Cockroaches scurry about in the middle of the night with their creepy-crawly ways, and if you are a Cape Cod homeowner unlucky enough to have them, you get the shivers whenever you turn on the lights. These creatures are notoriously resilient, and myth has it, they will inherit the earth in the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse.
What Are Cockroaches?
The World Health Organization describes cockroaches as insects that usually have two pairs of wings. Despite this fact, flying is a rarity for these insects that spend the majority of their time on the ground.
More than 3,500 different identified species of cockroaches in a wide variety of sizes make their home on the planet — though most are some variation of brown or black in color. Some of the more common types of cockroaches include the German cockroach, the American cockroach, brown-banded cockroach and the Oriental cockroach.
Cockroaches can give off an unpleasant, musty odor that resembles oil. The smell becomes worse as the infestation grows. Besides their scurrying noise, these hardy creatures make hissing or chirping sounds. They are primarily nocturnal insects.
Aside from the “ick” factor, these insects pose a significant public health risk and have either been proven or highly likely to carry the following:
- Typhoid fever
Additionally, they are known to cause problems with allergies among people in homes and buildings where they like to hide from the elements. Pest experts also believe cockroaches trigger asthma attacks and spread 33 different types of bacteria.
How Resilient Are Cockroaches?
Cockroaches are notoriously tricky to get rid of because they are so resilient. How tough are they? They can live for up to a week with their heads cut off. They can also live for nearly two weeks without water and a month without food.
Evolutionarily speaking, they’ve been around since the days of the dinosaurs and are continuing to thrive today.
The popular television show Mythbusters set out to disprove the belief that cockroaches could survive a nuclear strike. After a series of experiments, the show’s hosts concluded cockroaches might be the last ones standing after nuclear Armageddon. Therefore, it’s crucial to leave removal of cockroaches to professionals who are trained to do so, rather than attempting to rid your home of these pests on your own.
Interesting Facts About Cockroaches
While you might want to know as little as possible about cockroaches — aside from how to get rid of them — it’s wise to understand these creatures better, so you know how essential it is to call for reinforcements when attempting to free your home of a cockroach infestation.
These facts might help stress the importance of professional pest control services to rid your home of cockroaches and more.
- Some female cockroaches remain pregnant for life after mating only once.
- There are nearly 70 different species of cockroaches in the United States alone.
- Cockroaches run at speeds of up to three miles per hour.
- Once they’ve invaded your home, they’re extremely challenging to get rid of.
- They have a high metabolism.
What’s more, just one female cockroach can hatch up to 150 offspring annually.
These pests are committed to living and can survive in some of the least hospitable environments on earth. Your home is likely a palace to them. Call us here at Pest Pros, your Cape Cod and South Shore pest control experts, to show them the door and eliminate the welcome sign hanging over your home.
How Cockroaches Get Into Your Home
So, where do cockroaches come from in your home? That’s probably the first question to ask when you see roaches taking up residence in your house.
If you’re like most people, you don’t need to find a nest of cockroaches hidden in your attic to want them gone. You only need to see one scurrying around your kitchen in the middle of the night, and you’re ready to do whatever it takes for swift removal.
Roaches can walk, run and, in some cases, fly into your home. They only need a small opening to get in, and sometimes you might bring them in right through your front door without even knowing it.
They come into your home riding in:
- Paper bags
- Cardboard boxes
You can also bring them in with your:
- Shopping bags
- Stacks of newspapers
They walk right through:
- Cracks around windows
- Gaps around doorways
- Cracks in foundation
- Splits in floor joists
They move from one home or apartment to another via:
- Shared walls
- Small holes in buildings
- Air conditioning vents
Now you know how they get into your home, it’s equally important to understand where they are hiding inside your home, so you can make informed decisions about getting rid of them — for good.
Where Do Cockroaches Hide in Your House?
If you see one cockroach in your kitchen or bathroom, you can be certain there are more lurking in your home. They tend to gather in dark, narrow places, under appliances or even under the sinks in your home. They can flatten their bodies to hide out in narrow places.
Once you see one, it’s time to act quickly to eliminate the problem before you begin seeing many.
Cockroaches like to hide:
- In walls
- Beneath cabinets
- In attics
They come into your home seeking warmth and humidity, which is why you often see them in kitchens and bathrooms.
They also come in search of food. Contrary to widespread belief, you can have an immaculate home and still attract cockroaches. The smallest of crumbs in the kitchen can become a feast for cockroaches. So can pet food, leftovers sitting out or garbage you placed in your trash bins.
The key is to make your home as unwelcoming as possible for these insects, so they will go away and be disinterested in returning.
Understanding how cockroaches get into your home is important for understanding how to prevent them from coming back. This is one reason it is so important to work with highly trained pest control experts. They can help you get rid of your cockroach problem and prevent them from returning in the future.
Issues Cockroaches Can Cause in Your Home
If you’re like many people, your instinctive recoil at the first sign of cockroaches in your home is enough to send you running to call our experts here at Pest Pros. Understanding the potential health consequences of having a cockroach infestation helps you to realize how urgent it is to remove these pests from your home.
Cockroaches and Allergies
Many people are allergic to a protein in cockroaches, which is capable of not only triggering an allergic reaction, but can also cause asthma attacks. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, children who suffer from allergies to cockroaches make more hospital visits for asthma after exposure to cockroaches than other children with asthma who do not get exposed to them.
Exposure to cockroaches’ saliva, waste and shed skin of cockroaches, as well as dead cockroaches hidden in your walls, beneath your floors and under appliances causes these types of reactions. These particles can be extremely tiny — small enough to become airborne — so they spread throughout your home.
Allergy Symptoms After Exposure
Typical allergy symptoms related to cockroaches vary from one person to the next, and may include any of the following:
- Ear infections
- Itchy nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
- Runny nose
- Sinus infections
- Skin rashes
- Stuffy nose
When cockroaches trigger asthma attacks, symptoms may include:
- Tightness and pain in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Shortness of breath
Treatments for allergies to cockroaches vary according to the severity of the symptoms. Over-the-counter medications provide relief for milder symptoms, while moderate to severe allergic reactions may require prescription medications.
Asthma attacks brought on by exposure to cockroaches almost always require medical intervention, which is why it is critical to take steps to remove cockroaches from your home and prevent them from coming back once you are rid of them.
Cockroaches and the Spread of Disease
Beyond the scope of allergies and asthma attacks, researchers believe cockroaches play critical roles in the spread of diseases. Cambridge University conducted a study where it identified 30 different species of bacteria related to cockroaches living near humans.
The study involved 50 different apartments and reported while these insects don’t link to major outbreaks, they may play bigger roles in the spread of infections than previously realized.
The World Health Organization has also acknowledged that cockroaches are suspected carriers of a variety of microorganisms associated with conditions like leprosy, plague, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever and a host of viral conditions and diseases.
Damage to Your Home and Possessions From Cockroaches
Roaches can also cause harm to your home and your possessions. Not only can they contaminate the food in your home, but they also chew on paper products, book bindings and similar objects. Additionally, they can stain these objects, causing damage, if not ruining these items altogether.
As mentioned, living cockroaches give off an offensive musty odor, but oleic acid from decomposition of dead roaches also gives off a pungent odor. Cockroach odors linger in your home’s air, and can affect the taste of your food.
How to Prevent Cockroaches From Infesting Your Home
Preventing roaches in your home is obviously preferable to getting rid of an infestation that has already occurred. However, if you’ve had an infiltration, preventing another one needs to be your second-biggest priority — after getting rid of the infestation, of course.
It’s hard to keep these pests out if they want to come into your home. Your challenge is to make your home look like a wasteland for roaches, so they will not want to stick around.
When it comes to how to prevent cockroaches naturally, the first step is to make your home an unappealing location for roaches. There are many things you can do to create a “roach-unfriendly” atmosphere in your home. While you want to get rid of cockroaches once they invade your home, devote some time to learning how to prevent them from entering your home — or coming back after a professional has removed them.
Some do’s and don’ts for cockroach control are listed below.
- Remove all crumbs from floors and countertops.
- Store all food in tightly sealed containers.
- Empty all garbage cans daily — before going to sleep at night works best.
- Seal gaps by caulking around doors and windows — these are common entry points for cockroaches, and sealing them forces the pests to look for other routes into your home. Do the same in the cabinets in your bathrooms and kitchen.
- Wash dishes daily.
- Rinse bottles and cans before recycling to remove all food and drink residue.
- Keep stovetops clear of grease and other food debris.
- Use ammonia for cleaning and rinse your drains with it when done. Cockroaches find the pungent smell of ammonia irritating, and will avoid areas cleaned effectively with the aromatic chemical.
- Plug your sinks and drains when not in use. Roaches climb through pipes and up through drains. Keeping them plugged denies roaches yet another point of entry into your home.
- Clean under appliances and cabinets frequently — especially in areas where water may be collecting, like refrigerators and the cabinets under sinks in bathrooms and kitchens.
- Choose plants for your home wisely. Certain plants, such as laurel, are repulsive to roaches. Others to consider include lavender and citronella. Place them near windows or doors to prevent roaches from coming in.
- Vacuum daily to remove roach-related allergens trapped in carpet fibers.
- Have piles of newspapers, magazines and other items in your home.
- Leave pet food out overnight.
- Leave dirty dishes in the sink or on countertops overnight. It only takes a few crumbs to feed roaches.
- Keep your home full of clutter. A messy home gives roaches more places to hide.
- Choose carpets for flooring in your home.
These steps are all excellent tools for making your home an unattractive location for roaches to nest. However, when preventing cockroaches is your goal, there are other things you should add to your to-do list.
Do Remove Excess Moisture in Your Home
Roaches may be able to last more than a week without drinking water. Ultimately, though, they need water to live, and your home could easily provide an unlimited supply. It’s up to you to make it more difficult for roaches to find drinking water in your home.
These are a few things you can do to keep excess moisture out of your home:
- Fix all leaks. Check your water pipes, drains, etc. and make sure there aren’t any undetected water leaks needing repairs. While roaches can live a long time without water, they must have it to survive.
- Pick up and empty pet water bowls when pets aren’t actively drinking. At the very least, pick up and empty these bowls before you go to sleep at night.
- Invest in a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air, as well as the wood in your home — roaches love feasting on rotting wood.
- Dry sinks, tubs and showers after use to remove residual moisture that might attract roaches.
- Remove clogs from drains. Clogged drains provide “swimming pools” for roaches and other pests. Eliminate this avenue of access to water by bringing in a plumber if home remedies for clog removal aren’t doing the trick.
- Clean up any spilled liquids right away.
- When showering or cooking, use vents in kitchens and bathrooms to clear out moisture quickly. The key is to have as little extra moisture in your home as possible, so cockroaches do not have access to it.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent cockroach infestations is call in pest control professionals to inspect your home. At Pest Pros, we have trained eyes to identify points of entry, potential problem spots and improvements you can make to create an inhospitable environment for cockroaches. Preventing roaches from making your house their home is easy when you have the right guide to help.
How to Remove Cockroaches from Your Home
Unfortunately, you can’t chase cockroaches into the spaces under appliances or inside your walls to stomp them out on your own. Couple that with the fact these creatures are highly resilient and almost indestructible, and it’s even more difficult to get rid of them.
Below, you will find a few great reasons professional pest control services are almost always the best choice when it comes to getting rid of cockroaches in your home.
Why Bring in Professional Pest Control?
Professionals don’t become pros overnight. They’ve taken the time to learn a great deal about roaches and what you can do to get rid of them. They cultivate this knowledge so they can provide a valuable service that doesn’t force you to learn all the nitty-gritty details of roach removal.
Some of the knowledge professionals bring to the table include the following:
- The ability to identify specific breeds of roaches in your home, breeding patterns, feeding habits and other pertinent details specific to your infestation.
- Knowledge about various pesticides and other treatments to remove roaches from your home quickly and effectively — even if you have children and/or pets.
- Willingness to visit the dark places where roaches hide — so you don’t have to go there.
- Education about planet-friendly bug-removal options you can feel good about using in your home.
- Understanding of how important it is to ensure the pest removal option of your choice reaches the entire population of roaches in your home, not just a select few roaches who brave the open spaces in your home at night.
- Insights about how cockroaches come into your home, so they can seal off the various points of entry —preventing future infestations from occurring.
Not only are all the above great reasons to hire a professional to remove cockroaches from your home or business, but trained experts can survey your house or workplace to identify points of entry for these pests so you can seal them off.
Our Cockroach Removal Services
Pest Pros has been serving the pest control needs of Cape Cod residents and businesses since 1999 with fast and dependable service and eco-friendly pest control solutions.
We are a locally owned and operated company that takes immense pride in offering effective pest control and prevention services to homes in Barnstable, Mass., and other communities throughout Cape Cod.
We believe in getting results, and a trained expert can do just that. Pest Pros specializes in meeting all your pest control needs, including the removal and prevention of:
More importantly, we promise to get the job done right, every time. We stand behind our promise with a full guarantee of our services.
Pest Pros is certified by the Massachusetts Pesticide Bureau, and every member of our team is an expert in providing effective pest removal services. Because we are always looking for ways to serve you better, our team members receive constant training and education in techniques, technology and innovations within the pest control spectrum.
We are proud to offer the latest cutting-edge technology and services when it comes to removing cockroaches from homes in Barnstable, Chatham, Dennis, Duxbury, Falmouth, Hyannis, Kingston, Marshfield, Orleans, Plymouth, Scituate, Wareham, Yarmouth and surrounding areas.
Call today for a free inspection and estimate for our pest services.