Within one year, a female cockroach and her first round of young can lead to an infestation of 800 cockroaches. If that’s not creepy enough, a recent study found that certain types of cockroaches, including American cockroaches, can reproduce entirely on their own. That’s right, no papa roach necessary.
With those kinds of reproduction numbers, it’s crucial that you catch the start of a roach infestation and call pest control before it gets out of control.
Not sure how to tell if you’re sharing your home with these unsavory pests?
Read on for 7 signs that you’re on your way to a full-blown roach infestation!
1. You Hear Rumblings of Roaches in the Neighborhood
If roaches have moved into your neighborhood, there’s a good chance your house is their next stop. The odds of this kind of migration go up if you live in an apartment complex or rowhouse and share walls with someone who already has roaches.
If you’re hearing about them from the neighbors, get proactive. Store edibles in air-tight containers, clean up messes on the counters and floors as they happen, and consider investing in a sealed garbage can.
While these precautions may not stop roaches from passing through your doors, they will make your place a little less attractive.
2. You Spot Roach Droppings
You may start to notice what the roaches are leaving behind long before you ever seem them in the flesh. While small roaches deposit droppings that are small and speckle-like, larger roaches deposit droppings that are longer and grain-shaped. Sometimes, they simply leave behind small, brown stains.
You might not see them all over the place, but there are a few key spots to check: corners, cabinet tops, and crawl spaces below refrigerators and ovens. The more droppings you find, the merrier the cockroaches.
Exercise caution when cleaning up these messes. Use gloves and, if there is quite a bit of waste, consider wearing a facemask.
3. You Walk on Egg Shells
Well, more accurately, you walk on egg casings, also known as oothecae.
Roaches don’t lay singular eggs. Instead, they lay egg casings that can hold multiple eggs. When the eggs hatch, the casing splits and is discarded. You’re more likely to find casings once they’re already empty than when they’re full.
Why? Because female roaches usually attach their egg casings to hard-to-reach shelters to protect them until they hatch. This may be inside pantries, beneath furniture, anywhere that might constitute a nook or a cranny.
It’s not a bad idea to search for unhatched egg casings, simply because this will allow you to dispose of them (somewhere far away from your home) before they hatch. It won’t solve the problem, but it will take it down a few notches or a couple dozen roaches.
4. You See Dead Roaches
No, you haven’t developed the most disappointing sixth sense ever. Seeing dead roaches also isn’t a sign that the infestation is dying out.
You’re most likely to notice dead roaches out in the open in the morning. They’re not big fans of the sun or of the noise you make during the day, so they’re most likely to come out at night. However, not all of them will make it back to home base before sunrise, and you may spot some carcasses here and there.
If you do find dead roaches tucked away in the dark corners of your home, that may give you an idea of where they’re nesting. This can be helpful when it comes time to treat your home with pesticides.
5. You See Live Roaches
If you start seeing live roaches during the day, that’s a pretty clear sign that you’ve got a growing roach infestation on your hands.
As previously mentioned, roaches don’t like to come out of hiding during the day. If they do, that probably means that there are too many of them lurking in the corners and eating your food. Coming out in the day is an act of survival, an attempt to scavenge a bite to eat without the competition of the others.
If you haven’t seen any live roaches but you’re certain they’re in your home, do a little after-dark investigating. Walk into the kitchen, cellar, or any other room where food or garbage is stored and abruptly turn on a light. Chances are, you’ll see a few (if not a ton) of roaches scatter.
6. You Smell Something Funky
If you’ve never been in a roach-infested space before, you probably won’t recognize this smell right away. It’s rare for a single roach, or even a small handful, to put off a noticeable stench.
When you do have a ton of roaches in one contained place, you’ll start to notice a musty, oily smell that worsens over time. On top of that, dead roaches put off their own stink. After death, a roach’s body produces an oleic acid during decomposition that has a tendency to linger.
If it’s gone as far as making your house or apartment stink, it’s gotten too far. Don’t bother looking for other signs, just call pest control.
7. You Notice Damage
This can be a tricky one to spot on your own, and it’s more than likely that if you have a roach problem, some of the other signs on this list will make themselves more readily apparent.
That being said, you may notice some damage here and there, and not just to your food.
Roaches may chew through clothing or other fabric-bound materials, especially if those materials have perspiration on them. They can also mess with your electrical wiring if they start crawling in and out of your outlets. If you catch the infestation early enough, you shouldn’t have to worry about this kind of damage.
Think You’ve Got a Roach Infestation?
As much as we love sunny Florida, we do not love the Florida roaches. And let’s face it: Florida has a ton of roaches.
The good news is that if you have a roach infestation in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, or the surrounding area, we can help you out. Contact us today and set up an appointment for an inspection or extermination. We’ll have those roaches packing their bags in no time!