The idea of a cockroach infestation might make your skin crawl. For years, these amber-hued insects have sent homeowners reeling thanks to their long legs and extended antennas.
Appearances aside, there’s another reason to rid your home of these creepy crawlers: your health. Cockroaches can carry significant health risks, exacerbating symptoms of allergies, and asthma. They’re also notorious transmitters of bacteria and can contain parasitic worms.
As such, it’s important to identify and eradicate a cockroach infestation as quickly as possible. Today, we’re sharing six signs that these pests may have found their way into your home, and how you can stop them in their tracks.
1. There Are Infestations Around You
Cockroach infestations can spread among neighbors, especially those who live in close proximity to one another. If the family next door is dealing with this issue, it’s safe to assume that your property could be the next one they infiltrate.
Before this happens, it’s best to go ahead and schedule preventative pest control services. At Fast Action Pest Control, our team follows principles set forth by Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which includes preventing an infestation at its source. Simple steps such as closing your food containers and using sealed garbage cans are a great place to start.
2. You Can See Egg Casings
A cockroach egg casing might look delicate, but it can harbor some pretty serious dangers. Each casing, known as an oothecae, can contain anywhere from 20 to 50 eggs. Once those eggs hatch, the casing is left behind for unsuspecting homeowners to discover.
There are a few places where it’s more common to find cockroach casings than others. These include:
- Leaking pipes
- Appliance bases (e.g. refrigerator, oven)
- Pantries and food cabinets
- Behind furniture
What should you do if you find a casing in your home? First, contact a professional pest control company to visit your home for an inspection. Casings are a visible and concrete sign that cockroaches are in your home.
Then, check to see if there are any eggs inside. If you confirm that this is the case, you should flush the casing down the toilet to ensure that the eggs do not hatch. Most of the time, though, cockroaches will secure the oothecae to hidden places that are difficult to find and reach. The German cockroach even carries around the oothecae until they’re ready to hatch!
3. You Find Droppings
Sometimes, a pest’s droppings are relatively easy to locate and identify. Other times, the task isn’t quite as straightforward. Cockroach droppings are smaller than others, so you’ll need to know what to look for.
The droppings of a common German cockroach are minuscule and black, sometimes compared to pepper or coffee grounds. On the other hand, other species can leave larger ones that measure as big as a grain of rice. In some cases, you might not see the droppings at all, but you’ll notice a light brown stain where the bugs once were.
Where are the best places to look?
In general, you can find cockroach droppings in any place they’ve visited. However, there are some areas where they’re especially likely to leave their “footprint” behind. These include:
- Cabinet tops
- Pantry shelves
- Floor corners
- Under appliances
If you find droppings anywhere in your home, it’s time to take action. A reputable pest control company can confirm if they belong to a cockroach and if so, which steps to take next.
4. There’s a Musky Stench
If you’re only dealing with one errant cockroach, you may not notice a different smell in your home right away. However, a larger population is more likely to make an impression.
If you notice an unusual, musky smell around your home or property, cockroaches could be to blame. Of course, there are other household issues that could cause a similar smell, including mold or mildew. That’s why it’s best to look for other, physical signs of an infestation.
Even if you can’t locate any other types of evidence, a pest control company can confirm whether or not the stench can be traced back to a cockroach infestation.
5. You Actually See a Roach
One of the most obvious signs of a cockroach infestation? Seeing the actual bugs themselves!
If you notice one scurrying under the fridge or crawling in your cabinets, it’s smart to assume there are others around. While it might be comforting to imagine that there’s only one, the reality is that these insects tend to travel in packs.
Spot one and on the hunt to see if there are others? Keep in mind that cockroaches are nocturnal creatures. This means they’re the most active at night. If you manage to catch one during the day, it usually means that the infestation has grown so large that the bugs are being forced into the open and away from their usual hiding places.
6. You’re Having an Allergic Reaction
As mentioned, the presence of cockroaches can trigger an adverse physical reaction. This is because their exoskeletons and droppings contain proteins that some people are allergic to when exposed.
Most of the time, these symptoms are respiratory in nature. Some of the most common ones include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in your chest
- Red, itchy eyes
If you’re one of the more than 25 million Americans who suffer from asthma, these health issues could have a more severe impact. Especially if they appear for no apparent reason, it’s best to schedule an inspection.
Treat a Cockroach Infestation Before It Spreads
You shouldn’t wait until you’re in the throes of a cockroach infestation to seek expert help. These aggravating bugs can wreak havoc on your home and health and should be treated immediately.
If you believe that you’ve found evidence of cockroaches in your home or business, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. Contact us to schedule a free inspection and rest a little easier tonight.