Each of these scenarios can make it almost impossible to live in your home – and they need to be fixed.
But the bad news doesn’t stop there.
A few years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an extensive study on the negative impacts of all sorts of pests – and cockroaches were at the top of the list.
They also shared findings on lifespan, how many eggs a cockroach can lay (up to 36!), and how long they’ll probably end up living if you let them.
|Indoors/ Outdoors||Harbourage Preferences||Temperature Preferences|
|Number of Oothecare and Size(mm)|
|Indoors||Food preparation areas, kitchens, food storage areas, bathrooms, areas combining warmth and moisture||20-26.7||10-15|| 153|
|Indoors/ Outdoors||Sewer systems, steam tunnels, zoological parks, greenhouses, areas that combine heat and moisture||24-31||34-40|| 125-706|
| 150-450||-18 eggs|
|Indoors/ Outdoors||Dense vegetation, water meter voxes, crawl spaces under structures/basements, cellears, areas that combine damp and cool conditions.||20-29||25-30|| 34-181|
|Indoors/ Outdoors||Trees, under logs, stones and flower pots, swere systems, greenhouses.||15-30||25-38|| 218|
|Indoors||Elevated closets, storage areas, cupboards, animal rearing facilities, warm areas||26-30||11-14|| 60|
Source: Cornwell (1968): Ebeling (1975); Appel & Smith (2002)
So if you do end up with a cockroach infestation in your home, it can spread like wildfire – and your health can come crumbling down if you don’t act quickly.
But the WHO didn’t stop with just cockroaches. They also highlighted a final potential pitfall that you may not expect: insecticides.
If you have an infestation removed but the insecticide is applied the wrong way, it can have long-term effects on your health for years to come. Certain aerosols or liquid sprays won’t simply go away – even if the bugs are dead.
So however you approach a cockroach infestation, it can potentially be bad for your health – especially if you do it wrong!
But now that you know how bad cockroaches are for your health, let’s teach you the signs that you have a cockroach infestation in your home.
Signs of a Cockroach Infestation
There are plenty of ways to tell that you have a cockroach infestation on your hands.
The most obvious you’ve probably already imagined (or experienced). You open up a door, your crawlspace, or a floorboard, only to experience a mad rush of cockroaches as they skitter away.
Not a fun experience.
But even if that’s happened to you, it pays to be reasonably sure that you’re dealing with cockroaches. There are billions of bugs in the world, and many of them look similar to the untrained eye.
With that in mind, here’s a good idea of what most cockroaches will look like if they’re in your home:
If you see these little buggers in your house, then you’ve got an infestation on your hands.
And as previously mentioned, this infestation can grow quickly.
And unfortunately, this type of occupation won’t go away on its own. While the average lifespan is usually just a couple months, some cockroaches have been known to live for years.
Imagine one of these living in your home for years. Scary, right?
So how do you know you have a cockroach infestation, and what can you do about it?
Thankfully, there are some pretty clear signs that your home is infested.
First and foremost, if you find a large colony of cockroaches, you’re out of luck. But it’s not always that simple.
Not all of the signs are going to be visible. One of the classic tell-tale signs that all exterminators will tell you about is the “oily, musty odor” that seems to permeate any house that has an infestation.
But most commonly, you won’t immediately notice large numbers of bugs or a strange smell. You’re more likely to see their eggs or egg casings, which look like this:
How to Get Rid of Cockroaches
Getting rid of a cockroach infestation isn’t easy to do – but it’s necessary if you want to save your home.
Most often, you’ll need to get in touch with a cockroach pest control company near you. They’ll assess the situation, and devise a plan of action to eliminate the problem.
The plan will usually involve identifying the species of roach, finding the best solution to get rid of them, and then follow-up inspections to ensure that the treatment is working.
But before they arrive, there are still a few things you can do to help:
1. Clean up potential infestation areas – Anywhere you might drop crumbs or that could accumulate moisture are perfect for cockroaches. It’s also a good idea to take out your trash as quickly as possible.
2. Set traps – If the infestation is still small, bug traps that use gels, acids, and other chemicals can help you lure your pests and eliminate them quickly. They’re not a perfect solution, but they help.
3. Seal cracks in your home – It’s possible for cockroaches to sneak between baseboards, drywall, and other small openings in your home. Sealing them with caulk will give your pests fewer places to hide and thrive.
4. Hire a professional – There’s no substitute for a good roach pest control company.
It’s hard to overemphasize the final step – you need a professional helping you if you have a cockroach infestation. Because while do-it-yourself may be appealing, it’s usually not effective.