Are you worried you may have a pest problem at home, but not sure how to tell if you have cockroaches or perhaps some other pest? Read our latest blog to find out how to tell if you have cockroaches in your home.
Cockroaches are found almost everywhere in the world, and while they thrive in subtropical and tropical climates worldwide, they’re also abundant in temperate climates. There are even some species of cockroaches that live in the Arctic region.
They’ve been documented as far back as 300 million years ago and have adapted to survive while many other organisms didn’t. Approximately 4,600 species of cockroaches have been discovered so far – and in fact, only around 1% of these are considered to be pests to humans.
Pest cockroach species
By my calculations, 1% of 4,600 is only 46 species of cockroach that are considered pests to humans. But I think you’ll agree that for most of us, 46 is 46 too many, especially considering the diseases they carry. You can read more about that in our previous blog Will cockroaches in my home make me sick?
The most common pest species are the American cockroach (Periplaneta Americana) and the German cockroach (Blattella germanica). Americana are scavengers and will feed on anything from decaying organic matter to hair, bread, fruit and book bindings. Germanica may be the most widely distributed species and has adapted to a variety of regions since its first discovery in 1797 in Denmark. German cockroaches are always associated with humans and are found as far south as southern South America and on all continents except Antarctica. They’ll feed on many foods, including meats, fats and starchy/sugary foods.
Signs of a cockroach infestation:
Cockroaches are nocturnal, hiding out of sight during the day and usually only coming out of their hiding places to search for food a few hours after you’ve turned off the lights. This means that it’s often easier to spot signs of a cockroach problem in your home rather than an actual live cockroach.
Cockroach droppings are the most obvious sign that you have a problem. Cockroaches leave a dust of black droppings less than 1mm wide and of varying lengths. An established cockroach problem also produces an unpleasant, lingering and musty smell that taints items they come into contact with.
A slightly more fun way than looking for droppings or trying to establish if there’s a strange smell is a Vegas roach trap. This is a homemade cockroach monitoring device, perfectly suited for households, and very easy to make.
All you need is a glass jar (for example a jam, peanut butter or gherkin jar) and a sock. Pull the sock over the glass jar – making sure that the top of the sock and the top of the jar are level.
Add some water to the jar, and some coffee grounds. If you’re not a coffee drinker, then a bit of toasted bread and beer will also do the job.
Place the trap in a dark corner of your kitchen, preferably under the sink and wait one night. Cockroaches will be attracted to the smell of the coffee (or beer), climb up the outside of the jar (using the sock for grip) and then fall into the jar, drowning in the liquid because they cannot climb up the glass insides of the jar (too slippery).
So now that your Vegas trap has established whether or not you have a cockroach problem, what should you do about them? The Vegas roach trap is a good way to find out whether there are cockroaches in your home, but it can’t cope with an infestation.
Rather call in a professional pest control provider for advice on getting rid of an established cockroach infestation. Our technicians are trained in pest biology and understand the cockroach lifecycle, and will be able to offer targeted solutions to quickly and effectively get rid of your cockroach problem.