Cockroaches
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Cockroaches

What do cockroaches look like?

Cockroaches are invasive and are problematic in our area homes and businesses. Cockroaches have flattened, oval-shaped bodies, and six legs that are covered in spines. Their long antennae are usually the same length or longer than their bodies. Cockroach nymphs look similar to adults, but are smaller in size and are wingless. Cockroaches are dangerous pests due to their potential to carry and spread disease, human pathogens, and parasites that can make people ill.

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  • German cockroaches
    German cockroaches have two black stripes running horizontally down behind their heads. Their bodies are light brown to tan in color. These cockroaches commonly invade homes and restaurants, and are the most common species found living throughout the world. German cockroaches are capable of flying, but rarely do so.
  • American cockroaches
    American cockroaches are the largest house-invading cockroaches living in the United States. Their bodies are reddish-brown in color. They have a distinct yellowish-colored figure-eight pattern located behind their heads. Both males and females are strong fliers.
  • Smoky brown cockroaches
    Smoky brown cockroaches have a shiny appearance, and are black or mahogany in color. Their wings extend past their bodies. Smoky brown cockroaches are attracted to outdoor lighting.
  • Oriental cockroaches
    Oriental cockroaches are large in size. They are reddish-brown to shiny black in color, and are often called “water bugs” because they prefer to live outdoors in areas of high humidity. Both male and female Oriental cockroaches are capable of biting, though they rarely do so.

How do cockroaches gain access?

Cockroaches can find their way inside in a few different ways. They often get inside underneath doors or through open doors while foraging for new food sources. Some species are attracted to light and find their way inside through spaces around doors and windows. Cockroaches may also accidentally be introduced into homes and business through deliveries, mail, and other packages. They can also be found inside used furniture, used appliances, cardboard boxes, or on potted plants.

Where do cockroaches hide?

Cockroaches hide in a variety of places. Most species prefer warm, humid, and dark locations. Cockroaches commonly hide out in homes and businesses behind appliances, underneath cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms, in drains, in laundry rooms and boiler rooms, and in pantry areas. Outside, cockroaches are found on trees, underneath mulch, in gardens, in trash cans, under piles of debris, and in sewers and drains.

What are the signs of cockroaches?

To determine if cockroaches are nesting on your property or inside your home, be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Cockroach droppings. Small cockroaches produce droppings that look like black pepper. Larger roaches produce large, cylinder-like droppings that can be confused with rodent droppings. They are often found along the floor, and in cabinets and drawers.
  • A strong, unpleasant, musty odor.
  • Discovering oil smear marks on floors and walls.
  • Finding egg cases that are dark brown and oval in shape.
  • Spotting live cockroaches scurrying around, usually in kitchen and bathroom areas.

Cockroach Prevention Tips

There are a few things you can do to try and prevent cockroaches from entering into your home:

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels in your home.
  • Repair holes in window or door screens.
  • Make sure weather stripping is placed around all windows and doors.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in your home's foundation and exterior walls.
  • Place a mesh cover over all vents leading into your home.
  • Seal spaces found around wires, cables, pipes and other utilities entering your home through its exterior walls.
  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures.

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Serving Local Communities Throughout Alabama, Louisiana, & Mississippi Since 1947

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