Dealing with a cockroach infestation is something everyone wishes they wouldn’t have to do but it eventually happens. Detecting a cockroach infestation is the first step in battling these pests. When you know the signs you can act on time and prevent the infestation from getting bigger.

Table of Contents:

How do you know if you have a roach infestation?

Roaches can leave their mark in your home long before you actually see them.
In no particular order, here are the most common signs of a cockroach infestation:

  • Droppings
    When you have a cockroach infestation, the roaches leave behind black dust – their droppings. The appearance and amount of the droppings can vary, depending on the type of roach and the level of the infestation – the more droppings you find, the bigger the infestation. The feces resemble ground coffee in appearance and can have an oval pellet/cylindrical shape. You can see a trace in the high-traffic areas. It’s a good, visible indicator where these creepy crawlers go. Usually, it’s behind and around the fridge, oven and other places where you store or prepare food. But since roaches are not fussy eaters, they can dwell around the bathroom and garbage.

Cockroach VS Rodent Feces
Roach feces have blunt ends, while rodent poop has pointed ends.

  • Foul smell
    The longer there has been an infestation and the bigger it is, the worse it smells. This unpleasant odour comes from a pheromone in cockroaches’ droppings which attracts others of their kind. The smell can be described as musty and oily. If you can sense this, don’t wait any longer and call a pest exterminator.
  • Egg cases (ootheca)
    Cockroaches don’t just lay one egg, they lay capsules (oothecae) containing multiple eggs (up to 50!). They’re different for each species but in general, they’re all brown in colour and have a cylindrical form. In case of an infestation, you will find these empty egg cases and they’re a sure sign you’re no longer dealing with just one or two roaches at your home. You can find the oothecae in tight protected spaces, so look behind furniture, in pantries, cracks in the wall, etc.
  • Shed skin
    As roaches mature, they shed their skin several times, leaving it behind just to be found by some unexpecting homeowner. Look for these varying in size skins and they might lead you to the place the roaches are sheltering.
  • Cockroaches
    And last, but not least – the pest itself. Seeing one roach doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infestation. But it’s a start. As we learned previously – if the cockroach is carrying an egg capsule, your one-roach-of-a-problem can quickly turn into a nightmare to deal with. So it’s important to act quickly.

Allergies alert!
Since the roaches most often pollute areas where people eat, the bacteria from the feces can be spread to people and can trigger allergies and asthma.

Finding dead roaches around the house doesn’t mean the infestation is over, but it’s most likely a sign that it’s ongoing since death is only a part of the cycle.

If you spot a live cockroach, immediately look for the second one. It’s rare for cockroaches to go about by themselves. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, so if you see them during the day, it can mean that the infestation already got out of hand and it’s time to search for professional help from exterminators. Roaches during the day means their nest has gotten overcrowded and some of the pests are pushed out to search for food and water during the day.

Have you spotted any of these cockroach signs?

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How to get rid of a cockroach infestation?

If you conclude that there’s an infestation going around your home, you need to get into action as soon as possible. Additionally, the following measures will help you prevent another one reoccurring in the future.

Here’s how to handle a cockroach infestation:

  • Store food properly.
    All food should be stored in airtight containers and in the fridge. No leftovers should stay on the counters and table overnight. It’s best to throw away any uncovered food after you found out about the infestation, as it’s highly possible it’s contaminated.
  • Dry water spills and splashes.
    Like any other creature, the cockroach needs water to survive. Additionally, roaches love to reside in damp spaces. Minimise their chances of survival by cutting their water supply. Fix any leaking pipes and other plumbing problems you might have.
  • Clean thoroughly.
    Cleaning will reduce food sources for the cockroaches. Wash the dishes and put them away every night. Keep your trash in a tightly closed trash can, preferably take it out every day. Get rid of clutter so you’re able to deep-clean your home. Vacuum and clean with warm water and cleaning solutions to prevent spreading disease and triggering allergic reactions.
    Careful! Cockroaches might be hiding in the clutter.

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  • Repair cracks and holes.
    One of the ways cockroaches can get to your home is through holes and cracks in walls, floor and ceiling. Make sure they’re all sealed. If you have trouble with that, check out our handyman services.
  • Notify your landlord and neighbours.
    Dealing with an infestation, especially in apartment buildings, requires the combined effort of you and your neighbours. Contact the people who live close to you, as well as your landlord, as they might even financially help with the extermination.
  • Call an exterminator.
    When you’re dealing with an infestation, simple over-the-counter treatments are no longer effective. Home pest control remedies might be good for preventing an infestation happening in the first place, but not ending it. Call a pest control company to organise an inspection and discuss extermination options.

Takeaways

  • Cockroaches can leave signs of their presence long before you see them crawling around.
  • If you suspect there’s an infestation going around your home, take the needed measures.
  • Continue with your precautions to prevent an infestation from taking place.
  • Call a professional pest control company to ensure your home is pest-free.

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  • Last update: June 9, 2020

Posted in All Articles, Pest Issues

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