With flat, oval-shaped bodies that can grow up to three inches long (depending on species), cockroaches have smaller heads protected by a shield-like pronotum and long, straight antennae. These bugs are often oily to the touch, and almost every species shares the same spiny legs that make them quick on their feet.
Although cockroaches may be easy to recognize once you’ve spotted them, most homeowners don’t realize they’ve got an infestation until it’s spiraled out of control. Not only are cockroaches most active at night, but they prefer to hide in dark, secluded areas of your home, and it can be months before you spot a live roach.
The key to detecting a cockroach infestation early on is understanding the other signs of a cockroach infestation. Here’s what homeowners should know about the five major signs of an infestation, the dangers that cockroaches can bring to your home, and what to do if you think you’re spotting signs of a roach infestation.
Five Major Signs Of A Cockroach Infestation
While it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes peeled for live roaches, here are a couple of other key indicators that you’ve got a roach problem on your hands.
Roach Droppings: Cockroach droppings are one of the most obvious signs that you’ve got a roach problem. From book bindings to your favorite cereal, cockroaches will eat just about anything they can get their spiny hands on. As a result, they tend to leave droppings, which may resemble coffee grounds or pepper, behind in various places. You may find droppings around baseboards or areas where there’s a lot of roach activity. Unless you know what to look for, these droppings can be challenging to spot.
Smear Marks: Along with actual droppings, roaches tend to leave smear marks behind. You’ll often find these dark stains smeared across baseboards and walls in areas where cockroaches are spending a lot of time.
Egg Capsules: When they reproduce, cockroaches lay and hold their eggs in egg capsules, also called oothecae, which can hold up to thirty roach eggs at a time. Once the eggs have hatched, cockroaches don’t need the egg capsules anymore, and these oothecae get discarded. Most capsules are only around ⅓-inch long, and can be tan, brown, or even black in color.
Discarded Skin: As cockroach nymphs grow into mature adult roaches, they’ll discard their skin up to eight times in the process. If you’ve got a cockroach infestation, it’s not unusual to find piles of discarded and shed skin lying in places where there’s high cockroach activity.
Musty Odor: You may not notice it in minor or early cockroach infestations. But as a roach infestation becomes more severe, many homeowners report smelling a musty odor that seems to linger around their house. This odor may smell damp and unpleasant, and it comes from the pheromones left behind in cockroach droppings.
Are Cockroaches Dangerous?
Unfortunately, cockroaches – whether the infestation is small or large – are far from harmless. These pests can be dangerous to you or your family in a variety of different ways:
Cockroaches may carry harmful pathogens and bacteria, like streptococcus, salmonellosis, or staphylococcus.
An enzyme in a roach’s discarded skin, droppings, and saliva can worsen asthma symptoms or trigger allergic reactions in a lot of people.
Severe infestations may even cause property damage, as roaches chew through food packaging, books, and even leather.
Besides the health risks, cockroaches are one of the trickiest pests to eliminate. Because they reproduce quickly and hide well, it’s often difficult for homeowners to eliminate the entire infestation. Not to mention, these critters are more resilient than they might seem. Cockroaches can become resistant to pesticides and survive for up to a week after decapitation. They’re not always easy to kill with DIY techniques or home remedies.
What To Do If You’re Spotting Signs Of A Cockroach Infestation
Whether you spot one or all of the cockroach signs we’ve listed above, there’s only one thing to do: contact the professionals at Action Pest Control. As dangerous and resilient as cockroaches are, the most effective way to get rid of them is with our reliable, time-tested professional treatments.
If you think you’ve got roaches in your home, it’s time to take action. Call us at Action Pest Control today to learn more about how our cockroach control services work or to schedule an inspection of your home.
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