How do you know if you have cockroaches?
Cockroaches are nocturnal and they don’t like the light, so they tend to come out when it’s dark. Try turning the lights on late at night to see if you can spot them. Often with a cockroach infestation, you’ll notice a strong musty or oily smell. You may be able to find cockroaches or their feces under kitchen appliances, in dark corners, and in the back of cupboards. Cockroach feces is cylindrical, and resembles ground coffee or coarse ground black pepper. The amount of visible feces is an indicator of the size and duration of an infestation.
Where to look for cockroaches
Cockroaches prefer to have the side or top of their body touching another object. They like to walk along walls and close to furniture. Some of their favorite hiding places are small cracks and holes. They like to hide underneath and inside the electrical components of large appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, and soda machines. They seek out any areas that provide darkness and hidden passages, such as the tops of cabinets and in the dark corners of the pantry. They can also be found, at times, behind loose wallpaper. Also check any areas with organic storage materials like cardboard boxes and papers.
What to do if you find a cockroach infestation
The first step is decluttering to reduce their hiding places and cut off their food supply. For instance, you’ll want to make sure there is no recycling for them to hide in. Make sure any food stored in cupboards or in the pantry are in sealed containers, and don’t leave fruits and veggies out on the counter. Rinse and drain bottles and cans- even a small amount of moisture is enough for them to survive off. For this reason, you also should not leave dishes to soak overnight. Don’t leave your pet food out overnight. Keep it in a sealed container, and make sure none is spilled. Cockroaches have a particular affinity for pet food!
If you find cockroach feces, it’s important to clean the area thoroughly because it contains a pheromone that attracts more roaches (and it can cause health problems!). If you plan to call a professional, it’s a good idea to do this after they have completed their inspection, because it can provide them with useful information. Pull out and clean under appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and soda machines. They love crumbs and sticky, sweet substances, so pay special attention to those areas. Clean up any grease or oil build up, because it interferes with the long term effects of insecticides. Frequent cleaning also helps clear up infestations because it stresses out the cockroaches and causes them to forage more actively- which means baits become much more effective!
Outdoor prevention tips
Clean any piles of debris in the yard or areas surrounding the building, because this can provide shelter for your pests. Check your foundation vents and make sure they’re clear of debris. It’s a good idea to have these screened off with a fine metal mesh to prevent pests from entering through them. You should also check the foundation and siding for cracks that may need to be sealed or repaired. If you have plants or grass in the area, make sure it’s not touching the building. Garbage areas need special attention when you’re fighting a cockroach infestation. Make sure there aren’t any spills or residue on the ground or side of the bins. Lids should be tight at all times, and, if you can, keep the garbage inside sealed in plastic bags.
Additional building maintenance tips
Make sure screens on windows are in good condition. Fix dripping faucets and leaky pipes, and make sure the openings around these pipes are sealed well. If your pipes are sweating, you should insulate them. Even that small amount of water is enough for them to survive on. After treatment, inspect the walls for any cracks or gaps that need to be sealed to keep pests from re-entering.
Need professional help?
American Extermination Plus, Inc. is experienced in dealing with cockroach infestations. We offer free inspections, and would love to help you come up with a treatment plan to get rid of your infestation permanently. Click here to learn more about cockroaches!
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