Cockroach Control: Get Rid of Cockroaches Step-by-Step
Have a cockroach problem? This article will teach you all the proven methods to get rid of these pesky roaches once and for all!
There are more than 3,500 known roach species found throughout the world, many of which infest home kitchens, restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores.
More than $1.5 billion a year is spent controlling cockroaches in the United States alone. Their presence is so objectionable that roaches are considered among the worst domestic pests.
Cockroaches consume human foodstuffs and contaminate them with saliva and excrement. They are responsible for transmitting diseases such as the bacteria which cause food poisoning and are a significant source of allergies indoors, second only to house dust.
If you’re struggling with a cockroach infestation, this article is everything you need to learn how to remove cockroaches from your home for effective pest control once and for all.
How to Identify Cockroaches
Adult house-infesting cockroaches are medium to large insects (1/2 – 2 inches long, depending on species) that vary in color from a light reddish brown to black.
They have a broad, flattened shape, spiny legs, and long, whip-like antennae. The head is bowed downward, and the mouthparts point backward rather than forward or downward, as in most other insects.
Male cockroaches typically have two pairs of wings, but females are wingless or have vestigial wings in some species.
Roaches are active at night and will scatter quickly when disturbed by light. Immature stages (nymphs) resemble adults, but are smaller and have undeveloped wings.
Note: The cockroach evolved as a scavenger of decaying plant materials; as a result, it prefers carbohydrates to protein and fat.
Life Cycle of a Cockroach
Adult female roaches produce egg capsules or egg cases known as oothecae, which may contain up to 50 eggs, and they carry these egg cases around protruding from the tip of their abdomen.
Some species carry them on their bodies until hatching takes place, while others drop the capsules in protected places that they frequent. After about 30 days young nymphs hatch and begin their gradual development.
As with all insects, roaches must shed their outer skin, or molt, to grow. Immediately after molting, they are white, but within hours their body becomes dark and hardens.
Depending on the species, it may take a single cockroach as little as six weeks to become an adult or as long as a few years. There are several generations per year.
Roaches reproduce at an enormous rate and are capable of producing several thousand offspring in a year. They are often carried into homes in shipping materials, grocery bags, beer and soda cases, laundry, and used appliances.
Five Most Common Species of Cockroaches
There are many different types of cockroach species that you may come across. Let’s look at some of the most common ones:
1. German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
The German cockroach measures approximately 3/4 inch in length and is tan or light brown in appearance. Adults have two dark longitudinal stripes below the head and in front of the wings, in addition to having wings.
On the other hand, nymphs don’t have wings and have two wide, dark stripes that run the length of the body.
2. Brownbanded cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
The brown-banded cockroach measures about 1/2 inch in length and is predominantly dark reddish-brown with tan bands running across its body. These bands can be found on adults at the base of the wings and the middle legs.
Two light tan bands go across the center of the body in nymphs. Male wings extend beyond the tip of the abdomen, whilst female wings are shorter than the abdomen.
3. American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
The American cockroach favors warm, humid habitats with temperatures exceeding 82°F. When conditions are right, they are happy to live outside.
On occasion, they enter the ground floor of buildings to scavenge from sewers and other places, especially when pipes are broken, screens are absent, or water traps in drains are malfunctioning.
They are often found in sewers, water meter boxes, storm drains, steam tunnels, zoos, and other places where animals are housed.
4. Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)
The oriental cockroach is sometimes known as a water bug or a black beetle thanks to its shiny black or dark brown appearance. It prefers cool, dark, moist environments such as garages, basements, water meter boxes, and drains.
It is particularly common in single-family homes surrounded by vegetation such as woodpiles, ivy, and ground cover. It is also typical in public spaces where people feed livestock, pets, or wildlife.
5. Wood Cockroach (Parcoblatta spp)
There are many species of wood cockroaches, but Parcoblatta pennsylvanica is the most common. Typically, they spend their entire lives outside, especially in wooded settings or in piles of firewood.
Adults are around 1 inch long and dark chocolate brown in color, with a short tan line running along the outside edges of the wings and below the head.
Where Do Cockroaches Live?
A cockroach can live practically in any place where there is food, water, and shelter available.
They are most frequently found in areas where food is prepared, in cupboards, under sinks, close to stoves, in or around garbage cans, and in cold, dark places like cellars.
What Kind of Damage is Caused by Cockroaches?
People who reside in or visit persistently contaminated areas may inhale cockroach dust. Individuals who are allergic to cockroaches may have sinus congestion, dermatitis, sore throat, and eye irritation.
Most allergies are seasonal, therefore having symptoms all year may suggest a cockroach infestation. Cockroach allergens may increase asthma symptoms in certain asthmatic people. Asthma In addition to bothering those who already have asthma, cockroaches can cause the condition to develop.
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches (Step-by-Step)
Effective cockroach control is a combination of different methods. Although it can be tricky doing this kind of pest control by yourself, we have a step-by-step guide to help. Let’s look at these steps in more detail:
Step 1: Inspect for Hiding Places
First of all, it’s important to figure out where the roaches are not only coming from but also where they are hiding. A thorough inspection is the first step to making sure you get rid of them once and for all.
Step 2: Prioritize Sanitation
Cockroach populations flourish where food and moisture are readily available. As a result, sanitation is an important step in prevention and management.
Reduce the carrying capacity of your home by placing food and waste in sealed containers. And make sure to clean any food spills quickly, and clean unwashed dishes regularly.
Don’t let any garbage accumulate for too long, and clean up any stacks of cartons, newspapers, or paper bags that are lying around.
Step 3: Reduce Hiding Places
Reduce pest hiding places, like cracks and crevices, with caulk and paint. Also, consider wrapping fine screens over vents and windows through which many crawling pests travel. Simultaneously, reduce food and water sources to keep them at bay.
Step 4: Try Diatomaceous Earth
You can use Diatomaceous Earth or Boric Acid and apply a thin layer wherever these roaches tend to hide in your home. Repeat the treatment as necessary. This fine powder will cling to the legs, antennae, and bodies of these insects to kill them.
Step 5: Use Glue Traps
Place glue traps along baseboards, near water pipes, behind refrigerators, in bathrooms, and in most locations where you’ve noticed these pests. Terro Roach Magnet Trap is another good one you can check out to effectively control cockroaches and get rid of them.
Step 6: Use Effective Insecticide Treatments
Regardless of what else you do, you will need to apply effective pesticides to get rid of them. There are many different types of insecticide treatments available on the market and they come in various formulations, including aerosol sprays, baits, powders, and dusts.
Cockroach baits such as edible gel baits, bait stations, dusts, and sticky traps are great ways to get rid of them. It’s recommended to always read and follow label directions carefully for the best results.
For heavy infestations, it’ll be important to use an effective, long-lasting cockroach spray to keep them at bay and kill them simultaneously. The Bonide Roach Insect Spray is a great option as one treatment can last for up to 7 months!
Tip: Use multiple traps to detect pest populations and give priority to areas where you have found the highest numbers.
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