You may have noticed mouse-like droppings littering your basement or kitchen, or there's a musty smell in your home that you hadn't noticed before. In addition, you may have heard a scuttling in the night. Any of these observations could indicate that you have a problem with American cockroaches. Here are a few question and answers about these six-legged pests and their presence in your home:
What do they look like?
America Cockroaches are pretty large and can be a couple of inches long when fully grown. They have red-brown wings and a distinct shield-like shape behind their head, outlined in light brown or yellow.
Why are they in your home, and how did they get in?
These roaches are drawn to warmth and invade your home looking for food, water and shelter. They can enter your through damaged weather stripping, plumbing, air ducts and cracks, and they easily slide under doors.
Where are they likely to be seen?
You may notice them in your basement, kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. Look for small droppings in the corners and around the baseboards of these areas. The droppings are about the size of a grain of rice and ridged, but the edges are blunt, unlike the pointed ends on a mouse dropping. Search for brownish-red egg capsules in these areas as well.
What do they eat? American Cockroaches feed on wood particles, fungi, crumbs that end up on the floor, pet food and even paper. Sometimes, they will feed on book bindings and the back of wallpaper.
Why do they smell?
If you've noticed a musty smell pervading your home, that may mean you have a large population of the pests. American Cockroaches emit a musty-smelling pheromone that causes them to group together.
Why is it important to get rid of them?
American Cockroaches are not only pesky, but dirty. They can carry diseases such as dysentery, cholera, and leprosy. In addition, they can cause minor health problems like allergies.
How can they be prevented?
Here are a few steps you can take to eliminate an infestation of American cockroaches:
- Search your home for cracks and damaged weather stripping that the bugs could have entered through, and seal them with caulking.
- Set out bait or sticky traps.
- Store firewood away from your house to eliminate hiding places for the roaches.
- Clean your kitchen and kitchen appliances to get rid of any food particles.
- Keep your house well ventilated as roaches thrive in humid conditions.
- Remove rotting leaves from gutters and pipes.
- Put mesh screens over the windows, pipes, vents and drains.
- Use insecticides around the baseboards in your home .
- Use insecticides around the outside perimeter of the house.
If the cockroaches keep returning or there are too many to eliminate, call a professional pest control company (such as Victoria Pest Control rodent control programs) as soon as possible.