Roaches: the name alone is enough to make your skin crawl. Unfortunately, they’re common pests, and they can be difficult to get rid of. If you have roaches in your home or apartment in areas such as kitchen cabinets, the attic, or in your bathroom, it’s important to get rid of them fast.
Here at Smith’s Pest Management, we help homeowners throughout Northern California, from Marin to Monterey, get rid of pests. Our team offers professional cockroach control for your home to help you reclaim your space and get life back to normal.
In this post, we’ll share the best and fastest ways to get rid of roaches for good, and everything you need to know about your various options.
What Type of Cockroaches Are in My Home?
While there are more than 4,500 roach species in the world, only about 69 of them live in the U.S.
Although most species of roaches have no interest in invading homes, there are a few that will happily set up shop in your house.
Here’s an overview of the roaches you’re most likely to see indoors:
The German cockroach is the most common cockroach in the U.S. Because they breed so rapidly (each egg case can produce 20-40 baby roaches), even a single female in your home could produce a cockroach infestation of more than 30,000 individuals in a single year.
Unlike other roach species, the female German cockroach carries her egg pouches with her until they’re ready to hatch. This means infestations spread easily and can be difficult to contain.
All cockroaches have flat, broad bodies with long hind legs and antennae. Their wings lie folded flat on their backs, and most are black or brown. The German cockroach, however, tends to be light-brown with two dark, parallel stripes that run down the body from the head to the wings.
Brown-banded roaches love warm, dry areas, and are commonly found inside walls or electronics like televisions or refrigerators. A flying cockroach, this species hates water and doesn’t like to live in moist or damp places. They are about 0.5” in length, and tend to be dark brown. Both males and females have light yellow bands on their wings and abdomens.
While the American cockroach isn’t the most common roach species in the U.S., it is the largest. It’s also one of the longest-lived – with lifespans of about two years. These roaches are sometimes called the “sewer roach” or “palmetto bugs.” They can reach 1-3” in length and tend to be brown or reddish-brown with light yellow edges around their bodies.
What Attracts Roaches to My Home?
Regardless of what kind of roaches you have in your home, one thing is certain: you don’t want them there.
In addition to giving you the creepy-crawlies, roaches can trigger allergies, spread disease, and create an unsanitary living environment.
Fortunately, the first step to getting rid of roaches is understanding what’s attracting them to your property in the first place.
Here are some of the most common culprits:
1. Food sources
Roaches are omnivores, meaning they’ll eat anything. They are particularly fond of starches, sweets, greasy food, and meats. Easy sources of food – like dirty dishes in the sink, pet food on the floor, or crumbs on the counter will draw them in.
Cockroaches enter homes for shelter. Depending on the species of roach, they may live behind picture frames, in hollowed-out wood, in damp places like beneath the sink or behind the toilet, or in the backs of your electronics. As the temperature dips outside, roaches will venture indoors. They love quiet, forgotten areas, and may live underneath large appliances, in the corners of basements, and the attic.
If you’re wondering “why do I have roaches in my clean house?” we understand. Solving a roach problem can be frustrating – especially if you’ve been careful to avoid common attractants.
Unfortunately, some locations are just more appealing to roaches than others. Species like the American cockroach don’t need unsanitary conditions to thrive – they simply enter through a gap in a window seal or a door left open and start establishing themselves in your house.
Like all animals, roaches need water to survive – and they’ll enter even the most sanitary homes to find it. Leaky pipes and faucets are common attractants.
While roaches love to live inside, they’ll also enter your yard in search of food, shelter, and water. Standing water in birdbaths, gutters, and flowerpots will all attract roaches, as will food sources like birdseed or fruit plants.