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If there was ever one insect that has rightfully earned its reputation, it would be the cockroach. There is no denying that this tiny little insect has struck fear in the heart of many a homeowner and will continue to do so until the end of time. Spotting a roach in the home is both so distributing and shocking because it likely means there are more lingering around somewhere.
The incident is likely even more shocking for those homeowners that take special care to maintain a clean and crumb-free home. Just because you put effort into cleaning your home, it doesn’t mean you aren’t a candidate for roaches. This is especially true for people who have untidy neighbors. Roaches are extremely resilient and resourceful when it comes to survival. You’ve likely heard that you can cut the head off a roach, and it’ll keep going. This is true! Therefore, the best battle plan is to learn as much as you can about the threat before you.
Proper Cockroach Identification
One of the reasons that roaches can be so hard to deal with is because there are so many different species. Did you know that there are approximately 4,000 known roach species in the world? While only 30 of these are knowingly associated with human habitation, just imagine the ones that haven’t been discovered yet. In addition to this, they are one of the most common home invaders.
Simply put, they are a small recipe for a big dish of disaster. As was previously stated, the best place to start is by learning as much as you can about what you are dealing with. The best place to start is by learning about the different species and classifications of the roach.
The German Cockroach
Adult German cockroaches start out at ½” long and can grow to be as long as 5/8”. They are usually tan to brown in color and feature a unique pair of stripes that resemble racing stripes on their heads. As with many of its fellow species, the German is a prolific breeder. The females can commonly produce egg cases that hold as many as 30 to 40 eggs at a time.
With the ability to produce 5 total egg casings in a lifetime, this problematic pest can breed and spread its population in a few short weeks. Although they do have wings, they don’t fly.
The American Cockroach
With the ability to grow as large as 2 inches, this is not one you want to encounter on a dark night. The species range from brown to reddish-brown in color and feature lighter central markings on the plate located behind their heads. The American takes pride in holding the title of the largest known roach species that’s capable of flight.
While they can breed and produce at expediated rates, they typically only live anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Still, this is not a time you want to spend with roaches. If this species is found in the home or structure, it could very well be a good indication of broken sewer pipes or nearby plumbing problems.
Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach
You’d be surprised at how differing the males and females of this species are. They differ so vastly in looks that they don’t even look like they could have come from the same species. The males are considered medium in size with the ability to grow from ½” to ¾”. They also have much shorter than average wings. The Pennsylvanian roach is rarely considered a pest, as they prefer the outdoor surroundings.
Because of their outdoor preference and nature, these roaches can be commonly found near lighting. They will jump and fly around lights, almost similar to that of a moth. Other than this, the species spends the majority of their time in woodpiles, backed-up rain gutters, and underneath wood shingles or siding.
Spotted Mediterranean Cockroach
The spotted Mediterranean cockroach is one of the smallest of its species. The adult reportedly grows up to one-third of an inch long. The female is the smallest of the two genders. The coloration varies between light brown and tans, with black spots. The species initially originated from Europe. According to studies, the species made its way to the United States, more specifically, Cape Cod in the mid-1900s. Over the decades, the insect has spread throughout the world.
The female deposits her outdoors in gardens, near piles of firewood, and other damp areas. The insect has flying capabilities for short distances.
The Oriental cockroach species consists of two genders – male and female. The male is only slightly longer than the female. The adult male grows between 18 and 29 millimeters (0.71 and 1.14 inches) in length. The female grows between 20 and 27 millimeters (0.79 and 1.06 inches) in length.
The diet consists of rubbish, sewage, and rotting organic material.
As one of the largest species, the smokeybrown cockroach reportedly grows as large as 1.5 inches long. The coloration ranges between reddish/brown and reddish/black. The species can be found throughout the southern United States.
The insect has six elbow-shaped legs and two spindly antennas. Logistics companies have reportedly detected the species in shipping containers.
The Surinam cockroach species consist of only females. The adult female grows up to 0.75 inches long. The head plate is dark brown or black while the body ranges between tan and light brown.
Surinam cockroaches are drawn to warmer climates. People have reported seeing the species in Florida, California, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi.
The mature, brown-branded cockroach reportedly measures about 0.5 inches in length. The coloration varies between light brown and tans. The insect shares some of the same features as the German cockroach. For example, both species have a dark head plate and no racing stripe.
How Do Cockroaches Infiltrate Buildings?
Cockroaches utilize structural vulnerabilities to get indoors from the outdoors. They crawl through plumbing pipe passages, damaged garage door seals, basement/crawlspace vents, holes utilized for electrical wiring, and weak door thresholds. The insects will also crawl through open windows and doors.
The insect is drawn to food crumbs, leftover, scraps, sewage material, rubbish, decaying organic matter, and stagnant water.
Is The Cockroach Dangerous In Residential Settings?
Yes, the cockroach poses health risks in all settings – residential, commercial, and industrial. The species carry bacteria that have been linked to foodborne illnesses. Contaminated cockroach feces contain various forms of bacterium. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, 24-hour urgent care facilities, and medical centers report combined thousands of foodborne illness cases each year. In 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “CDC” reported 128,000 foodborne illnesses cases that resulted in hospitalization. Of these cases, 3,000 ends in death.
What Is The Most Effective DIY Cockroach Treatment?
Big-box, hardware, and home & garden stores stock a decent selection of pesticides, insecticides, and traps. Cockroaches are not that difficult to eradicate before the problem transitions into a full-blown infestation. Combinational treatment of an over-the-counter insecticide and trap is more effective than utilizing one or the other.
What Is The Most Effective Professional Cockroach Treatment?
Professional pest management is suitable for mild, moderate, and severe cockroach infestations. As previously mentioned, DIY pesticides are effective early on, but not after the issue becomes an infestation.
Cockroach infestations are extremely difficult to eradicate because they feed, live, and travel in colonies. A colony can have hundreds or thousands of members. The larger the colony, the more severe the infestation. These prolific breeders continuously mate and lay eggs. So, a handful of cockroaches could transition into an infestation in less than money.
When Will My Pest Management Service Request Be Processed?
Our customer support team works extremely hard to process service requests. You can reach one of these qualified representatives via our website, email, social media, and phone. We can have your pest control service request process in 24 and 48 hours, no later than 72 hours.
Should I Be Concerned About Cockroach Pesticide Safety?
It is only normal to be worried about the dangers of pesticides in residential settings. We understand you have concerns about our pest management safety protocol. Our exterminators and certified pest management technicians are fully qualified to handle, administer, store, and transport pesticides. To protect our clients and their children, spouses, neighbors, visitors, and pets, we never treat occupied homes. The home must be vacated prior to each treatment implementation.
Can Cockroach Infestation Be Prevented?
Yes, with the right prevention strategy, which should target household trash, cleaning duties, food storage, structural improvements, pest control education, and visual inspection. Each of these components plays an important role in the prevention of cockroach infestations.
It is recommended to devise a regular household waste disposal plan. Never leave household waste indoors or outdoors in a secure trash bin. It is important to clean up after each meal. Clean the floor, countertop, dining table, and other food preparation surfaces.