American cockroaches are common in Central Virginia. They are also known as the water bug, the Bombay canary or the palmetto bug. The American cockroach is not native to North America. Evidence suggests they were introduced via ships from Africa in the early 1600s. They are the largest of the species found in Pennsylvania, measuring 1.5 inches long but can get as big as 2 inches long and are the largest house infesting cockroach across the country. They are reddish-brown in color with fully developed wings that cover their entire abdomen. They can fly, but rarely do. These cockroaches will eat a variety of foods but prefer decaying organic matter. If food and water are in abundance, American cockroaches will thrive and will communicate with each other using pheromones to decide what location will be best to settle in. They are usually found outdoors in dead logs, wood piles and hollowed out trees. Inside, you will find them in damp areas like basements and crawlspaces.
What Are the Dangers of American Cockroaches to Humans?
American cockroaches are filthy. Having them in your home can be a serious health risk as they can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of worms and at least seven kinds of human pathogens. Because they feed on and can live in damp and unsanitary places like sewers, garbage disposals, kitchens, bathrooms and storage spaces, they can spread germs that can make you sick. These germs will be spread by cockroaches to food supplies, areas where food is prepared, dishes, utensils and many other surfaces. A scary fact about cockroaches is that they can contaminate far more food than they can eat! Saliva, urine and fecal droppings have allergen proteins that can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Having cockroaches in your home can cause problems all year-round, more so in children.
Signs of an American Cockroach Infestation
There are four signs that will let you know you have these pests crawling around your home. The first sign will be the sight of them fleeing to darkness when you flick the light switch on. The second sign will be the droppings they leave behind in the areas where they hide. These droppings can be mistaken for mouse droppings, so you need professionals for positive identification. Third, you may notice egg capsules that resemble a grain of rice and dark in color. The last indication of a cockroach infestation will be the smell. Many people describe it as a “musty” odor.
Cockroach Prevention Tip
You will need the help of professionals for long-term control but there are ways to limit the number you will have in and around your home.
- Improve sanitation
- Seal off points of entry with silicone-based caulk
- Don’t leave food lying out
- Use glue traps
- Call professional for help
Cockroaches are very resilient, which makes it very difficult to get rid of them. They have some survival tactics that have kept them alive for millions of years! You need the help of professionals for the most effective treatment. Contact Exterminating Limited, Inc. for the education and experience we can provide.