Roach Infestation: How Do You Know Your Home Has These Pests?
Unless you are a roach super-sleuth, you may not know that your home has roaches until an infestation has securely taken hold. This is because roaches are both incredibly Wiley, and have had been adapting to thrive in any environment since they first lived with the dinosaurs. Roaches are nocturnal creatures. That means they mainly move around looking for food and water at night time, so unless you consistently plan surprise midnight inspections, you may not know you have any roaches until the colony has already grown into a serious infestation.
How Can I Discover a Roach Invasion Before it Becomes Serious?
While it’s difficult to discover a roach problem before it becomes serious, it’s not impossible if you put on your Nancy Drew scarf and do a little detective work.
How to Spot a Roach
The most obvious sign that you have roaches is to see one in action. This can happen when you stumble into the kitchen early in the morning and see a dark sneaky creature dart away into a crack or crevice after you turn on the light. You may also discover a roach if you turn on a light for a middle of the night trip to the bathroom. While this is a sight that may make it hard for you to get back to sleep, you can console yourself with the thought that the roach was probably just as unhappy to see you.
If you see a roach in broad daylight, the news isn’t good. If roaches are moving during daylight hours it means the infestation is already severe enough to force some of them to hunt for food in the daytime in order to avoid the midnight rush.
What Roach Poop Looks Like
Another clue a good detective may spot is roach droppings. Smaller, german roaches will leave droppings that resemble flecks of pepper or coffee grinds. Larger, American roaches will leave oblong droppings about the size of a grain of rice. You may see these droppings under your sink, refrigerator, stove, or around food storage areas and near outlets.
How to recognize Roach Eggs
Roach eggs are another visible sign that you aren’t the only one who thinks your home is comfy and welcoming. Roaches don’t lay individual eggs, they reproduce through egg cases that hold up to fifty eggs at a time. They may be hard to spot without your spy kit flashlight because most roaches either glue their egg cases into small cracks and crevices or like German roaches, they physically carry their egg cases with them for protection until they hatch. In either case, you may be able to find spent, empty egg cases, which of course means you now have tiny baby roaches hiding somewhere in your home ready to grow and reproduce. While different roach species may have egg cases in different sizes and colors, most are oblong in shape, ranging in color from black to light brown.
Roach Paranoia: How Easily Roaches Can Travel From Other Homes
Be suspicious of your neighbors. If your neighbors have roaches, it means that you are much more likely to develop an infestation of your own. Roaches easily move from one home to a neighboring property, especially if the neighboring infestation is bad enough that the roaches are looking for new territory and more food to feed a large colony. You can discourage the move by keeping trash cans away from your house and not leaving any uncovered food out on your countertops.
How to Know They're Hiding in your home: Roaches are Smelly
Finally, if you have the keen nose of a super sleuth, you might be able to recognize a new, musty, oily smell in your home. Especially in dark places such as under your kitchen and bathroom sink. The smell can arise from roach urine and feces, as well as from decomposing dead roaches.
While it’s unfortunately difficult to get rid of roaches once they’ve established a large colony inside your home, it can be much easier to stop an infestation before it becomes serious if you are on the lookout for signs of trouble. So go ahead and snoop around the dark corners and cabinets of your house with all of your spy senses on alert, and you may be able to stop an enemy infiltration before it begins.