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Let's Talk About Roaches In Phoenix

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This isn't a pleasant conversation, but it is one that is well worth having. Roaches are gross—if we're being honest. But you need to understand some of their unsanitary behaviors if you want to appropriately deal with a cockroach infestation in your Phoenix home. Let's look at what attracts cockroaches to your home, how you can tell that roaches have gotten into your home, how their behavior patterns put your health at risk, and how you can reduce health risks if you know how to get rid of cockroaches naturally. We have a lot to share with you today. If you'd rather get quick answers to your questions, in person, feel free to reach out to us. ACTION Termite & Pest Contol provides advanced cockroach pest control in Phoenix and our technicians have all kinds of cockroach facts to share. Drop us a line on our contact page or give us a call.  

Factors That Attract Cockroaches To Your Home

Cockroaches eat unsanitary things. They are drawn to yards where pets go out in the yard to do their business. They are attracted to the exterior of homes that have dirty trash receptacles. They will investigate landscaping that has recently had fertilizer applied. Anything that smells bad or seems gross is something that will attract cockroaches. Sanitation is extremely effective at deterring cockroach activity, and keeping things clean is a good place to start if you want to keep cockroaches away from your yard. Once you've considered the unsanitary things roaches eat, the next step is to consider other essentials cockroaches need.

What do cockroaches want to find in your yard? They're looking for hiding places from the hot sun, damp spaces to stay hydrated, tight spaces to tuck themselves into, and a place to raise a family. 

  • The hot Phoenix sun dries cockroaches out. They hide underneath leaf litter, dead branches, scrap wood, rocks, and other natural organic materials to find shade. They also get underneath toys in the yard, lawn equipment, lawn furniture, landscape borders, mulch, and more. You can deter cockroaches by removing as many hiding places as you can.
  • Cockroaches are attracted to damp habitats and high humidity. Your landscaping is the perfect place for a cockroach to explore. But you don't have to keep your landscaping damp to keep your plants healthy. In fact, dampness is counterproductive to plant health. Water your plants in the early morning and create conditions that promote fast evaporation of surface water. Your plants need water in the soil, not on their leaves. Create space between your plants for good airflow and make sure your gutters are free of debris. Everything you do to maintain a dry landscape will deter roaches.
  • Cockroaches don't know you have food in your home. They get into your home because they are attracted to tight spaces. One big reason for this attraction is that cockroaches continually cling to surfaces, even the ground. Have you ever found a dead roach? What was that roach doing? It was lying on its back. Do you know why? When it died, it stopped clinging to the floor. When a cockroach is tucked into a tight space, it doesn't have to exert energy to cling to surfaces, so offering cockroaches a gap around your utilities, a gap underneath your exterior doors, and a gap around your window frames will invite roaches into your home. Your secret weapon is a caulking gun. Seal those gaps to deter roaches from getting inside.
  • Most cockroaches lay their eggs in food-rich environments. One of the dirtiest roaches, the Oriental cockroach, prefers the unmentionable, gelatinous material in the bottom of a dumpster or trash can as a location to lay their egg pouches. It is gross, but also true. We discussed applying sanitation to keep cockroaches away from your home, this is another reason why. You won't just attract cockroaches with unsanitary things, you'll provide ideal breeding sites and have a cockroach explosion.

These are simple tips that require some hard work to keep roaches away naturally. Unfortunately, it is hard to stay on top of cleaning trash receptacles, removing yard clutter, and sealing exterior entry points, which drives some Phoenix residents to turn to cockroach control products. If control products are needed, we strongly recommend having a licensed pest management professional apply them. You can add to your misery and make yourself sick if these products are misapplied.      

How To Identify A Cockroach Infestation In Your Home

When you see roaches in your yard, does it mean you have cockroaches inside your home? Not necessarily. How can you tell? Cockroaches are sneaky pests. Experts say that seeing one roach in your home is evidence that there are thousands you aren't seeing. These insects are adept at staying hidden. But you can find them if you go looking for them. You can also find evidence that will let you know they're around, even when you don't see them.

Cockroach Droppings: The waste of cockroaches is black. You may see tiny black specks stuck to floors, walls, baseboards, crown molding, ceilings, storage boxes, food packaging, outlet covers, pipes, and more. Look in dark, secluded locations. Check tight spaces. Look in the backs of your drawers or behind packages on your shelves. Inspect the cabinets underneath your sinks. If you find droppings, clean them up. Wear a respirator and gloves when doing this to avoid getting sick. Cleaning up cockroach droppings will help you to tell if roaches are still active because you'll see new droppings if roaches continue to explore the area. Cockroach droppings sometimes stain fabrics, wallpaper, and other materials. You may not have complete success cleaning contaminated areas. Use your smartphone to take a picture so that you have it as a reference when you check back. It is not necessary to fully clean those roach droppings.

Nymphs: When you shine a light into a secluded space, you may see tiny insects zipping across floors, running up walls, or dashing across ceilings. If you do, they're likely cockroach nymphs. While nymphs are much small than the adults, they move at the same speed. Use this to help you identify them. Why is it necessary to have this information to help with cockroach identification? Because nymphs look different. If the adult roaches have wings, you may not recognize the nymphs because they don't have wings. In the case of German cockroaches, the adults have two tiny black lines between the head and the wings. Nymphs are entirely black or have black coloration running down both sides of their bodies. Later in life, the wings will cover that black coloration. Do you see how identification is sometimes challenging?

Shed Skins: As cockroaches grow, they shed their skins several times. You'll find these shed skins in gaps, cracks, seams, and compressed areas between mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs also shed their skins, so keep this in mind as you look for this warning sign. 

Pheromones: Cockroaches have a certain smell to them. There are many descriptions available on the internet. We would say that any smell that is musty, oily, and has a hint of decay is likely to be cockroach pheromones.

Egg Pouches: Most cockroaches leave their egg pouches lying around in hidden places. You may find intact pouches or broken casings. The exception is German cockroaches. A female German cockroach carries her egg pouch (ootheca) with her. You'll only find the egg pouch casings, which will have an orange or dark brown tint to them.  

If you find a cockroach in your home or uncover evidence of cockroach activity, it is critical to consider the health implications. While cockroach-related illness is somewhat overblown, there are risks.  

Why Roaches In Your Home Is A Hazard To Your Health

The National Pest Management Association provides the best description of the health hazards presented by cockroaches. Roaches are known to spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, six different types of parasitic worms, and seven kinds of human pathogens. Along with these issues, roaches produce allergens that trigger asthma symptoms. A recent study revealed that cockroach infestations in urban areas are responsible for increasing hospital visitation for asthma, with children being most affected. Take time to research what the NPMA, CDC, and WHO have to say about cockroaches as you consider what to do about them in your home.   

Call The Pros At The First Sign Of Roaches In Your Home

It is our opinion that it is best to get professional assistance for cockroach infestations. The risk of illness and property damage makes these pests a high priority for control. If you have questions about which cockroach species are the worst, how to get rid of cockroach infestations, or what works to continually keep cockroaches out of your home, we'd love the opportunity to help you find answers. Reach out to ACTION Termite & Pest Control for a cockroach treatment or to get started with residential pest control that includes coverage for cockroaches. We're here to help.