While houses are a great feat of human engineering, they can often attract less desirable creatures to live in their walls. If you’re unlucky enough, you may find yourself living in the midst of a cockroach infestation. However, due to their ability to hide and small size, you may not even realize you’re sharing your home with roaches.
How can you identify a cockroach infestation taking over your home?
Fortunately for you, there are several signs that can indicate you may have a growing problem on your hands. Here are some of the signs that you are dealing with a cockroach infestation.
You’ve Spotted One or More Roaches
The most obvious sign of a potential roach infestation is if you actually see one or more roaches scuttling around your home. Granted, a single roach doesn’t automatically mean you have more in hiding. However, it is a good starting point to indicate you should look for other signs.
Finding Egg Casings
Cockroach egg capsules, also known as ootheca, are a good sign that you have an infestation. These egg sacks indicate that there are enough cockroaches in your home that they have begun breeding. The number of egg capsules you find will show just how bad the infestation is getting.
The ootheca is brown and oblong in appearance, though their size and shape will depend on the breed of cockroach in your area. They can house up to 50 cockroach eggs inside of them and will remain a shell when the eggs inside hatch. You may find empty ootheca shells or the ootheca with the eggs still inside of them.
Spotting Roach Feces
Like any other insect or rodent, roaches leave behind a distinct feces trail that sets them apart. While the droppings can be hard to see from a distance due to their small size, they are pretty clear as cockroach droppings at closer inspection.
Cockroach droppings have the appearance of ground coffee. They can range in length but are typically about 1 mm wide. However, as with the egg casings, the exact appearance of the dung will depend on the exact breed of cockroach you are dealing with.
You Can Smell Roaches
Cockroaches give off a unique smell from both their feces and pheromones. While cockroaches sleep, they continue to defecate and release a specific scent that attracts other roaches to their location.
The smell is often described as musty and lingers in the air wherever the cockroaches live. If you notice such a smell in your home, it’s likely you have an infestation.
If you live in a wet area or have wet spots anywhere in your home, cockroaches may leave smear marks where they walk. If you notice any strange markings either on the floor or walls of your home where water is or may be present, that may be a sign that cockroaches have taken residence in the area.
Shed Cockroach Skins
Like other insects with exoskeletons, cockroaches frequently shed their skin. These remains can be found around your home wherever the cockroaches tend to live.
Cockroaches shed their skins about five to eight times as they mature. If you notice any egg capsules followed by these shed skins, then you almost certainly have an infestation. You should call an exterminator immediately after finding both pieces of evidence for confirmation.
Damage to Food or Other Belongings
Cockroaches can and will dig into any food sources in your home that they can find. Whether this means biting through a cereal box or cutting their way through the plastic around a loaf of bread, you are likely to find plenty of dissected food around your kitchen. Spotting this along with cockroach feces is a sure sign of an infestation.
However, food isn’t the only thing that cockroaches will target. If you own any leather-bound books or other organic items, roaches may try to take a bite out of them, too. All organic items can be turned into food for cockroaches, so they won’t hesitate to eat what they can.
If you notice any damage like this around your home, then pay close attention to other potential signs of an infestation as that may be the room they’ve decided to live in.
When to Call an Exterminator
Although these pesky critters may not be particularly harmful, you should still try to call an exterminator as soon as you figure out you have an infestation. Cockroaches are resilient and hard to get rid of, so a professional is your best bet to get rid of them.
If you spot live cockroaches running around your home for two or more weeks, you should contact an exterminator immediately. Roaches wouldn’t remain that long unless they had decided to start breeding and living there permanently.
You may also want to call an exterminator if you notice one or more of the other signs of this list. While none of them guarantee that you have a cockroach infestation, they are good signs, and an inspector or exterminator can give you a better idea of how many roaches you’re dealing with.
If you do find cockroach eggs in your home, that’s also a clear sign that they’ve taken up a permanent place in your home, so contact a professional right away.
Feel at Peace at Home
Unfortunately, dealing with pest infestations is just another part of being a homeowner. However, you don’t have to let cockroach infestations control your life; understand the signs of a cockroach infestation so that you can start dealing with it right away!
Have you noticed any of the above signs and need an exterminator?
We’re here to help. Contact us with any questions or concerns you have about the extermination process, and continue reading our blog for more helpful tips today!