Roaches. The word alone gives most people the heebie jeebies. They are widely recognized as disgusting creatures that live off the filth of humans or in dumpsters – and OMG some of them can fly!
There are around 4,500 species of roaches in the world, but only around 60 or so actually share their habitation with humans. In New Jersey, the number of roaches that are actually household pests is down to a handful. That is enough, though, because roaches are known to carry dangerous bacteria and their presence can exacerbate health conditions like allergies and asthma.
So we are going to give you the scoop on these gnarly little creatures, how to get then out of your home and keep them out.
The most common species of roaches in homes today include the American cockroach, German cockroach, brownbanded cockroach, and oriental cockroach.
At 1 ½ to 2 inches in length, these are one of the larger species of roaches that infest buildings, these roaches tend to favor restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. They do wander into homes occasionally, but that is not their habitation of choice. Yes, they fly.
This is the most prevalent indoor cockroach, often referred to as a “kitchen roach.” They are small and like to hide in moist environments like bathrooms and kitchens, often near piping. They also hide in cabinets, drawers, and just about anywhere else in a house.
These are small roaches similar to the German roach, but that is where the similarities end. The brownbanded tends to gravitate toward areas that are dry and warm. You will rarely see German cockroaches with brownbanded roaches.
These roaches can get up to 1 ¼ inches in length and prefer very damp environments like sewers, basements, and crawl spaces. They are sometimes referred to as water bugs.
Why your house?
When you find a roach, or (egads!) an infestation of roaches in your home, the first thing you would probably ask is “Why my house?” It depends on the type of roach that is found in your home. Different species are attracted to different elements in a home. It just depends on what your home is offering.
The other part of the answer boils down to just two things:
They will come into your home or shelter and a place to lay eggs, or they will come seeking food and water. Often they come seeking both. If your home offers any of these things it is like putting a welcome mat out for them.
What’s more, they can come in on shipments you receive, visitors to your home, things you purchase at the store (even the grocery store), and from outside. Once they are in and start laying eggs if can lead to an infestation which can get out of control in a short time.
Sanitation and Food
There are things that you can do to make your home less appealing to roaches. Put away all food and don’t leave any food or dirty dishes sitting out, especially overnight. Clean counters, sinks, and stovetops with soapy water to remove all residue. You should also sweep the floor thoroughly to ensure that no food particles are left. Taking out the garbage regularly will also help minimize pests.
Roaches love to hide in boxes and cracks in walls or around cabinets. Remove any bags, newspapers, or cardboard as well as other clutter, from your home. If you don’t give roaches a place to hide, they will look elsewhere for a place to live. Seal up any cracks and spaces and repair any holes in the walls, particularly around pipes.
When to call a Pro
Roaches can quickly become immune to the bug spray that you purchase at the store. In fact, those products can actually make an infestation worse. If you have tried unsuccessfully to get rid of roaches then you need to contact a pest professional. They can come in and apply product that will not only take care of current roaches that you see, but also roaches that you don’t see because they are hiding in the walls and cabinets. These pros can apply product that renders the roaches sterile, preventing them from reproducing. They can tailor their applications to fit the reproduction cycles of the roaches, thus killing off any young that may emerge later.