The kitchen – it’s one of the most common places to find roaches in your home. Why? Kitchens have everything roaches need to survive – food, water and shelter.
Unfortunately for us, it’s the last place we want to see one of these pests. That’s because kitchens are where we store and prepare our food, and cockroaches are not the c leanest insects on the planet. They’ll eat virtually anything, including feces, and they live near garbage, in sewers and in drains, meaning they can come into contact with a variety of bacteria , including E. coli and salmonella.
When cockroaches enter your home, they can transfer these bacteria to surfaces, and in turn, they can contaminate your food, sometimes resulting in gastroint estinal illnesses like food poisoning.
Find out how to identify signs of a cockroach infestation, and learn how you can help keep these pests out of your kitchen for good.
Signs of a Cockroach Infestation
There are a few telltale signs of a roach infestation in your home. Keep an eye out for the following:
- Seeing a roach – If you actually see a cockroach in your home, there may be others nearby.
- Roach droppings – Depending on the species of the cockroach, roach feces can look like coffee grounds or ground pepper, and they will be found anywhere roaches are present, including cabinets and pantries.
- Discarded egg cases – Also called oothecae, roach egg cases are oblong and brown. These may be a sign of a roach infestation. Even more concerning, finding a combination of egg cases as well as nymphs and adult roaches means the roaches in your home are reproducing. They are commonly found stuck to surfaces like cabinet doors or furniture.
Keeping Cockroaches Out
Now that you know how to spot a roach infestation, it’s time to find out how to help keep them out of your kitchen. Keep these tips and trick s in mind:
- Clean Up – A clean kitchen is your first line of defense against roaches, specifically German cockroaches. Wipe down your counters and sink daily to remove any crumbs that may serve as sources of food. Additionally, clean small kitchen appliances, like toasters, microwaves and toaster ovens, which may collect crumbs. Don't leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the counters overnight, when roaches are most active. Keep your garbage can tightly sealed and take the trash out regularly.
- Use Proper Storage – Roaches can crawl through small spaces, and once they get into kitchen cabinets or the pantry, they can easily find their way into boxes or cartons of food. Keep food stored in airtight containers so the roaches can’t access it. If you have pets, be sure to keep their food tightly sealed as well, and always put any leftovers away. If you leave dog or cat food out on the floor overnight, you risk attracting roaches.
- Manage Moisture – Moisture attracts roaches, and these insects have been known to live in kitchen and bathroom drains. Keep an eye out for leaky faucets, and check for excess moisture in the cabinets beneath your sink. Fix any holes in or around the pipes using caulk or another sealant. You can also clean out your drains with a drain cleaner (sold at grocery stores) and use a drain cover to help keep roaches out. These tips are especially helpful if you have a garbage disposal. Food particles can build up in your drain, and it will be important to keep it clean.
- Seal Up Cracks – Many types of roaches enter homes from the outside, and their flat bodies allow them to crawl through extremely small spaces. Check the area around your kitchen for gaps, cracks and holes that may serve as entry points. You can add weather stripping around your doors and seal areas around windows that roaches may be able to crawl through.
Get Professional Help
Despite your best efforts to keep them out, you may still find cockroaches in your kitchen. After all, they’re resilient and resourceful – they’ve been around since before the dinosaurs. If you notice any of the common signs of a roach infestation in your home, contact a pest control company immediately. Unfortunately, some roach infestations may go undetected until the populations are well established, so time is of the essence.
A pest control professional can perform a thorough inspection of your house and pinpoint areas of concern. They are also trained to understand which combination of roach control methods will be most effective for your case. Call Terminix® for a free estimate.