It’s Saturday and you have dedicated your entire morning to cleaning the entire house. You’ve fully dusted every room, decluttered every corner, and vacuumed the floor in your house. You went the extra mile by installing screens on your window and self-shutting doors. Finally, it’s squeaky clean up to the last inch. Now, you sit in relaxation, wine on your right hand and a good movie playing on your television.
Everything is perfect until you feel something crawling on your arm, its a cockroach! Its sometimes frustrating that despite our efforts to make our house tidy, somehow these cockroaches still manage to thrive.
Don’t worry because on this blog post, we’ll discuss what causes cockroaches in a clean house, how to prevent them, and get rid of them for good.
The most common cockroaches are the American Cockroach, Australian Cockroach, Oriental Cockroach, and German Cockroach. In Arizona, the most common cockroaches are the American and German Cockroaches.
Here are the distinguishing factors between American and German cockroaches:
- Size: American cockroaches are about 1.5 – 2 inches in length, while the German cockroaches are about half an inch long.
- Appearance: An American cockroach is generally reddish-brown in color, while a German cockroach is tan and recognizable by parallel lines present from its head to wings.
- Location: Both American and German cockroaches prefer warm places with moisture. American cockroaches are more likely to be seen in basements or inside drains, while German cockroaches gather in kitchens and bathrooms.
What makes these pests more insidious is that they are nocturnal – they simply attack when we are in our sleep. This means that if you see some of them during daylight, it is highly probable that they have already created an army ready for infestation.
A week from now, you will be devastated, surprised that an uninvited guest has graced your clean house. A cockroach! And we ask ourselves: What Causes Cockroaches in a Clean House?
Signs of Cockroach Infestation in A Clean House
1. Cockroach Feces
It will be extremely obvious that cockroaches have infested your house when you start seeing cockroach droppings around your house. The feces, which are usually 1mm wide, will appear like black pepper or coffee ground.
However, you should be very wary when you are cleaning up cockroach feces as it may contain harmful bacteria and pathogens. It is known that cockroaches consume almost anything.
2. Cockroach Eggs
When roaches lay eggs, they lay multiple eggs. These multiple eggs are covered by a casing called ootheca, which is mainly composed by protein substances. Most cockroaches attach their eggs to walls, ceilings, furniture, and beddings. German cockroaches’ ootheca can hold up to 20 to 40 eggs each. If you happen to see eggs, you have to call pest control services right away. Do not wait for it to hatch and invade your house.
3. Unusual Odor
Since cockroaches leave their droppings everywhere, it can attract other cockroaches from the surrounding as well. This will manifest as a weird, unpleasant, and musty odor. If this odor will keep coming back from time to time, it is an indication that an infestation is bound to happen and you should call local pest control service.
4. Live Cockroaches
We all have that moment at night when we turn on the lights and suddenly cockroaches start running all over, looking for a place to hide. As nocturnal creatures, they are most likely visible at night. When you encounter a scenario like this, there’s no time left to waste. You should call pest control services right away. What is more alarming is when you see them during daylights, because it will mean that there are more of them hiding, ready to come out at night.
5. Cockroach Skin
According to studies, cockroaches generally shed their skin 5-8 times. If there is an infestation in your house, you should see cockroach skin lying around your house in varying sizes.
6. Smear Marks
You may see smear marks produced by cockroaches on horizontal surfaces and walls where cockroaches mostly are present. They usually produce dark and irregular shaped smear marks.
How Do Cockroaches Get Inside A Clean House?
American cockroaches, more often seen inside drains, can crawl in and out freely. This is an ideal place for them to stay in since they need water to survive. These nocturnal pests can invade your drains, and we absolutely do not want that.
One of the roles of cockroaches is to break down organic matter. This means that cockroaches will eat just about anything they can find, such as paper, glue, leather and more. This emphasizes the importance of cleaning areas such as kitchen and bathrooms. Since this will not overall eradicate the possibility of cockroaches from invading your home, it is important to place preventive measures as well.
What to do:
First step is to fix any drain leaks. What makes drains such an ideal place for these pests to live in is that food and water are always present. By fixing leaks and properly taking care of garbage disposals, we take off their main source of food. You can also pour hot water or baking soda with vinegar.
Moreover, when drains are not in use, we should cover it so it will not be a free entrance for cockroaches. This should be followed especially at night when these pests are extremely active.
2. Under Doors
The bright light from inside a house attracts cockroaches to come inside. More often than not, the space under doors are big enough for cockroaches to slip in. This is one of the most convenient ways for cockroaches to invade your house.
What to do:
Add a barrier down the door to make sure that cockroaches cannot slip in. Door sweeps are a convenient material to use to make sure that cockroaches cannot pass through. You can also replace the lighting near the door from white to a yellow light, which they are less attracted to.
You can also add cockroach baits. As evil as it may sound, it is more effective to have slow-acting bait as when cockroaches die near other roaches, it will feed on its poisoned body. This will increase the chances of killing other cockroaches from your surrounding.
3. Cracks in the foundation and exterior walls
Cockroaches can go through even the smallest cracks in the foundation of your house. Any openings or gaps from windows, pipes, and vents are possible entrances for roaches as well.
What to do:
Make sure that you seal all gaps that can be found on your exterior walls, windows, pipes, and vents. This will make sure that it is difficult for cockroaches to find an entrance in your house. Consider weatherstripping windows and doors to seal gaps.
How to Get Rid of Roaches
1. General Preventive Measures
What will prevent cockroaches from coming back to your surroundings is when you can cut off their food source. This means that you have to remove liquids from containers such as buckets and sinks. Roaches can last weeks without water if the food that they are consuming contains moisture, so it is important to eliminate these.
You have to take away standing food as well. Sometimes, we leave food on the table, near the sink, or somewhere in the living room. These foods are a great attraction to cockroaches. If you have crumbs on the floor or spilled liquid on a surface, it will be enough food for cockroaches to consume.
Moreover, it is important that food is stored in an air-tight container. Cockroaches can smell foods that are not kept properly and it is an active invitation for them. When emptying cans or bottles, it is important to rinse them properly and leave no residues.
Most importantly, you should empty your bins regularly. Your bin is where all the leftover food are being thrown away, and it is every cockroach’s dreamland. We need to regularly empty and clean the surrounding area around the bin to prevent cockroaches from swarming.
By removing cluttered areas, we are removing places for cockroaches to hide. This
means that we can eliminate places for them to group up, reproduce and hide. With this, it is important to maintain pipes, drains, and shelves. We need to seal walls, skirting boards, and electrical sockets.
3. Call Pest Control Services
Professional pest services can provide customized solutions, thorough instructions, effective control procedures, and environment-friendly products. They can identify the correct roach species in your house so they can employ the most effective way to eliminate it. This will make cockroach control easier for you.
Even though we can have preventive measures, we cannot totally control their infestation once they have already reproduced around the house. It is important to note that these creatures are dirty and they carry health risks. This is why it is important to call the attention of professionals right away.
Here are the health risks carried by cockroaches:
- Typhoid fever
- Hansen’s disease or leprosy
As a summary, the way we should eradicate cockroaches is by minimizing the presence of left over food thrown in garbage and water around your house. You also have to constantly look out on your irrigation system. I know what you’re thinking right now: this is so much for work just to get rid of these pests.
There’s nothing to worry, though, there are professional pest control services in Arizona that can save you from these insidious invaders.
We should never let our guard down with these pests, but we can hire our own guards with pest control services. Now, time to go back to enjoying our weekends with worrying about these pesky invaders.