Cockroach Apocalypse: How to Handle a Serious Roach Infestation

No one wants creepy crawlers in their homes but sometimes things happen! A roach infestation can be hard to deal with especially if you’re not sure how to properly get rid of them.

You’re probably buying sprays and closing doors, but a roach infestation can be more complicated than just making a few changes. Keep reading to learn more about roach prevention and control.

Where Do Cockroaches Come From?

Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures that can easily manipulate their bodies to fit and squeeze into crevices. Often, cockroaches will move through furniture, backpacks, and then reach your home.

A cockroach can also lay eggs in any environment which can then end up in your home. Cockroaches can also move easily within a house or apartment.

They will utilize pipes, AC units, and small holes to move around.
So cockroaches can come from anywhere but most of the time, they are already in your home!

Types of Cockroaches

Unlike the name suggests, German cockroaches are actually the most common here in America. These cockroaches are the leading cause of illnesses and allergies for homeowners. These kinds of roaches are about 13 to 16mm long, oval-shaped, and light-brown.

American cockroaches are oddly not as common in America. However, aside from the Madagascar cockroach, they are one of the largest types of roaches. These kinds of roaches can live for 2 years and grow to 53mm in length.

Lastly, we have oriental cockroaches. These roaches are dark brown with a glossy exterior. These kinds of cockroaches cannot fly so they use sewers and pipes to enter homes.

They mostly will reside in basements or areas with decaying matter. The lifespan of these roaches is around 6 months but they can reproduce very quickly.

Popular Hiding Spots for Cockroaches

Cockroaches love dark and moist environments. Once they’ve infiltrated a home, they will nest and live behind appliances, within the walls, under the sink, and in pantries.

Other species of cockroaches do prefer cool and swampy areas. So people who live near lakes may notice cockroaches in their boats or patios. However, most people have American or German cockroaches, which prefer the indoors.

Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

There are signs you need to look out for if you think you have a roach infection. For starters, look out for cockroach droppings.

They will appear like coffee grounds for smaller roaches. And round and cylindrical droppings for larger roaches. Keep track of the quantity, as this could indicate the severity and duration of infestation.

You should also keep an eye out for oval-shaped eggs. They can be found behind furniture, in closets, and in other hidden locations.

If you do find eggs, carefully pick them up and dispose of them by flushing them down the toilet. Lastly, if you are experiencing a musty and oily smell in your home, search for pest control immediately, as this could be a severe infestation.

Roach Prevention

Cockroaches are very sneaky creatures so even if you do everything right, they will find their way. However, there are prevention methods that can slow down or even halt an infestation.

This may seem obvious, but having a clean and sanitized home is the best prevention method. Cockroaches feed on crumbs, dirty countertops, and open food.

Therefore, after cooking, always make sure you’re cleaning the dishes, wiping the countertops, and putting away your leftovers. Secondly, try and cover up any holes or crevices in your home.

These crevices are how they come in and out to find food. So by closing off their entrance, they become forced to leave.

Lastly, in the summer, try and keep your home at a cooler temperature. If you have an older home, you could also invest in a dehumidifier, as this takes away the moisture in your home, which roaches love.

Tips for Buying an Older House

Buying an older house can save you a lot of money. But there is a higher risk of a cockroach infestation. Cockroaches love moldy and moist areas. As houses get older, the interior walls and structures develop moisture.

Firstly, if there was any leftover furniture from the last homeowner, make sure you throw it out. Cockroaches can hide in wood furniture, couches, love seats, and more! So it’s always best to throw away any furniture and not reuse it.

Unfortunately, you might not notice the infestation until weeks after you move in. So before moving in, deep clean your home thoroughly!

For starters, carpets can hold bacteria, bugs, and food, which can attract roaches. So if you have carpet in the home, try replacing it or deep cleaning.

You should also disinfect every crevice of the home and do pest control before moving in. This ensures your furniture doesn’t also get infested with roaches.

So hopefully by the time you officially move in, the infestation has settled. If not, disinfect, clean, and set up roach killers every day until they are eradicated.

Realistically, these steps should be followed when moving into any home because roach infestations can still happen in a newer home. However, they are more prevalent in older homes!

Other Tips to Follow When Moving

Sometimes a new or older home may not have a roach infestation. However, if your current home has a roach infestation, you can possibly carry these bugs to your new home.

So before moving, make sure your new home and old home have been properly disinfected. If you plan on moving in old furniture, inspect it and clean it prior to moving it in.

As stated above, cockroaches can live in these areas and then transfer from one home to another. If you have big furniture pieces like an ottoman or a china cabinet, make sure you properly look through every crevice. You can also spray it down with roach spray and then disinfect it!

When transporting food to your new home, make sure there are no roaches inside. Roaches can hide in cereal boxes, cookie jars, and more. So always make sure these food items are properly sealed to avoid any cockroaches from getting in.

Cleaning Products You Will Need

As stated above, you should clean our home prior to moving. But, you should also periodically clean and disinfect your home. This will ensure a slower reproduction time and faster roach control. Here are some items you should always have in your home:

  • For getting rid of roach droppings buy intense bathroom cleaners that contain bleach
  • Buy a heavy-duty kitchen spray that can remove grime, tough spills, and crumbs off the countertop
  • Buy brushes and brooms that are antipathogenic so that you can keep your floors clean
  • Heavy-duty garbage cans that are tightly sealed will also reduce cockroach infection

Lastly, you can also have roach killers such as sprays and traps even if you hire a pest control service. These extra precautions guarantee these pesky bugs never return!

The Best Roach Control

Roach killer can be purchased in a variety of different forms such as bait food, traps, sprays, and glue traps.
The most effective method, without hiring a professional, is using poisoned bait.

These baits entice the roaches during their peak eating hours. They will then crawl out of their spots and find their way into the food bait.
Once they go back into hiding, they will die.

Their feces and body can also be lethal to other roaches that come into direct contact. So a lot of the time, poisoned baits kill multiple roaches at once.

This approach seems great but there are some downsides. For example, there will be decaying roaches inside your home which could lead to health and sanitary issues.

Not to mention, if you have kids or pets, poisoned bait could be very dangerous if not properly placed! Overall, try and clean the tight crevices and clean out any remaining droppings or dead roaches!
Sprays, or cypermethrin to be more exact, are another common killer for roaches.

These sprays can quickly kill a roach. However, sprays can only kill roaches that have been in direct contact with them.

Therefore, the method is slower because multiple roaches cannot be killed at once. So if you already have a severe infestation, it’s better to find a pest control specialist!

Do Organic Roach Killer Products Work?

Organic roach killers can be found online, in stores, or you can DIY a home remedy. Although the trend of organic and well-sourced products is very admirable, this may not be the best option for cockroach control.

Cockroaches can withstand just about anything which is why harsh chemicals are needed to kill these pesky bugs. If you’re wanting to stay natural in regard to cockroach control, do your research and look at the reviews before buying.

You could also hire a professional pest company as this diminishes the need for other chemicals. If you’re worried about your pets or children, find a secure spot in your home that is unreachable.

You can also try baby locking cabinets so that your child can’t open any area that has a poisonous roach trap.

Are Roaches Bad for My Health?

A roach’s feces, saliva, and body parts can trigger a severe reaction in some individuals. So for people with lung conditions such as asthma or COPD, roaches can be very dangerous. These are some of the signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Red and itchy eyes
  • Heavy coughing
  • Runny nose

Aside from allergic reactions, roaches carry diseases like salmonella, cholera, dysentery typhoid fever, and gastroenteritis. Not to mention, cockroaches also carry parasitic organisms that carry life-threatening diseases such as the plague and leprosy!

Do Cockroaches Bite?

You might be surprised to hear that cockroaches do bite. However, these omnivorous creatures don’t intend to bite humans. Most of the time, they are ravaging for food and will accidentally bite humans while they sleep.

That’s why it’s important to not eat on your bed so roaches aren’t drawn to you! Usually, the roaches will bite the toes, fingernails, and around the mouth/eye area. If you are bitten by a cockroach, you might develop a red and swollen bump.

You should immediately disinfect the area with alcohol and keep applying it every 4 hours. If you follow these sets, and the swelling doesn’t subside, visit a doctor immediately.

Do Cockroaches Fly?

You’ll be very amazed to hear that some cockroaches do fly. However, they can only fly short distances. They usually fly to get away from danger or to find nearby food.

Sometimes cockroaches will fly if they see a light and smell food. Therefore, try and keep your windows and doors closed, especially at night!

Roach Infestation vs Rat Infestation

Now that you’ve read about cockroaches, you might see some similarities between a roach and rat infestation. For example, rats also leave behind droppings and only come out at night.

Similar to rats, cockroaches can also eat through food packaging and even leather! So how do you distinguish a rat versus a cockroach infestation?
First look at the droppings. The drippings of a rat will be larger than that of a cockroach.

Usually, rat droppings are around, ½ – 1/3 of an inch long and they are shiny and black. While a roach dropping is around 1/25ths of an inch, which is significantly smaller.

Lastly, roach droppings appear as little black dots while you can see the clear pointed shape of a rat dropping!

Rats are also very loud and you will constantly hear rustling within the walls. With roaches, they are practically undetectable unless they are eating or flying. If you’re not sure what kind of pest is in your home, call a professional to inspect your home.

Get Rid Of Your Roach Infestation Today

A roach infestation can be bad for your health and diminish your home’s appearance. That’s why it’s important to follow these crucial steps because you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable in your own home.

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By Malik

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