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Cockroach Elimination around your Home this Winter

These common pests are bound to come around your home in Corpus Christi this winter. Learn the signs of a cockroach infestation and how to identify them, what cockroaches prefer to eat and where to hide, how to approach preventative roach control, and simple and easy methods to kill roaches.

There are three main cockroach species in the Corpus Christi area, German cockroaches and American cockroaches. The German roach is generally lighter in color and smaller in size than the American roach, and the German roach is much more likely to invade your home in large numbers this season.

Some simple ways to control roach populations in your home is to keep a clean house by wiping up spills and messes, sealing the cracks and crevices around your home where roaches can gain entry, and preventing cockroach access to water inside.

Cockroaches carry numerous diseases, mainly stomach-flu diseases, including salmonella and other gastroenteritis diseases.

Cockroach Facts and Information

Life Stages:

  • Egg stage. This usually lasts for 14-30 days before hatching. Eggs are encased in a sticky shell attached to the female's abdomen until she deposits it somewhere near a food source. Oothecae are shaped like a bean, and some say it looks like a purse. Under ideal conditions, roach populations will grow exponentially, and your Corpus Christi home is the ideal location.
  • Nymph stages. After hatching, the young roaches (nymphs) forage for food and seek shelter. The length and number of these stages depend on species. German roaches have six nymph stages, or instar nymph stages, before maturity into adulthood. As the roach grows, it molts or sheds its exoskeleton.
  • Adult. The American cockroach can live anywhere from 1-2 years. German cockroaches are smaller and don't live as long

Dangers: Myths and facts

  • Food. Cockroaches eat anything from leftovers in your sink to the garbage you throw away or even the contents of the sewers. Roaches are not attracted to dirty houses, but a clean house will help keep them away. (More details below).
  • Diseases. Because of their disgusting feeding habits, contact with cockroaches can lead to diseases like gastroenteritis, salmonella, and other food poisoning or diarrhea-causing diseases.
  • Allergic reactions. Roach feces, if left uncleaned, can grow bacteria that emit allergens into the air and can cause moderate to severe allergic reactions.
  • Roaches don't bite. They probably could if they were in danger or handled poorly, but they typically won't bite a human.

Signs of a Roach Infestation

Identify Cockroaches

  • Small and flat bodies with well-developed wings
  • They don't usually fly and prefer to crawl everywhere. They usually fly to new places when they migrate, which they usually do when a certain area becomes overcrowded.
  • Color: Coloration varies from reddish-brown to dark brown or black, .
  • 1/4 inch to 3 inches long (German roaches are smaller than American roaches)
  • They run extremely fast on their feet. (Fun fact: Some people have underground or professional roach races that people attend and bet on.)
  • Nocturnal
  • Omnivorous scavengers. Food sources include just about anything. Meaty, greasy, or sugary foods are their preference
  • Easily mistaken for water bugs or other insects

Identify an Infestation

  • Feces. German cockroach feces look similar to black pepper dots stuck all over their favorite hiding places. Look for these in pantries, drawer runners, the back of drawers or cupboards, or any place hidden and dark.
  • Ootheca Shells. Female cockroaches keep their eggs in egg cases called an "ootheca," which can hold a large number of eggs (Depending on the species, oothecae hold anywhere from 15 to 50 eggs). She carries a single ootheca around on her abdomen and will then adhere the ootheca in a hidden, dark place near food.
  • Smell. Roaches emit a pheromone that smells thick and musty. The stronger the smell, the higher the likelihood of a large population in your Corpus Christi home.
  • Sightings. If you see a cockroach during the day, or you catch one running around, you have a major infestation. Most of the time, roaches are extremely good at keeping out of sight. They only come out if they've run out of hiding places or accessible food.

Get Rid of Cockroaches for Good

There are some effective methods to get rid of roaches. Over-the-counter pest control options exist that may help to reduce a population. Roach kits are available for consumer purchase and may include things like gel bait and bait stations or other deterrents. Here are some things you can start doing today:

  • Clean and sanitize your home daily. Roaches are attracted to food, not grime, but are less likely to stay if you disinfect their hiding places. Regularly organize, rearrange, and thoroughly clean your pantry or other food storage areas to discourage cockroach activity.
  • Vacuum frequently to pick up any crumbs or other food left behind.
  • Wash dishes and keep the sink clean. Void the food processor often, if you have one, and clean the drains frequently with an effective consumer drain product.
  • Seal your food. Best practice to deter many pests from home invasion is to keep your dry goods, pet food, spices and herbs, and seeds locked away in a plastic or metal airtight container. Never leave dirty dishes out, and always empty and clean your pet dishes of both food and water before bed.
  • Seal your home. Use silicone caulking to seal gaps, cracks, and crevices around your doors and windows, sill plates and along the foundation, and around gas, water, electrical, or other piping entry points.
  • Keep your home dry by plugging leaky pipes and sinks and wipe the sink of water residue after you've washed your hands or cleaned the dishes. Keep your attic, garage (especially if it's attached to the rest of the house), crawl space, or other areas of your home free of water drips and well-ventilated.
  • Chemical deterrents. Boric acid is a common acid used in toothpaste and other common items. This acid can be used as an effective method to control and kill roaches, especially since it is not toxic to human adults in small doses. However, it can be harmful to children or pets, so we don't advise its use, except when used as recommended by a pest control professional.
  • Mix water and dish soap that breaks down grease and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray a cockroach if you see it. Roach joints and shell links are connected with a kind of greasy biomaterial that will break down with the use of the soap. Soap and water solutions like this are a fast, human, and clean way to get rid of one running around your kitchen.

Control Cockroaches with Fox Pest Control

Fox Pest Control technicians work hard to ensure your peace of mind. If you suspect a cockroach infestation in your Corpus Christi home or business, don't wait. Call today for a free estimate, and our friendly, knowledgeable pest professionals will arrive at your home ready to get rid of roaches and restore your peace of mind. We aren't afraid to do what it takes to get the job done and do it right the first time. Pests ... it's what we do.

Posted on December 2, 2019.

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