OK, let’s go ahead and say it, cockroaches make most people’s skin crawl – and with good reason.
Besides being a nuisance and downright nasty looking, cockroaches carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella that they deposit wherever they crawl inside your home – and that can include over food, serving utensils or kitchen countertops. And roach excrement, the body parts they shed, eggs, and even their saliva can trigger allergies and asthma in affected people.
So, when you see a roach in your home, your immediate instinct is to squash that sucker. But the problem is that once you have seen one roach indoors, there are likely plenty more inside that you have not seen.
But how do you know if that six-legged invader is a cockroach and not some other bug, like a beetle? Let’s take a look at the cockroaches found in Georgia and determine if you are indeed facing a possible roach infestation.
The largest – adults are approximately two inches long – and most common cockroach found in homes in Georgia, the American cockroach is a chestnut/light brown color with light yellow bands located just behind their heads. They do have wings and can fly short distances. They are more active nocturnally (at night) and love to be near water, so they are often located near pipes, kitchens, bathrooms and basements. They also have a lifespan of up to two years
Tan with dark brown parallel stripes on the back of its upper thorax (main body), the German cockroach is smaller than its American counterpart, with adults measuring between 1/2-5/8 of an inch. They are also more active at night and prefer to live near food sources – so they are more likely to be found near kitchens – and heat sources. They also have shorter lifespans than the American cockroach, with German cockroaches living up to one year. However, they also produce the most eggs of any cockroach species. So, if you’ve seen one, there’s a good chance, you will see many more.
Glossy with cherry to black coloring, the Oriental cockroach is smaller than the American, but larger than the German species, with adults measuring 1 to 1 1/4 inches long. Oriental males have short wings however the females are wingless. This species is rarely found indoors, preferring to live outdoors and feeding on decaying plant matter. If they are indoors, you may find them cohabitating with their American cockroach cousins. Like most cockroaches, they are more active at night. Oriental cockroaches live up to six months.
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Tan with double parallel stripes on their backs, Asian cockroaches look very similar to German cockroaches. However, they are slightly smaller – though they can grow as large as 5/8 of an inch. Typically, this is also an outdoor species, found under mulch, leaf litter, or high grass. However, they will come indoors if/when their outdoor habitat is disturbed. The Asian cockroach can fly and is attracted to light. This species only lives for around 104 days (female) or 49 days (male).
Smoky brown cockroach
Also known as a “palmetto bug,” the Smokybrown roach is dark cherry or red in color. This is another large species, with adults measuring around 1 1/2 inches in length. They prefer living in mature hardwood trees because they require high humidity and protection from the wind in their shelter. However, in colder months, they will seek warmer shelter indoors. When they do come indoors, they are usually found in attics, crawlspaces, and sheds. They are active at night and typically live for around 215 days.
KEEPING COCKROACHES OUT OF YOUR HOME
Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at how you can keep
these nasty pests out of your home.
First off, you need to know what attracts cockroaches – and it’s not dirt or clutter. Roaches come indoors in search of four things: food, water, heat, and shelter.
Therefore, you need to understand, that, no matter how clean you keep your home, cockroaches may still invade – though, obviously, a dirty or cluttered home will provide more opportunities for roaches to forage for food and water, and more places to shelter.
Besides keeping a clean, tidy home, there are plenty of other things you can do to keep them at bay, including:
– Fix any leaky faucets or pipes
Roaches are always looking for an easy water supply. So, if you have a leaky pipe, that is a welcome mat for a cockroach. The same goes for damp basements or crawlspaces. Install sump pumps, or have your basement or crawlspace professionally sealed to ward off these pests.
– Keep food in airtight containers and clean up thoroughly after cooking
Random crumbs are a free meal for any roach. So, make sure to wash dishes after a meal and completely remove any food particles and/or spills. Keep grease off your stovetop. Keep pet food sealed and empty their water bowls before going to bed. Also, take out the garbage before going to bed.
– Clear out the clutter
A messy, disheveled house provides roaches with more places to hide and live. So, do not allow your home to become a roach flophouse. First off, get rid of or seal up any newspapers or cardboard – roaches LOVE to breed in these materials. Instead, use plastic storage bins with lockable lids.
– Keep your home sealed
No matter how tight you think your doors or windows are, have a professional come take a look and see if you can make them tighter. Roaches can fit through the tiniest of openings, and they enter your home through any gap in your doors or windows. Also be sure to examine your foundations and roof for holes, cracks and gaps. Do the same in attics, basements and crawlspace vents. And check the utility and plumbing lines coming into your home to be certain there are no gaps. Use caulk to seal smaller holes. However, larger holes – especially around pipes – require something extra. Insert some steel wool into the gap and then close it up with expanding foam. You may also use fine mesh wire to help seal around attic vents and chimneys.
– If all else fails, call a professional
Once cockroaches invade your home, they are very hard to get rid of. There is a reason why they have been around as long as they have been – and a reason why people joke about them being around no matter what happens. They are adaptable, resourceful pests with an incredible ability to survive. So, there is no shame in waving the white flag in DIY pest control and calling in a professional. A pest control technician knows exactly what to look for and will be able to not only dispense effective pesticides, but also tell you what steps may need to be taken in order to seal your home better. He or she will also know immediately where to look to control infestation and set you up with a comprehensive, step-by-step plan to get your problem under control.
At Zone our pest solutions department has over 20 years of knowledge of what it takes to evict and keep out the cockroaches so common in north Georgia. We will help you understand just what it takes to make sure those nasty looking critters get out and never come back, and we will do so with a plan that makes sense for your budget. No one wants to live with roaches, and Zone will help ensure that you do not have to suffer that health hazard.
Contact Zone today at 770-904-5432 and let us get those nasty critters out of your home immediately.