Have you ever dealt with a cockroach infestation? Hopefully not, but even the cleanest homes can be a place cockroaches find a way in to set up shop. These resilient insect pests will not only eat just about anything, they enjoy wallowing around in dark, filthy corners. They will also track bacteria and germs wherever they go. They're not exactly house guests you look forward to.
They don't bite, and the only danger they really pose is the way they spread germs and filth everywhere. They can contaminate your food and even cause your allergies to flare up. They can even make your asthma worse. And unlike other insect pests, cockroaches can be a problem all year round in homes, apartments, offices, and restaurant kitchens.
The key to eliminating a cockroach infestation is to act quickly once you know they're in your home. See below for our list of five cockroach infestation signs you should be aware of to help you know when you need to take action.
German cockroach infestations are the most common, but you may also encounter American roaches, Brown-banded roaches, and possibly Oriental roaches.
How Do You Know You Have a Roach Infestation?
In addition to seeing the most obvious sign (live roaches), there are some other telltale cockroach infestation signs you should be aware of.
- Cockroach Fecal Droppings. Are you finding small black specks, that may resemble coffee grounds or black pepper? Larger roaches will produce cylindrical droppings. The amount of droppings you find is an indicator of the roach population size you are dealing with.
- Roach Egg Casings. Female roaches lay oval-shaped egg casings (oothecae), and these can be found in areas where roaches are active, like in cabinets, furniture, and other hidden areas. If you're seeing roach egg casings, it's not a good sign. It means they're reproducing.
- Musty Odor. The more severe the cockroach infestation, the more you will smell a pungent, musty odor.
- Seeing Roaches During the Day. Cockroaches are nocturnal, and mainly active at night. If you have a serious infestation, you will start to notice them in the daytime, because there are so many of them, they get shoved out of their own nests.
- Finding Dead Roaches. When you start seeing dead roaches in common areas, it's another indicator of a roach problem.
What Attracts Cockroaches in Your Home?
Cockroaches enjoy being in your home for the same reason you do. For food, water, and shelter. Roaches are attracted to food that has been left out on the counter, greasy, dirty dishes in the sink, greasy spills, and food crumbs laying around. Cockroaches are also attracted to moisture and humidity, so they are frequently found near leaky pipes under your kitchen or bathroom sink, and even to a wet bath mat on the bathroom floor.
The most common places to find and treat for cockroaches include your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, basement, and nearby wall voids.
Does Seeing One Roach Mean an Infestation?
One single roach doesn't necessarily mean you have an infestation on your hands, but it means there's a very good chance you do. Seeing two or three of them likely means hundreds, possibly thousands more, in a nest nearby.
What to do if You Have a Cockroach Infestation?
Remember, the faster you act to treat for cockroaches once you've discovered them, the sooner you can eliminate a cockroach infestation in your home.
- Clean up your kitchen, and home, being careful to wipe up all spills, grease, and crumbs on counter tops and underneath/between appliances, in cupboards, etc.
- Get rid of roach hangouts like empty boxes, newspapers, magazines, etc.
- Repair any leaky plumbing/pipes/faucets indoors and outdoors
- Seal up cracks in your home’s foundation, make sure screens and weatherproofing are in good repair, cover vents with mesh, seal gaps between windows and doors and outer walls, and seal areas where utility hardware enters your house.
Use a Reliable Cockroach Killer
Cockroaches can be spot-treated and killed directly by spraying them with an effective plant-powered roach killer spray like Maggie's Farm Ant & Roach Killer Spray or Maggie’s Farm Home Bug Spray. Maggie's Farm Roach Killer Gel , Maggie's Farm Spider & Insect Dust, or Maggie’s Farm Bed Bug Killer are longer-lasting treatments for out-of the-way areas where you've seen roach activity including underneath counter tops, inside cabinets, in wall voids, etc.
Always follow directions on any pest control product you use.
How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Cockroaches?
How long it takes to get rid of a cockroach infestation depends on several different factors, including:
- How many roaches there are
- How fast you respond once you discover cockroach activity (remember, they multiply quickly!)
- How old your home is (older homes mean more cracks/crevices/wall voids)
- How clean/tidy you keep your home (Don't fret too much - even the cleanest homes can get cockroaches)
Cockroach infestations typically take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to eliminate. Keeping up with prevention methods and consistent treatments is key for making roaches feel unwelcome in your home.
For more information on getting rid of cockroaches, check out:
Got tips and tricks to get rid of cockroaches at home? Post a comment. We’d love to hear from you!
For scientifically-tested, effective cockroach control in your home that is friendly to the environment, try Maggie’s Farm pest control products. Our promise is that our plant and mineral-based products are developed by scientists and seasoned pest control professionals to be the most effective.