Naturally, cockroaches are disgusting little creatures. For most homeowners, they are enough to trigger the same fear many people feel when encountering spiders, bedbugs, or rats. Not only are cockroaches gross, but they can transmit more than 30 different kinds of bacteria to humans. Startling as that may sound, a cockroach infestation in your home can pose even more serious dangers. For instance, they carry and spread six different parasitic worms and more than five human pathogens, one of which can cause polio.
That’s why you need to get rid of cockroaches as soon as you suspect or spot an infestation. Unfortunately, cockroach infestations are one of the most common pest problems in Anne Arundel County and Annapolis, MD . Yet, roaches are extremely stubborn to get rid of without the help of an expert. Because every home is different, an Old Bay Pest Control Technician will inspect your home and customize a unique cockroach control plan to get rid of the pests and keep them out of your home.
Identifying Cockroach species
Effective cockroach control involves thoroughly inspecting your home to identify the specific species causing you trouble. Unbeknownst to many, there are more than 4,000 cockroach species, 30 of which are considered pests in human habitats. Of these, three species have managed to make a real nuisance of themselves in U.S. homes.
Here is how to identify the most common types of cockroaches in homes in Anne Arundel County and Annapolis.
Scientifically known as Blattella germanica, German cockroaches are extremely common in the U.S. They have a light brown or amber color with two dark stripes on their backs. Growing up to 12-15 millimeters in length, adults have visible wings but rarely fly, instead preferring to crawl. You’ll commonly find German roaches scampering or crawling in warm, humid places like the kitchen, under sinks, and in bathrooms. They are the most prolific breeders, with each female producing at least five egg sacks of 35-40 eggs in a lifetime. The eggs develop into reproductive adults in as little as 40 days, necessitating rapid control measures.
Also called Periplaneta Americana, American cockroaches are another seriously common invader that grows up to 35-40 millimeters long. They have a reddish brown color with a visible pale yellow pattern on the upper part of their thorax. They have pale legs and fully-developed wings that can fly short distances. American roaches have a preference for fermented food. Hence they are often sighted in homes and commercial properties that store foods. A single female produces about 50 eggs sacks of 12-16 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs develop into mature adults in about 6-12 months.
Sometimes called Supella longipalpa, brown-banded roaches are a common indoor pest. Growing up to 10-15 millimeters in length, they have a glossy brown color with a pale banding running across the thorax and abdomen. Though the banding appears irregular in adults, it is more pronounced in nymphs and females. Both sexes have wings; however, male wings tend to extend beyond the abdomen, while female wings are rather small, often leaving the abdomen exposed. A female produces about 13 egg sacks, each containing about 18 eggs that develop into adults within 2-4 months.
4 Telltale signs you have cockroaches in your home
Cockroaches are especially troublesome because they are attracted to the factors readily available in our homes, including water, food, and shelter. These opportunistic creatures have a strong sense of smell. This makes it easy for them to seek out spills, leaks, food crumbs, pet food, garbage, and any leftovers in your home. Identifying the early signs of a cockroach infestation helps get rid of the pests before they can multiply and cause trouble:
- Droppings: Roaches are nocturnal pests, meaning sightings typically happen at night. However, spotting cockroach droppings that resemble coffee or black pepper is an indication of cockroach activity.
- Smear marks: Cockroaches are messy critters that leave behind brown, irregular-shaped smear marks on walls, floors, and in other activity areas.
- Pungent, musty odor: Roaches produce an unpleasant musty odor that worsens as the infestation increases.
- Shed skin: As they mature and increase in size, roaches shed their skin 5-8 times before reaching adulthood.
How to get rid of a cockroach infestation / DIY cockroach control
Cockroaches are quite challenging to get rid of completely. That’s why an infestation is best left to trained and experienced pest exterminators. But if you’re hell-bent on getting rid of the pests on your own, here is a complete DIY cockroach control guide:
- Thoroughly inspect your home using a torch to identify potential hiding spots. Consider using sticky traps for long-term monitoring of roach populations.
- Take measures to reduce access to food, water, and shelter. This includes maintaining high hygiene standards, storing food in sealed containers, and sealing cracks and crevices.
- Apply a combination of insecticide treatments to exterminate the infestation. Ensure to remove food and utensils from areas being treated to prevent contamination. Also, keenly read and follow the product instructions. Here is a combination of insecticide treatments that target cockroaches:
- Sprays: Apply surface spray in cockroach hiding spots and activity areas such as cracks, crevices, and emptied cabinets. You must not spray food preparation surfaces such as countertops.
- Dust: You can apply insecticide dusts or powders such as boric acid and diatomaceous earth on cockroach-infested areas. Dusts are especially ideal for places that can’t be treated with a wet spray, such as electrical appliances and piles of paper. Apply light dusting carefully to avoid the risk of human or pet contact.
- Baits: Baits are especially useful in schools, hospitals, and food-handling facilities as they are safe, preventing contact with pesticides. Cockroach baits contain a combination of a slow-acting insecticide with a food attractant. Applied correctly, baits can potentially eliminate an entire colony. For the best results, place the gel bait or bait station in cockroach activity areas and hiding spots.
Contact Old Bay Pest Control to get rid of Cockroaches
Accurate cockroach identification and complete control can be difficult for an untrained homeowner. That’s why our experts at locally owned Old Bay Pest Control begin by thoroughly inspecting your home and designing an affordable cockroach treatment program for your unique needs. While some premises require a one-time treatment to eliminate pests, others require an ongoing process to eliminate bugs and keep them out. Old Bay Pest Control offers exclusive solutions that involve assessing, implementing, and monitoring pests to put an end to an active insect infestation.
If you suspect or spot signs of a cockroach invasion in your home or business, contact Old Bay Pest Control today for a detailed inspection.