There’s one word that sums up cockroaches; filthy. American cockroaches are native to Africa but are now the largest most common cockroach found in Texas. They usually live outside in warm, moist areas like under mulch, log piles and under flower beds. When food and water are scarce, they will move in with us. Cockroaches will eat just about anything they can find, including paper, hair, cloth and dead insects. Adult American cockroaches can get bigger than two inches in length. They are reddish-brown to mahogany in color and have a yellow band around the area behind their head. They do have wings but are unable to fly. Cockroaches can bite, but rarely do and if they were to bite, there wouldn’t be anything to worry about.
Are Cockroaches Dangerous?
While you don’t need to worry about a nasty bite or sting, they do feed and live in areas that harbor dangerous bacteria. These areas include bathrooms, drains, dumpsters and sewers. Cockroaches carry bacteria on their bodies and can contaminate the food we eat and the areas where we prepare it. The bacteria can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea and even the transmission of Salmonella. Roaches also shed their skin and leave excrement behind. The allergens can cause problems for those that suffer from asthma can cause childhood asthma.
Signs of a Cockroach Infestation
You probably have an infestation of cockroaches because they have managed to locate food and water in your home. They will get in through cracks and cervices in the foundation, under doors and spaces around windows. Like other cockroaches, American cockroaches are more active at night. This is when they are looking for food and water. They will spend their days hiding in cracks and crevices in walls of the home they are infesting. If you see them during the day, it’s an indication that the infestation you’re dealing with is a big one. You may see feces that looks like coffee grounds in the kitchen, inside drawers and cabinets, behind appliances and in the basement. They also have an odor that is musty in areas they infest.
How to Prevent American Cockroaches
Cockroaches are very difficult to eliminate on your own. The cockroaches you see are just a small amount of the total infestation that are hiding in your home. The key to exterminating roaches is to kill the entire roach nest. Spraying individual roaches sends them scurrying to other parts of your home to continue breeding. Prevention tips:
• Seal cracks and crevices into your home
• Seal gaps around windows and doors and install weather-stripping
• Store food in sealed containers and keep produce in the fridge
• Sanitize food prep areas often and clean spills up right away
• Keep garbage and compost away from your home
• Repair any leaky pipes in your home
• Use a dehumidifier to eliminate excess moisture