If you see one cockroach in your kitchen or elsewhere in your home, there are likely more. Cockroaches prefer to live in dark and moist areas and will spend much of their time hiding away. As a result, a cockroach infestation can easily get out of control before you even realize it.
Because cockroaches are looking for food and warmth, they may often take up residence in your kitchen and feast on any available crumbs or open food sources. They may even start to call your appliances home. If you notice cockroaches in one of your appliances, they are most likely German cockroaches. And there are steps you can take to get rid of them. Read on to learn more.
How cockroaches get into your appliances
Many places in your kitchen — like your sink, drain or the areas behind your refrigerator or stove — make attractive homes for cockroaches. These flat, brown insects are nocturnal creatures, and during the day, they like the shelter and food that these spots provide.
If the environment is right, cockroaches can breed rapidly, making an infestation virtually inevitable. You may not even see any cockroaches, because they're so good at hiding. Most people may never even see a living cockroach and may, instead, only become aware of the problem when they see a dead one.
Though one cockroach does not make an infestation, it could be a sign of a larger one and the number of cockroaches could grow quickly if the issue is not properly addressed. Sticky traps, or glue traps, are a good way for pest control professionals to monitor the presence of cockroaches.
In addition to their rapid breeding, cockroaches can squeeze themselves through even the tiniest cracks. Because your appliances have small openings around seals, cockroaches can potentially find their way into your appliances and set up camp.
They can also hide out in your cabinets, under carpets or rubber mats, or behind peeling wallpaper. They are typically found near areas of warmth and food. Cockroaches will feed on human food as well as items that humans don't consider food, like grease, glue, soaps and paper or cardboard that are stained with food oil.
It's a good idea to learn what cockroach egg cases, exoskeletons and droppings look like, as these are all signs of a cockroach problem. It's important to remember that even if you don't see living cockroaches, you can still have an issue.
Can cockroaches damage appliances?
Though cockroaches won't necessarily damage your appliances, they can contaminate them and whatever is inside. Cockroaches can contaminate anything that they touch or walk across and can even transfer E. coli and salmonella from one food source to the next. So it's obvious why you wouldn't want cockroaches in your refrigerator around your food.
And a cockroach infestation in your kitchen may spread to other rooms close to the kitchen, so it's important to take care of the problem as soon as you can.
What to do when you have cockroaches in your kitchen
If you notice a single cockroach in your kitchen, there are likely more in hiding. But before you panic, there are a few steps you can take to help prevent an infestation.
Remove food sources
If cockroaches don't have anything to eat, they likely won't thrive in your home. One of the best things you can do to make your kitchen less attractive to them is to remove all available food sources. Be sure to clean up crumbs, close food bags or containers, and put away leftovers immediately instead of letting them sit out on countertops.
Clean everything thoroughly
Cockroaches are extremely good at seeking out even the tiniest morsel of food, so they will find their way to old spilled substances in your fridge, microwave or stove. They can also infest the refrigerator seals and motors. Be sure to remove grease and soap residues off counters and other items. You should also wipe down counters regularly to help clean up any pheromones left behind.
Place monitor traps around your kitchen
If you notice areas that are particularly infested, roach glue traps should be placed nearby. These traps are usually sticky, and when a cockroach walks over it, it gets stuck and cannot release itself. By doing this, you can see if you have a cockroach infestation, and if it's getting better or worse with your control measures in place. It's recommended for a pest control professional to do this as the placement is important. It's important that the trap is placed where pets and children are not going to interact with it since it has an adhesive.
Seal up any cracks
You should seal up gaps or cracks in the foundation of your home, as this may be where they're getting inside in the first place. You should also remove cracks and crevices in the kitchen where German cockroaches could hide.
While these solutions can all help you deal with cockroaches, if you feel you may have a cockroach infestation or are concerned that your infestation may get out of control, you should call a pest professional to help. Cockroaches are notoriously difficult to get rid of, even when you clean your entire kitchen thoroughly, and they're one of the top reasons people call in the experts. Contact Terminix® today to get rid of cockroaches in your kitchen and home.