Studies show that nearly 30 million American citizens report seeing cockroaches in their homes. With so many people dealing with the pest, many of us are left wondering, how do cockroaches get in your house?
These ubiquitous pests are found all across the world, so how can you keep them out? The best way to do so is to know how they're entering your home, what draws them there, and the signs of infestation.
If you're interested in DIY pest control, we're here to help. Read on for a thorough guide about how to handle cockroaches in the kitchen or infesting your home. We'll also look into some ways to handle a cockroach nest and removal.
How Do Cockroaches Get In Your House
The first step is to understand how cockroaches get into your house. Many people see cockroaches as a sign of filth or dishevelment.
While such issues can attract roaches, they're far from a requirement. Even the cleanest home may find itself subjected to the pest.
Here are some of the most common ways that cockroaches will find their way into your home.
One easy way for a cockroach to enter your home is through open entry. If you leave doors or windows open, you're opening your home to countless pests. Cockroaches will quickly take this opportunity to enter your dwelling.
A good way to avoid this is to use screens. Most doors and windows have a screen on the outside. These screens are particularly common in the American South and keep pests such as cockroaches, mosquitos, and ants out.
You should also note when cockroaches are the most common. Rainy summer months help these insects reproduce and swarm. Cold winter days tend to suppress them.
Another way for cockroaches to enter your home is through damaged areas. Cracks in the wall or holes in your roof provide an always-available entrance and exit for them.
If you spot cockroaches in your home, you should first search for damaged areas that they may have entered. Block these areas up to prevent roaches, rats, and mice from squeezing into your home.
Cockroaches don't always need to enter your home through an entry. While roaches are most often spotted inside, they're a common outdoor pest.
Cockroaches can climb on someone's clothes, shoes, or backpack. Once there, they're difficult to notice, as they're lightweight enough not to bother you. If you're wearing dark clothing, such as black or brown, cockroaches will blend in.
Once you walk indoors, the cockroach is free to explore your home. If that cockroach happens to be carrying cockroach eggs, you have the start of an infestation in your home.
One common way to spread cockroaches is through moving furniture or boxes. For example, a sofa in a home infested with cockroaches may have a nest hidden inside. Once that sofa is in the new home, it's a ready-made infestation.
Piping and Air Conditioning
Finally, should all else fail, there are entry points built into your home for cockroaches. Your home is full of different pipes, ducts, and vents that pests can enter through.
Think of the hoses and pipes that your air conditioning unit leads into your home. Cockroaches are adept at crawling into your AC unit, then entering the home through the hoses. The same is true for any plumbing pipes that may allow them to enter, such as sink drains.
If you live in an apartment or condominium, you have many pipes and ducts that cross between you and your neighbors. An infestation in one apartment can quickly spread across the complex.
How to Spot Roaches
Now that we know how cockroaches enter your home, how do you know if you have cockroaches?
The most obvious way is to spot the cockroaches themselves. However, cockroaches are exceptionally skilled at hiding themselves. You could have an infestation for months without seeing a single bug.
Some signs that cockroaches are in your home include the following:
- Droppings, which appear as small black or brown dots
- Smear marks, which are often smeared droppings
- A strange stench or unusual odor, often found in kitchen or bathroom areas
- Cockroach eggs
- Cockroach skins left behind from shedding
- Property damage such as small holes or worn-out corners
One unfortunate reality of cockroaches is that there's rarely only one cockroach. If a cockroach enters your home, it's likely alone.
However, if you spot one crawling out from under your oven or fridge, it's almost certainly leaving a cockroach nest.
Cockroaches are also nocturnal, making it so you're less likely to spot one during the day. You'll find more if you search at night, especially in dark rooms.
Finally, you should know that killing one cockroach will attract others. Cockroaches release acid from their bodies when they die, which other cockroaches can detect from a distance. They'll come to the area, which can cause more to appear shortly after killing a few.
Consequences of Roaches
What if you don't mind having roaches in your home? Some people aren't as disgusted by roaches as others are.
While hesitance in killing pests is understandable, cockroaches are not harmless home guests. These insects carry many hazards with them that you should avoid. Here are the primary consequences of having cockroaches in your home.
Spread of Disease
The most dominant issue with cockroaches is that they spread diseases. However, cockroaches do not spread disease in the way mosquitos do via biting. Cockroaches themselves are harmless to humans, but their bodies carry multiple diseases and bacteria.
Studies show that cockroaches carry up to 30 different strains of bacteria. These pests often are carriers of dysentery, cholera, typhoid fever, diarrhea, and more. These intestinal diseases are unpleasant on their own but can turn into significant, life-threatening issues.
Cockroaches are most dangerous in the home of someone with a compromised immune system. The elderly or very young are most at risk.
Along with the disease, cockroaches are known spreaders of contamination and contagion in kitchens.
Cockroaches are drawn to food above all else. As such, the most common place to find cockroaches is in the kitchen.
When crawling over food, cockroaches deposit bacteria that can cause multiple illnesses, infections, and viruses. Salmonella, streptococcus, and staphylococcus are all common contaminants.
If you find a cockroach crawling over food in your kitchen, you should throw it away immediately. Contact us to see how we can help you in removing the pests afterward.
Danger to Respiratory Systems
Finally, the mere presence of cockroaches is enough to cause a health risk. Cockroaches are a known cause of several respiratory issues.
Cockroach debris - old shells, body parts, droppings, saliva, and corpses - can trigger asthma attacks. These attacks are most common in people that are sensitive to the cockroach antigen, a protein in the debris.
In homes with multiple allergens (such as dust mites, mold, furry pets, tobacco smoke, and more), this health risk is considerably worse. Young children are the most at-risk sufferers of these airborne allergens. People that suffer from asthma face significant health risks from cockroaches.
How to Remove Cockroaches
Now that we understand more about these loathsome pests, how can you remove them? If you're one of the millions of people dealing with cockroaches, you don't need to worry. Here are the steps to DIY pest control.
Find Entry Points
Your first step is to find how the cockroaches are entering your home. In some cases, the cockroach infestation is already in your home, making this step unnecessary.
That said, you should still seek out any areas where cockroaches could enter or exit from. While handling the cockroach removal, you don't want them running out and escaping. They'll return soon, and your infestation will start again.
Close any entry points and repair any damage that cockroaches are entering from. Doing so will prevent more from coming in once you've handled the cockroaches in the kitchen.
Clean Up Food and Water Sources
Next, remove what attracted the cockroaches. Cockroaches are almost always drawn by food. If you have old food lying out, such as food wrappers or dirty dishes, they'll come to check it out.
Remove this food and sanitize the area. Afterward, ensure you aren't leaving water out for the cockroaches. Drain your sink and remove any standing water.
Remove the Pests
From here, you can begin removing the pests. Depending on how severe your infestation is, this may pose a considerable challenge.
The first step is to find the nest. Check warm, hidden, dark areas, such as beneath your dishwasher and oven or behind the fridge.
Purchase a strong roach spray and fog these areas. Make sure you're wearing a mask to prevent breathing in the fumes.
There are many other methods that may work, such as roach poisons or traps. Our Remedy contains everything you need to not only remove existing roaches but prevent more from appearing. If you struggle with your DIY pest control, don't hesitate to contact professional exterminators.
How do cockroaches get in your house? Most often, they enter through open windows and doors, holes in the wall, or piping and vents. Once in, they pose multiple health threats, making it crucial that you remove them as quickly as possible.
For more informative reads, be sure to browse the rest of our site. You can also contact us for more on how we can help you get rid of your pests.