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1.  What signs indicate the presence of Cockroaches

  • Turning on a light and seeing them scatter away
  • Seeing live cockroaches during the day
  • Picking up an appliance or other items and seeing them or their feces.
  • Odors such as a strong oily or musty smell may be present with an infestation
  • Areas where there are cockroach feces such as in dark corners or in cupboards.

2. Cockroach feces

  • Cockroach feces resemble ground coffee or coarse ground black pepper and have a cylindrical shape.
  • The quantity of visible feces is an indicator of the level and duration of an infestation.
  • Finding cockroach droppings may tell you where they are congregating.  This is often near human food sources and areas which can then be contaminated and spread disease.

3.  Where to look for an infestation

  • Cockroaches prefer to have the side or top of their body touching another object.  They prefer to walk along walls and close to furniture.  Cracks and any small openings are favored harborage areas.  Along baseboards, under behind and in motor compartments of large appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, pop and candy machine are common hiding places.
  • They can also be found in the dark corners of a room, on top of shelves where food is stored inside cabinets with small openings or inside hollow areas such as doors.  Any area that provides hidden passages
  • Areas frequented by children such as under a playpen pad where they can find spilled milk and food crumbs.
  • They can be found behind wallpaper or other wall coverings that have become loose.
  • Any storage areas with organic storage materials like cardboard boxes and papers.

4.  What to do if you find signs of a cockroach infestation

  • Decluttering to remove hidden harborage areas and food sources.
  • Dispose of cardboard and paper regularly and don’t allow it to build up.
  • Remove food from cupboards that has been left untouched for a long time. And place other food items in sealed containers.
  • Rinse bottles and cans and dispose of right away.
  • Clean and pick up pet food and do not leave out overnight.  Cockroaches are particularly attracted to pet food.  Store pet food in sealed containers
  • Clean areas where cockroach feces are found.  This is important because it contains a pheromone that attracts more roaches.  As well as a possible trigger to some health issues. (note:  If contacting a professional it may be wise to do this after they have completed their inspection as this provides valuable information for them)
  • Clean up crumbs and spills, sweet sticky substances are an attraction to them.
  • Pull out and clean under appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, pop or candy machines, any areas where food and beverage spills may build up.
  • Clean up grease and other forms of soil on household or commercial kitchen surfaces.  Cleaning and sanitizing before each use.   Grease build up can substantially reduce the residual action of insecticide applications.  Rigorous sanitation also causes stress on the population so they will forage more actively and may be controlled more readily by the insecticide or the bait used.
  • Clean Range tops, drip trays stove fans and any walls with grease splatter.
  • Clean and remove small appliances from counters.  Some small items infested by cockroaches may be placed in a plastic bag and put in a freezer overnight to kill any hiding there.
  • Remove all food and utensils from counters and exposed areas.  This prevents contamination from cockroaches that travel over these items.
  • Don’t leave fruit and vegetables on counter tops.
  • Mop floors and dry any standing water to remove any food or waters sources for cockroaches.
  • Obtain a professional carpet cleaning service for any carpeted areas with a buildup of grease and soil residue.
  • Do not leave dishes to soak overnight
  • Clean inside dishwashers to prevent any food particle build up.
  • Clean under tops of tables to get any hidden food build up there.
  • Clean under sink cabinets and remove any clutter build up.  Wipe and clean bottles of any cleaning products and store in an appropriate storage area.
  • Remove and clean under any cutting boards/blocks if possible store in a way to prevent a harborage area.  Only place on the counter during us and then clean and move to a more convenient storage place.

5.  Outside prevention tips

  • Clean up clutter and waist in yard areas.
  • Keep yard debris such as piles of wood, straw, leaves, clippings and other organic debris away from the foundation.  
  • Check foundation vents for holes or entry points for pests.  If in poor condition repair them.  
  • Clear any debris from foundation vents.
  • Check for exterior cracks in foundation or siding that may be entry points for pests if necessary use an appropriate product to seal them.
  • Trim plants and shrubs to keep a clearance of at least 12 inches from the structure.
  • Clean areas where garbage cans sit.  If on a cement storage area, use a cleaning agent to remove any build up.  Keep a tight lid on all garbage containers and clean up any spills right away.
  • If cans are overfilled use sealed plastic bags for any refuse that prevents the lid from closing and if necessary, call your garbage company for extra service.  (there may be a charge for this but it is worth it to get rid of these pests.)
  • Maintain all shrubs and plants around garbage areas.  If possible, expose the dirt below these areas and keep all organic debris from building up.   This will help prevent this from being a harborage area for other pests also.  

6. Other maintenance tips

  • Make sure screens on windows are in good condition
  • Fix dripping faucets and leaky pipes
  • Seal openings around pipes in bathrooms and kitchens
  • If you have sweaty pipes insulate them, even this small amount of water is enough for them to survive on.
  • Eliminate cockroach harborages by caulking or similar structural repairs. This helps to prevent movement between rooms, floors and walls and keeps invading outdoor pests from entering. This is best done after treatment and elimination of cockroaches to prevent infestations.  (Note sealing up these areas too soon may interfere with the treatment plan and scatter cockroaches to other areas making it difficult to effectively treat and eliminate them.)
  • Calling a professional to help with some of these maintenance issues may be useful to determine the appropriate repair strategy to use.

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7. Prevention Tips

  • Check paper bags or boxes for egg cases and live cockroaches tucked in cracks and folds.
  • Installing door sweeps on exterior doors helps keep pests from wandering in from outside.
  • Keep drains clear of debris and clogs, don’t let soap scum, hair or other food to build up.
  • Eliminate all exposure to food items by storing in sealed containers in refrigerators.
  • Clean up all oil splatters and beverage spills promptly using an appropriate cleaning agent.
  • Check for hollow openings, such as hollow doors, and damage to wall coverings and repair.

8. Do Cockroaches Bite

Cockroaches are omnivores that eat meat.  In extreme infestations of a large population when food sources are limited or when populations outgrow food sources, they may occasionally bite.  It is a rare occasion but has been known to happen on ships and not likely to happen in an urban environment where food sources are abundant.  Pest control services are most likely sought before a condition this severe occurs.