They’ve been scurrying underfoot for nearly 400 million years and rank very high on the most annoying pest scale. Cockroaches haven’t changed much in last several million years, and their resilience to nearly every prevention method is what makes them so frustrating to deal with. There are over 4,500 different species of roaches, but in Alberta the most common roach to watch out for is the German Cockroach. Contrary to popular belief, these little guys aren’t just found in dirty kitchens. Cockroaches thrive anywhere with a supply to food and water, which means they’re more than happy to make your home their own.
Most of their six-legged activity happens at night, so if you catch a glimpse of a cockroach during daylight hours, you might have a bigger issue on your hands. An infestation of cockroaches has the critters searching for food at all hours because of their numbers, and nothing is safe from a roach. They aren’t picky about what’s for dinner; a rotten egg or mouldy bread is a gourmet meal. While food is the most alluring thing on earth for a roach, they can surprisingly survive on nothing but a few sips of water for over a month. And if food is impossible to come by, that’s no problem. Grease, glue, soap or toothpaste is a cockroaches’ delight. When they aren’t out hunting for grub, they’re hiding behind baseboards, under stoves, dishwashers or fridges or in cracks and crannies around the house. With a lifespan of about six months and the ability to multiply rapidly, cockroaches are quite possibly one of the most difficult insects to eradicate.
Are Roaches Invading?
Cockroaches love warm, moist and dark hiding places. Not only will they hide out underneath most major appliances, but they can sometimes hide inside of them. Because of their handy ability to flatten themselves to fit almost anywhere, loose wallpaper and wall crevices are also perfect places for them to hide out until night falls. The best way to tell if you have a roach infestation, besides seeing the little critters during the day, is to watch out for their droppings. Cockroach droppings look like coffee grounds or black pepper flakes and smells terrible. An oily or musty odor is present in the event of a more severe infestation, and you will find cockroach bodies littered around the home. The amount of feces and dead critters is an indication of the severity of the infestation. Another indication of roach invasion is if you come across oothecae, or roach eggs. Look for these egg pouches in and behind furniture, in pantries, between cracks in walls and baseboards and even inside of books or other tightly closed spaces.
You might have the cleanest, nicest smelling home on the block and a cockroach will still find your kitchen attractive. It doesn’t matter to a roach what condition their new home is in as long as there’s food, water, and comfort available. But there are a few preventive measures you can take to make your house as roach-proof as possible. Vacuuming and cleaning regularly is essential, as crumbs or food bits from taco night are open invitations for cockroaches to join you for the next meal. Sealing all food products in airtight containers is another necessity, as well as regularly emptying the trash, wiping up spills and food particles and keeping dirty dishes to a minimum. Caulking or plugging any nooks and crannies both in the foundation of your home and in the walls will help fend off invaders and fixing leaky faucets or troubling plumbing removes the lure of moisture. In regards to moisture, it’s never a bad idea to invest in a dehumidifier for your pantry or kitchen.
If all else fails and the roaches make it inside, don’t panic. Our incredible staff at One Man and a Lady Bug want to help you win back your home from a roach invasion! If you have concerns of a possible infestation, call our friendly technicians at 403.262.1666 and we’ll be happy to answer all of your pest related questions!