Have you ever had the “pleasure” of waking up to have a midnight snack only to find cockroaches scurrying for cover when you turn on your kitchen lights? Were you horrified to see some of the roaches near (or on top of) the piece of chocolate cake you had saved for later? If you have had this experience and lived to tell about it, then perhaps you are wondering how bad it is to have these creatures in your home. Today, we are talking about the kinds of cockroaches we have here in Texas, how they spread diseases, and what you can do to keep them out.
There are many different types of cockroaches that live in Texas but only four types that tend to get into homes. These are American cockroaches, brownbanded cockroaches, German cockroaches and Oriental cockroaches. These insects all have six legs, two antennae, and “crunchy” skins (if you step on them). All of these roaches have wings, but not all of them are capable of flight.
While cockroaches are different when it comes to size and coloration, they all share some appetites and habits that make these insects hazardous to your health if they get into your home. While most people understand that having cockroaches in the home is a bad situation, not many folks know how bad they actually are.
How Cockroaches Spread Diseases
Like most people, cockroaches love to eat. But cockroaches don’t love eating what people love to eat. While a hungry cockroach will eat fresh foods (if nothing else is available), they prefer to eat things that are old, crusty, rotting, and generally disgusting. Some of the things a cockroach prefers to dine upon are things such as the fermenting juice under a refrigerator, the caked-on grime between a stove and counter, the rotting sludge in the bottom of a garbage can, and dog excrement.
When roaches get done eating their “dinner” they are likely to be covered in bacteria and all sorts of other dangerous microorganisms. When they get into your home, they can track these invisible critters all over your kitchen surfaces and possibly make you sick. They do this by transferring harmful bacteria and parasitic worms by way of their bodies, feet, or their excrement.
Some of the diseases that cockroaches are known to spread to humans include:
- Typhoid fever
And if this isn’t bad enough, roaches are also known to exacerbate asthma symptoms and increase hospital visits in infested homes.
Signs Of A Cockroach Infestation
If you have seen cockroaches in your home, then you know you have an infestation. There is no need to go looking for the signs they leave behind. And if you have seen them in the daytime, you can be assured that the infestation is large, since roaches do not prefer to come out in the open in the daytime. If you have not actually seen the bugs themselves, there are some signs you can look for that will let you know that you have cockroaches hidden just out of sight. These include:
- A bad smell: If roaches are present, and their numbers are increasing, you will be able to smell them. This smell can be described as “oily” or “musty.” But many people simply call the odor of cockroaches “nasty.”
- Egg cases: Some roaches carry their eggs until a day or two before they hatch. Once the eggs hatch, you may see the egg cases lying around. You may also see egg cases (called ootheca) laying about with unhatched eggs still inside. It depends on the cockroach species.
- Roach droppings: Tiny black droppings may be found stuck to surfaces or littered on the floor in secluded areas. If you take a flashlight and look into tight spaces, you may be able to spot these droppings.
No Signs Yet: Here Are Some Cockroach Prevention Tips
If you are not seeing roaches and cannot find any signs of their presence, you are fortunate! Here are some things you can do to try to keep your home cockroach-free.
- Remove clutter from your yard. If roaches have no place to hide, they will be less likely to come into your yard.
- Trim grass short and trim vegetation away from the outside of your foundation. These areas provide hiding spots for roaches and hold moisture.
- Remove sources of water from your property. Cockroaches, like all living creatures, need water to survive. If they cannot find any water, they might move on.
- Remove sources of food from your property. Pick up pet food and left over barbecue items and do not let fallen fruits or vegetables remain on the ground.
- Seal up entry points in your foundation and walls. Do a close inspection and fill in any gaps, cracks, or holes you find. Pay attention to where wires or pipes enter the building.
What To Do If You See Cockroaches Or The Signs They Leave
If you know you already have cockroaches living just out of sight, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals here at Innovative Pest Control. We have the experience and the tools needed to get your home back to being roach-free in no time at all.