Cockroaches aren’t afraid to set up shop in your home. These resilient pests will eat just about anything and scurry through your house carrying bacteria and germs with them. The key to eliminating a cockroach infestation is acting quickly once you know they’re in your home. We’ve made a list of 5 warning signs to help you identify and eliminate a cockroach infestation.
How Do You Know You Have a Roach Infestation?
The most obvious sign of an infestation is spotting living cockroaches. However, there are other clues that these pests are hanging out in your home.
1. Cockroach Droppings
Finding cockroach droppings in your house is a sign of an infestation. These are small, black specks that 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’ll find droppings in areas where cockroaches live including kitchens, basements, and bathrooms.
2. Cockroach Egg Casings
Female roaches lay oval-shaped egg casings (oothecae). These can be found in cabinets, furniture, and other hidden areas. They vary in length and color depending on species. However, they are all varying shades of brown. If you spot these casings, it means cockroaches are reproducing in your house.
3. Unpleasant Odor
If cockroaches weren’t bad enough, they can also create an unpleasant odor. Larger infestations will produce a more intense scent. This odor has been described as musty. When cockroaches find a good place to nest, they release chemicals that can attract other cockroaches. Their droppings can also leave behind an unpleasant odor.
4. Seeing Cockroaches During the Day
Cockroaches are nocturnal and mainly active at night. If you spot these pests during the day, you may be dealing with a serious infestation. Cockroaches may be out during the day if their nest is packed. They will require more food sources, leading to them seek food throughout the day and not just at night.
5. Physical Cockroach Sightings
While spotting living cockroaches is a warning sign, you should also be alert for dead cockroaches. Spotting these can be a sign of an infestation. You may also find cockroach skin. Cockroach nymphs molt several times before becoming adults. During this process, they shed skin. These may be found in areas where cockroaches like to hide.
What Attracts Cockroaches in Your Home?
Cockroaches enter homes looking for food, water, and shelter. They are attracted to food that’s been left out on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink, and spills and crumbs. These pests also like moisture and humidity. You can find them near leaky pipes or wet objects including a bath mat. Cockroaches can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and near wall voids. Removing these attractants is key to getting rid of cockroaches.
Does Seeing One Roach Mean an Infestation?
Spotting one cockroach doesn’t mean you are dealing with an infestation. However, there’s a chance it could. If you see several cockroaches, it’s likely you have a full infestation on your hands. A nest could be hidden somewhere nearby.
What to do if You Have a Cockroach Infestation?
If you discover cockroaches have invaded your home, you’ll want to act quickly. Here are a few tips to help you eliminate a cockroach infestation.
- Clean Your Home: Removing food sources is necessary to get rid of these pests. Wipe up spills, grease, and clean up crumbs on counter tops, underneath/between appliances, and in cupboards.
- Remove Hiding Spots: Get rid of items where cockroaches hang out including empty cardboard boxes, newspapers, and magazines.
- Eliminate Moisture: Repair any leaky plumbing, pipes, or faucets in your home and outside.
- Seal Cracks & Gaps: Check for and seal any cracks in your home’s foundation. Make sure screens and weather stripping are in good repair. Cover vents with mesh and seal gaps between windows, doors, and outer walls. Seal areas where utility hardware enters your house.
- Use a Plant-Based Insecticide Spray: Our Home Bug Spray and Ant & Roach Killer spray will kill cockroaches on contact and provide residual repellency.
- Use a Bait: Our Roach Killer Gel Bait can be placed in areas where cockroaches have been seen. The bait attracts and kills cockroaches helping to eliminate the colony.
- Use a Dust: For longer-lasting control, apply a dust in areas where cockroaches have been seen. Our Spider & Insect Dust and Bed Bug Killer will help to keep cockroaches away.
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.
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.