Just spotted a lone cockroach scampering in a corner of your home? Chances are that there are many more hiding from plain sight. And without the help of pest control experts, it may only be a matter of time before they come raiding and your food stocks.
Of all the household pests that may be invading our living spaces, they are among the most adaptable and discreet. They typically hide in massive nests (often housing hundreds of roaches at a time) that are found in walls, cupboards, and skirting boards as well as under appliances. It isn’t their numbers that should scare you, though. The biggest worry when you have cockroaches roaming your place is that you’d be exposed to health risks commonly associated with such unhygienic insects.
The fact is that cockroaches aren’t all pests. While there are over 4,000 species of cockroaches worldwide, only a handful are really considered pests. But the few we consider as pests often are seen as major threats and it’s mainly because of their potential to carry deadly diseases.
Roaches make a habitat of our homes because our spaces often have an abundance of food, water, and shelter. Their diet consists of virtually any animal or vegetable product, including leather, paper, fabric, starch, and greasy particles.
Generally, cockroaches are nocturnal in nature, meaning they’re active only at night. Those that you see running around during the day is often a sign that a large infestation may be at hand. Keep in mind that these insects live in groups and they often gather in number where they socialize and groom themselves.
Roach Infestation in Australia
There may be thousands of roach species around the globe but it’s worth noting how Australia has nearly an eighth of that total. Three common types that are considered pests across the country are Australian cockroaches, German cockroaches, and American cockroaches. These nuisances can be found hiding in residences and businesses across the continent and this fact doesn’t bode well for property investors who certainly wouldn’t want having these filthy freeloaders anywhere near their space.
It’s crucial that property investors can identify which species may be invading their place as the information helps exterminators control an infestation effectively. On that note, be on the lookout for the following roach species.
- Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)
Commonly found in warm subtropical to tropical climates, these dark-brown roaches are usually found outdoors. If they do find their way into homes, they’ll typically inhabit walls, subfloors, and roof voids. They prefer eating food of plant origin and you may find them boring holes in books and clothing.
- American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
The American cockroach is one of the largest pest species that invade homes and commercial properties. They typically get around in search of food fast and are capable of flying short distances in warm conditions. Although they’d rather feed on decaying organic matter, they do eat organic products like paper and clothing (especially when they’re soiled). Surprisingly, they’re drawn to fermented liquids e.g. beers.
American roaches congregate in warm, moist, and dark spots. This is why you’ll find them cooped up in the roof, wall, and subfloor areas. You can also find them in rubbish dumps, sewers, and grease traps. Because they love the climate in coastal areas, you can often find them indoors in cool regions and outdoors in warmer ones. Bakeries, factories, hospitals, houses, and food stores are among the common places these roaches call home.
- Smoky Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)
Search the dark, damp, poorly ventilated areas in your property and you’ll likely find these eyesores. That’s because smoky brown roaches are susceptible to losing moisture through their cuticles. This may explain why it’s rare to see them raiding dwelling parts in buildings; instead, you’ll find them hiding in sheds, subfloors, walls, roof voids, mulched areas, and around drains and grease traps.
For the most part, their diet consists of food of plant origin and this fact makes them a huge threat to nurseries, greenhouses, and gardens across the country. They’re also attracted to lights at night and fly short distances in search of food and shelter during warm weather.
- German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
The most prolific breeder among pest cockroaches, the German roaches produce three to four generations (up to 40 offsprings per generation) a year. Worse, it only takes as little as 40 days for these insects to develop from hatchling to adult!
As you’re searching for this type of roach in your building, take note that they often congregate in warm areas with high humidity. This may be why you’ll find them hiding in the kitchen e.g. in or under drawers and cupboards, under the sink, behind refrigerators, etc. But if you saw one in other areas of the house (the bedroom, for instance), you could have a massive infestation on hand.
Tell-Tale Signs of a Cockroach Infestation
Getting familiar with the kind of roaches you’re up against is half of the battle. The other half? Finding evidence of their presence in your property. This is easier said than done since cockroaches hide out of sight by day and only come out at night.
To help you track these pests and take immediate action to prevent them from multiplying further, here are a few signs you should watch out for.
- Egg capsule – Roaches lay eggs in a capsule called an ootheca, which typically contain multiple eggs at a time. While their appearance will vary for each species, one thing that’s common is that they drop the capsules before they hatch. Look around for oothecas because they’re sure that roaches are breeding inside your living or working space.
- Droppings – A clear proof that there is an ongoing infestation is the sight of cockroach droppings on various surfaces. They look like ground coffee but have varying lengths, depending on the species.
- Musty smell – Cockroaches defecate wherever they sleep or live and their faeces produce a pheromone that attracts other roaches to where they’re gathering. In massive numbers, their faeces create a lingering, musty smell and the odour intensifies the more the infestation grows.
- Live roaches – Turn on a light in a less inhabited corner of the house or humid areas i.e. laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen and you may find a cockroach or two scampering across the floor or on the wall. This usually happens at night and should be taken as a sign that cockroaches have begun invading your space.
- Damage – Although these bugs are notorious for damaging food packaging, it isn’t all that they destroy. Watch out for signs of damage on organic goods, including books and leather.
Get the Cockroach Infestation Under Control
Needless to say, you have to act fast at the first sign of a cockroach infestation. Although you’d be tempted to pick up insect sprays and take matters into your own hands, it’s best to leave the extermination in the hands of professional cockroach control teams like ours!
Remember that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to pest removal. By working with our technicians, you can enjoy unique pest control programmes that’ll keep cockroaches outside your home or office any day!