Humans have been disgusted by cockroaches for centuries. In Ancient Egypt, spells were used to ask for divine help to banish them, and writings dating to the height of the Roman Empire comment on the feeling of revulsion triggered by roaches. Today, entomologists estimate that more humans fear cockroaches than any other insect. Roaches are fast, smelly and known to harbor a variety of bacteria and viruses. Most people want to get rid of roaches as quickly as possible, so knowing the signs of a roach infestation can help you accomplish your goal.
1. Roach Feces
The presence of roach feces or droppings is a common indication of an infestation. Depending on the species of roach, droppings may resemble specks of ground black pepper, coffee grounds or tiny pellets. Droppings may be found inside kitchen cabinets and drawers, behind large appliances or underneath small kitchen appliances. You can also find droppings in areas that are heavily traveled by roaches, including countertops and around trash cans. Droppings are sometimes very plentiful in hard-to-access kitchen cupboards, underneath stacks of magazines or inside cardboard boxes used for storage.
2. Dead or Living Roaches
Dead roaches can be found virtually anywhere, but their hiding places are common locations. Look for dead roaches underneath sinks, inside kitchen cupboards, under and behind appliances, inside pantries, in kitchen and bathroom drawers, near baseboards, around clothes hampers, and in the utility room. Live roaches are typically spotted at night when a light is turned on in an otherwise dark room. Seeing live cockroaches during daylight hours is usually an indication that the population has grown so large that roaches are being forced to migrate to find new food sources or new nesting places.
3. Egg Cases
The egg cases, also known as oothecae, are oblong, semi-translucent casings that can contain as many as 50 eggs. Some types of roaches carry their egg cases until it is time for the eggs to hatch, and the empty case is discarded wherever the hatching occurs. Other types of roaches leave the egg cases “glued” underneath furniture or in other sheltered locations. If the roach problem is severe, empty oothecae may be present on countertops, near baseboards or behind items on a display shelf. Full and empty egg cases may be found behind furniture, inside books, in cabinets or drawers, behind wall hangings, around pipes, underneath tables, inside storage boxes or in pantries.
Solving Your Cockroach Problem
Roach problems are easier to resolve if they are caught early. However, professional assistance is typically needed to achieve complete eradication and prevent another infestation. Many types of roaches have become resistant or immune to some of the ingredients popular in do-it-yourself treatments, which makes accurate identification of the particular roach species present especially critical. Furthermore, it will be necessary to ensure that proper sanitation measures are taken, including storing food in airtight containers, keeping floors and countertops clean, eliminating any puddles of standing water around drains, repairing leaky faucets and keeping the lids on trash cans tightly closed.
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