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How To Effectively Deal With A Cockroach Infestation

Cockroaches can be found everywhere around the country from McAllen, Texas to Ann Arbor, Michigan. They are one of the most prolific and difficult insects to get rid of from your home once there is an infestation. The key is to recognize when you have a problem and to know enough about the nature of the bug to properly treat an infestation.

Cockroaches originate from areas of the world that tend to be hot and humid. However, over time, these easily adaptive insects have spread worldwide and can thrive in any kind of environment. This means that no matter where you live, you could end up with a cockroach infestation.

There are a few ways that you can deal with cockroaches on your own. But, the only way to really ensure that you get these creepy crawlers out of your home for good is to bring in the professionals with an Ann Arbor or McAllen Pest Control Company.

The American Cockroach

Although you could end up with a different variety of cockroaches in your home, it’s more likely that your infestation will be the American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana). It is recognized by its reddish-brown shiny exoskeleton body with an average length of 1 ½ inch.

It prefers to inhabit residential buildings and homes where food supplies are easy to access. The American cockroach is nocturnal, coming out mostly at night and preferring dark and damp hiding places during the day.

What Do They Eat?

One of the ways to eliminate cockroaches in your home is to understand what they eat. If you know what they are getting into, it’s easier to eliminate the food source to make your home less tempting. Here are some of the most common foods that cockroaches are drawn to:

Traditional Food Sources

  • Pastries & Bread
  • Rice
  • Dairy Products – Milk and cheeses
  • Meats – Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Beef
  • Table sugar
  • Candy and Chocolate

Non-Traditional Food Sources

  • Human waste
  • Wallpaper glue
  • Drywall
  • Book bindings
  • Other cockroaches
  • Blood

General Behavior

Most species of cockroaches have wings but prefer to scuttle along your floors and walls rather than fly. They will tend to leave droppings that resemble dirt or pepper grains. You may even see blotches of brown looking smudges that are left by cockroaches. They prefer the dark to well lit areas and are commonly found in basements, under sinks, and in other areas that are not well lit.

Cockroaches are extremely adaptive to even the harshest environments. It is said that a single cockroach can live for several weeks even after its head has been removed. They carry their egg sacs with them and each sack or Ootheca can hold up to 20 eggs.

How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches

There are very few off the shelf treatments that are completely effective in treating a cockroach infestation. Because of their ability to adapt and their resistance to chemical treatments, foggers and sprays may not be able to completely rid your home of cockroaches. However, there are a few things that you can do to help eliminate roaches as well as be proactive in preventing any future infestations.

  1. Seal Your Home  –  Cockroaches are low profile insects meaning that they can fit their flattened bodies into just about any sized crack. To keep them from entering your home it’s important to seal any areas from which they could gain access. Use a silicone caulking to seal any cracks or splits in your foundation, along door frames and windows. You can also add weather stripping to your doors to add an extra barrier.
  2. Boric Acid  –  This common household chemical can be effective in killing cockroaches. It can be purchased at most hardware or shopping marts. It can be toxic to pets and children so it’s important to make sure that you are applying it safely in your home.
  3. Traps  –  There are several types of Roach Kits on the market ranging from gel bait to sticky traps. In most cases, the traps are set with bait to draw in the cockroaches to eat a poisonous substance. The cockroaches eat and then die. In some cases, they can take residue back to the population to also be infected.
  4. Home Cleaning  –  Cockroaches prefer areas that are less clean than the rest of your home. By doing a regular deep cleaning and sanitizing of darker and damper areas that are hidden around your home, you can help reduce your risk of infestation. Keeping basement and garage floors cleaned and making sure that areas under sinks and counters are clean and sanitized will limit the draw to cockroaches.

Finding cockroaches in your home can give you the creepy-crawlies but, there is no reason to think that an infestation has to be permanent. Try some of our at-home tips to limit your exposure and call in the professionals to help you get rid of these unwanted pests.