source, and remove any live specimens and eggs from your property. Clearing an active infestation on your own using DIY methods is a tall order for anyone. At Bon Accord, we guarantee that we will solve your infestation and provide you with the professional advice and guidance you need to prevent any future recurrence.