Learn to spot undeniable signs of cockroaches and help protect your home and family from disease and infestation. The faster a pest management specialist can get inside and begin attacking the problem, the faster you can regain control over your own home and well-being. Here are the top four signs of roaches that you need to know:
Physically seeing a roach
The most obvious sign you have a roach problem is actually seeing one. The best time to spot roaches is during the night since they are nocturnal insects. You’ll typically see them scatter after you enter a room and turn on a light. If you spot roaches during the daytime, it can mean the infestation has been going on for some time or that it has progressed to the point where drastic action must be taken immediately. If possible, roaches remain hidden during the day, but overcrowding and a lack of food sources can cause them to brave the daylight in order to survive. Of course, you will also find dead roaches in areas where they hide, since the infestation is just part of their natural life and death cycle. Dead roaches are not a sure sign the infestation is over, but more likely that it is ongoing.
Spotting roach feces
Roaches eat everything from plant matter to people food, dead skin cells, garbage and even feces, but their high metabolism turns this appetite into one of the most telltale signs of roaches: a considerable amount of roach droppings. Depending on what type of roach you are dealing with (e.g., German roach, brown-banded roach, etc.), as well as the size and level of infestation, the appearance of roach feces can vary to resemble anything from tiny specks of pepper to brown stains to coffee grounds to oval pellets. A large amount of feces in a fairly visible location can be a good indicator of a large roach infestation. Check behind the stove and refrigerator, as well as all sinks, pantries, cupboards and other food storage areas in your home. If you spot a substantial amount of feces, you know the area is a high-traffic zone for roaches, so cut off nearby possible food and water sources.
Finding oothecae (aka roach egg cases)
Infestations continue to grow because roaches are aggressive breeders. While this is bad news for your home, it’s good news as far as finding evidence of cockroaches goes. Roaches don’t lay singular eggs – they produce oothecae. Oothecae are oblong, brown casings that house many eggs. When roach eggs hatch, the oothecae are left behind, providing undeniable evidence roaches have taken a liking to your home and don’t plan to leave on their own. Sometimes you might find oothecae with unhatched eggs still inside, but most species of roaches ‟glue” the oothecae to sheltered places where humans and DIY pesticides have trouble reaching. While most species of common household roaches in the United States produce oothecae with only 10 to 20 eggs inside, the most common invader, the German roach, produces an ootheca with up to 50 eggs inside. This particularly protective mother carries the German roach ootheca around until the eggs are ready to hatch, making it even harder to spot or eliminate than with other species. Search for full or spent oothecae inside pantries, behind furniture, in between cracks in the wall, in books and in other tight, protected areas.
Finally, roaches can produce a pungent, musty odor that gets worse the longer the infestation goes on. This oily smell can come from large numbers of roaches, but just one German roach can produce this smell on its own. There are also odors arising from dead roaches as oleic acid is produced during decomposition. Roach odors linger in the air and can even affect the taste of food.
These aren’t the only signs of roaches you might find, but they are four of the best indicators that your home has run into a formidable foe: the roach. Get a relentless ally on your side by calling Terminix® at the first sign of roaches.