Cockroaches are troublesome insects to have in your home. These deadly pests are difficult to eliminate, spread several notable bacteria and diseases, and are just plain gross. Unfortunately, cockroaches are common pests here in Jacksonville and throughout Florida. They are also among the deadliest household pests around.
Spotting so much as one cockroach in your home can indicate that an infestation is brewing. Many homeowners in our area face the struggles associated with cockroach infestations and may become discouraged when dealing with them. Fortunately, you don't have to face these pest pressures alone. Trad's Pest Control is your local cockroach control and prevention authority. Our team of Jacksonville pest control experts has what it takes to get rid of cockroaches in your home for good. Today's article covers how to identify cockroaches and the signs of a cockroach infestation, the impact these pests can have on your health, and why professional pest control in Jacksonville is always more favorable than D.I.Y. methods. Read on to learn more!
How To Identify A Cockroach Infestation In Your Home
The most important thing you must remember about cockroaches in Jacksonville is that they can find their way into any structure – even the cleanest of homes! Easy access to food and water is one big attractant for cockroaches, so practice regular housekeeping to deter them from your home. Open trash containers, compost, gardens, and pet food are all objects that are easily accessible for cockroaches to forage for food.
So, what does a cockroach look like? The answer to this question largely depends on the specific species you're dealing with. Cockroaches generally have oval-shaped bodies with wings, antennae, and six spiny legs.
There are over 4,000 species of cockroaches; the most common types of cockroaches our communities deal with include American cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, German cockroaches, and Oriental cockroaches. Each of these species has distinctive features from its relatives:
The American cockroach is the largest of the household cockroaches and a significant pest in Summerlin and throughout the United States. Despite their moniker, American cockroaches are native to Africa and the Middle East, and are believed to have been brought westward due to human commerce.
American cockroaches are reddish-brown with a pale "figure eight"-shaped pattern on the backs of their heads. Adults can range anywhere from 1 ¼ to 2 ⅛ inches in length.
American cockroaches live in private residences after heavy rainfall and are more frequently encountered in commercial settings such as bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants, and food processing facilities. In any structure, American cockroaches prefer to hide in dark, damp areas, including basements, drains, sewers, and stream tunnels.
The Australian cockroach is one of several species of cockroaches that primarily live outdoors but occasionally can be found indoors. In the United States, the Australian cockroach is most prevalent here in Florida and throughout the southeastern coastal states. It can be difficult to distinguish adult male and female Australian cockroaches from the dorsal side. However, you can use characteristics at the tip of the abdomen for discrimination. The adult male cockroach has two pairs of appendages at the tip of the abdomen. However, the adult female has only one pair of appendages in that area — additionally, an abdominal plate projects beyond the last true segment of the female.
Because the Australian cockroach primarily lives outdoors, an Integrated Pest Management approach that includes preventing entry into structures is recommended for keeping them out of your home. Additionally, habitat removal, such as removing woodpiles near the house, is also an effective way to control Australian cockroaches.
Adult German cockroaches are light brown to tan with two dark stripes running parallel down their backs. German cockroaches range from ½ to ⅝ inches in length – slightly larger than the brown-banded cockroaches in your home.
German cockroaches prefer warm and humid environments close to food and water sources. As a result, they frequently invade residential properties by hitchhiking in cardboard boxes, grocery bags, and secondhand appliances. Once these roaches live comfortably indoors, homeowners will likely find a German cockroach crawling around the bathroom or kitchen. To discourage German cockroaches from invading, you should make a concerted effort to keep kitchen counters and floors clean and free of crumbs. It's also important to vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.
Measuring up to one inch in length, the oriental cockroach is one of the larger species of cockroaches living in our area. These shiny-black cockroaches are sometimes called "waterbugs" because they prefer to hang out in damp areas. Since they are more likely to enter your home in search of water, Oriental cockroaches can often be found near toilets, sinks, and exposed pipes or plumbing. Though they can survive up to a month without food, they can live only two weeks without water.
After developing into adults, oriental cockroaches usually live for six to twelve months, with females producing an average of 200 eggs in a lifetime. Female oriental cockroaches carry their egg capsules around for thirty hours before dropping them in a safe, protected area. Sixty days later, the nymphs hatch and reach maturity six to twelve months later.
Because cockroaches are so good at hiding and may often live in your home for some time before the infestation is discovered, knowing the signs of a cockroach infestation is just as important as identifying cockroaches in your home. If you ever find exoskeletons, droppings, or a foul odor that you can't place, immediately call for professional help.
Roaches In Your Home Can Be Hazardous To Your Health
It might go without saying that cockroaches are dangerous pests. Studies have shown that cockroaches can spread over 40 bacteria, parasites, and other deadly pathogens. As soon as they find their way inside, they will begin contaminating surfaces and food with the pathogens they carry on their legs, bodies, saliva, and excrement. The diseases cockroaches carry can include cholera, dysentery, E. coli infection, gastroenteritis, giardia, listeriosis, poliomyelitis, salmonellosis, and parasitic worms. These filthy insects also trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks among children and the elderly and emit a foul odor when gathered together in large numbers. This unpleasant odor affects the taste of food unknowingly stored near your cockroach infestation.
D.I.Y. Cockroach Control Is A Waste Of Time And Money
Here in Jacksonville, people always look for new ways to save money with little time and effort. When you're in the heat of a cockroach infestation, you may be tempted to attempt to control the problem with a bit of ingenuity. However, D.I.Y. pest control methods often cause more harm than good.
Proper pest control requires a lot of chemical applications that can be very dangerous if not handled by a trained professional. If you apply a D.I.Y. solution outside your home, you may unknowingly cause harm to animals, birds, insects, or plants that do no harm to you or your family. If these pesticides contaminate your water source, this can also threaten the lives of people in the area.
Finally, D.I.Y. products are just not as effective as professional materials. Professional exterminators are highly trained in the responsible handling and use of pesticides. The wrong products and treatments may temporarily drive pests away, only to return in larger numbers than before. For these reasons, your best chance at pest protection is always with a trained professional.
If you're concerned about cockroaches in your home, there are some preventative measures you can put into practice to help keep them out. Follow these tips from our trained professionals to prevent cockroaches from occupying your house:
- Clean up crumbs and food debris inside and out.
- Clear out yard debris.
- Eliminate clutter in and around your home.
- Fill in and seal small holes and cracks near doors and windows.
- Keep food storage and preparation areas clean and sanitary.
- Look out for and dry out areas that collect moisture.
- Regularly inspect your home for roaches and possible entry points.
- Store food in sealed, airtight containers.
D.I.Y. pest control is never recommended. If you're wondering how to get rid of cockroaches in Jacksonville, look no further than Trad's Pest Control.
Call The Professionals At The First Sign Of Roaches In Your Home
If you require services for your Jacksonville-area home, contact Trad's Pest Control. Trad's Pest Control has been working for over 50 years to provide families in Jacksonville and the surrounding communities with pest-free homes. As a family-run business, we know how important it is to you to keep your family safe, and as a locally owned business, we love helping the people in our community protect their homes from pests. Call today to learn more about our cockroach control and get started with a free inspection!