Did you know there are thousands of different species of cockroaches? The good news is they aren’t typically household pests. George Beccaloni, a cockroach expert at the Natural History Museum, says cockroaches are worldwide insects and can be divided into 4500 different species, with about 55 different species in the United States.
Research suggests that cockroaches have been around for 300 million years, and it’s been rumored they could survive a nuclear war. While that hasn’t been proven, they are one of the hardiest of pests. Cockroaches have been known to survive decapitation for three days. They come in all shapes and sizes and some cockroaches, like the Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach, are winged cockroaches and can fly away from captors.
Take a look at the tips below for identifying whether you have an infestation problem.
Signs of an infestation
- Seeing a cockroach during the day. Cockroaches are nocturnal insects. In the dark of the night, they come out to feed. Cockroaches prefer dark moist hiding spaces, which can be in cabinets, drawers, furniture and appliances. If you’ve spotted a cockroach during the day, this is a sign of infestation. It indicates that the nest is so large that some of the roaches are being pushed out.
- Seeing cockroaches at night. A common sign of infestation is awakening in the night and turning on a light to see several roaches scatter.
- Presence of cockroach feces. Cockroach feces closely resembles coffee grounds. The droppings are typically left where the roaches have been feeding, such as around sinks, in food areas, countertops and sinks.
How to prevent an infestation
Regular clean and green pest control is key to preventing a cockroach infestation, but there are also other easy prevention measures available.
- Cleanliness. Cockroaches are attracted to food and water. Keep pipes from leaking and keep food areas clean and tidy. Clean up promptly after meals and cooking. Cover food containers, pet food containers, and garbage containers.
- Seal open entrances. Cockroaches can enter a kitchen or home through the smallest of openings. Plug any entrance size holes to prevent roaches from entering.
- Prevention. Before bringing items home, check containers, boxes, and bags. Items that have been stored for a long period of time outside of the home are especially likely to have a bug problem.
For more information download this Guide to Cockroach Prevention from Purdue University.
Health Concerns from Cockroaches
Cockroaches are not just a pest problem. According to the American Lung Association, they pose serious health problems for many people. Cockroaches produce allergens that aggravate asthma and may cause allergic reactions to people sensitive to the allergens. The allergens are tiny particles that become airborne and contaminate the air in your home.
The allergens produced by cockroaches not only affect people with asthma, researchers have found evidence that the allergens can actually cause asthma in preschool aged children.
If you are concerned about the health issues caused by cockroaches, contact an OmniShield Specialist for a free consultation.