There’s nothing worse than a cockroach infestation. Just think about it: what is the most terrifying insect you may see in your house? We believe most people would answer a cockroach! The cockroach is always described or depicted as a disgusting creature. Its existence often gives an indication of dirt or decay. The presence of it in food and beverage outlets poses health issues. In fact, it is very rare to encounter someone who sees a cockroach as an adorable or lovable insect.
Most people who live in urban or city areas cannot withstand the existence of a cockroach infestation in their house. Some may even get depressed. Indeed, controlling cockroaches requires knowledge and technique. Here we will look at the signs of a cockroach infestation before making treatment decision.
Signs of a cockroach infestation:
1. Unpleasant smell
Do cockroaches carry a smell? Yes! Scent from cockroaches is normally undetectable by humans. However, when it comes from a big cockroach infestation, the smell will be present. The smell is considered stinky for most people but when it comes to cockroaches, it carries important means!
2. Cockroach droppings
You may wonder how cockroach droppings look like? Well, the appearance of cockroach droppings resembles black pepper with a dark colour and cylindrical shape. Their droppings are usually gathered around the corners and edges of cabinets as those places are their common hiding areas and pathways.
3. Cockroach eggs (ootheca)
When it comes to comparing the size of droppings and eggs, their eggs are bigger and more obvious than their droppings. A scary fact is that one ootheca can incubate more than 20 cockroaches inside! Therefore, if you find an empty ootheca in your house, you may have to accept the fact that cockroaches have already built its family inside your home.
4. Shed skins
Cockroaches moult just like other insects. Moulting is a step in their growing process to reach the mature stage. Hence, if you see their skins shed inside your property, you must start taking controlled action against them.
The best way to prevent them from harbouring is keeping your house clean. Other aspects such as techniques of storing food and structural defects inside a property cannot be neglected.
1. Identify hiding places and entry points
Inspection is a critical step in controlling cockroach infestations. It would be best if you can carry out the inspection at night as cockroaches are nocturnal insects. Get yourself a torchlight and search for signs of their activities as mentioned above.
Furthermore, you should also check cracks or crevices and gaps formed around the utility lines or pipes to reduce potential entry points for cockroaches. You may use silicone-based caulk to seal those entry points.
2. Make the infested area less conducive
After the inspection, keep in mind to remove, vacuum or wipe areas where cockroach eggs (ootheca), droppings and their carcasses were found. Remember one egg case can harbour 20 cockroaches inside, so remove it before it hatches to prevent a cockroach infestation.
You might not believe that cockroaches eat their own or nestmates’ droppings. Female cockroach droppings were seen highly attractive to nymph. The droppings also release pheromone (chemical substance used to affect cockroach behaviour and physiology).
3. Eliminate food and water sources
The main necessities for cockroaches to thrive are food, water and housing. Removing all these available sources for them is the best way to prevent them from entering your property. Cockroaches are able to squeeze their bodies through a gap of only 2mm wide. Hence, make sure your food is properly sealed.
Stains, grease or food debris are other important food sources for them so we cannot forget to clean these up. In addition, some humid areas such as underneath the kitchen sink or refrigerator are potential nesting areas for cockroaches. So remember to inspect, clean and ventilate these areas to prevent a cockroach infestation.
4. Organize your stores
Cockroaches like to move and hide in cluttered areas, especially the areas packed with newspapers and cupboards as these materials act as their housing and food. Cockroaches are general feeders. So, it is normal for them to feed on paper if there are no alternative food sources for them. Always remind yourself to remove clutter in your home, keep things clean and tidy so that your home can be inspected regularly.
5. Seek professional help
It would be an exhausting task to deal with a major cockroach infestation. Fear of cockroaches is the first barrier that most people will face. To deal with them, you may need to have plenty of time to fight. However, this is almost impossible for most people.
The short life cycle and high reproductive potential of cockroaches even make the control effort difficult. Hence, it would be easier to hand over this task to pest control professionals as they are more familiar with your enemy and has the best technique to manage the pest.