When you see a big, ol' roach in your Manchester home, it is likely an American cockroach. How concerned should you be? Are American cockroaches as dirty as they say? More importantly, how hard is it to get rid of cockroaches? We'll dig into all of these topics today and share with you several cockroach facts every Manchester resident should know. We'll discuss how to identify American cockroaches, both adults and nymphs. We'll look at some of the reasons why American cockroaches are considered a health threat. And, most of all, we'll discuss the challenges of using cockroach control products to get rid of these pests. If you just want the roaches in your home removed expeditiously, we can help you with that. EcoChoice Termite & Pest Control offers professional cockroach pest control in Manchester. Our technicians are highly trained and experienced pest problem solvers. We have the solutions to address your roach problem. With that said, let's get into our subject matter for today.
What Do American Cockroaches In Manchester Look Like?
These are big roaches. An American cockroach is as long as 2 ⅛ inches long. It is easy to distinguish these roaches from other roaches simply by considering how big they are compared to the others. If you need more to go on, here are a few visual characteristics to help you with cockroach identification:
- American cockroaches have shiny wings on their backs and two long antennae.
- The most noteworthy visual characteristic of an American cockroach is the yellow coloration and two dark brown spots on the back. At certain angles, the yellow and brown marking may look like a figure-eight.
- American cockroach nymphs don't have yellow coloration and two brown dots. They're also wingless.
- All American cockroaches have a chestnut coloration except newly hatched nymphs. When nymphs hatch from their eggs, they are more of a yellowish-orange color.
- American cockroach nymphs are pill-shaped. As these roaches develop, they become more of an almond shape.
Now that you have the clues you need to help you identify these pest cockroaches in Manchester, we have some bad news to share with you. You're not likely to see these roaches unless you uncover them in a hiding place. Seeing an American cockroach out in the open is a warning sign of a significant infestation. So, it is much better to look for other signs of a cockroach infestation. While other signs won't let you know for sure that you have this particular roach species, it doesn't really matter. It is not good to have any species of cockroaches in your house. Here are the signs to look for in dark, humid hiding spaces within your home.
- Black fecal spotting, streaks, or specks. Roaches leave their feces all over the place. But the places they leave them are often hidden from view, such as behind your oven, under your refrigerator, and behind your boiler. You'll find feces on floors, walls, surfaces, and even ceilings. When you find them, clean the droppings up and check back later to see if more droppings have appeared. Be sure to wear a mask and gloves when cleaning cockroach droppings.
- Cockroaches shed their skins many times as they develop. You'll find these skins in very tight spaces. Use a flashlight and a probing tool.
- American cockroaches create brown ootheca (egg pouches) about ⅓ of an inch long. You'll find these in dark, humid locations. A good place to check first is in the cabinets underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks.
- Use your nose to check for American cockroaches. They produce pheromones that have an oily, musty, and sickly sweet odor.
If you find a cockroach in your Manchester house or find warning signs of an infestation, the next step is to evaluate your pest problem. While these are not the worst roaches to find in your home, they're also not the best.
Why Are American Cockroaches Dangerous?
These insects are attracted to unsanitary conditions and can transmit pathogenic bacteria. Studies reveal that cockroaches spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, including two we're sure you've heard of—salmonella and E. coli. If this were the only reason to apply the most effective cockroach control methods in Manchester to get rid of these roaches, it would be enough, but American cockroaches can impact your health and damage your property in many ways.
- Cockroaches pick up parasitic worms, such as hookworms, Ascaris lumbricoides, and Toxocara spp.
- Cockroach infestations increase hospitalizations for asthma symptoms.
- Cockroaches cause rashes when they crawl across the skin and can cause pink eye when they crawl on the face of a sleeping person.
- While not prone to bite people, roaches can accidentally bite when they feed on dead skin cells in the eyelashes, eyebrows, and around the mouths of sleeping people.
- Cockroaches feed on materials that contain cellulose, and they damage household items in the same way carpet beetles, clothing moths, and silverfish do.
The risks associated with cockroaches increase in unsanitary conditions. You can reduce the threat cockroaches present by keeping indoor and outdoor spaces as clean as possible. Pay close attention to bathrooms, kitchen trash, exterior trash, and pet waste clean-up.
Why Is It So Hard To Get Rid Of American Roaches In Homes?
Cockroaches are adaptive insects. They alter themselves genetically to guard against dangerous materials in the environments they explore. Over the last century alone, we've exposed them to many control materials and have inadvertently made them stronger. The roaches in your home may already have some tolerance to certain over-the-counter products, which is why you can give them a generous dose and watch them crawl away as though unphased.
Cockroaches also have been equipped with an adaptive ability when it comes to food selection. They don't just learn what foods are safe to consume and what foods are not. There are some German cockroach populations that have experienced a genetic alteration of their taste receptors so they no longer find certain baits appetizing. As of this writing, we're not sure if this is the case with any American cockroach populations, but it is possible. What we know for sure is that the misapplication of cockroach bait can cause American cockroaches to become bait averse, making them harder to control.
We're not done yet. Along with a surprising tolerance to conventional treatment products, studies show that cockroaches have different personalities, and only a few are what researchers refer to as "bold" cockroaches. What is a "bold" roach? It is the cockroach you see when you flick the lights on. All the other roaches stay in hiding and wait to see if the bold roach finds food that the collective can eat. So, control products often fail when these bold roaches are eliminated too quickly.
The last issue we'd like to point out is that there are many treatments that don't work because they are misapplied. Here are a few examples:
- Treatments that are detectable to roaches are simply avoided. When a roach detects a treated surface, it simply goes around it.
- Treatments that apply a powder to surfaces are avoided. Cockroaches don't like to climb over powdered surfaces because it makes it hard for them to get a grip.
- When a cockroach dies, it releases the death stench, which warns other cockroaches to stay away.
There are many challenges to cockroach control and prevention. We don't recommend using products. If you want to correct your infestation, you'll have more success with natural methods.
The Secret To Effective American Cockroach Control
American cockroaches have a high moisture requirement. They won't want to live in your home if it is too dry. Your first cockroach control tool is moisture control. Try installing a dehumidifier, use your fan in your bathroom, and fix any plumbing issues in your home. The results may amaze you.
After applying moisture control, deep clean your home. Make sure to get your pantry, kitchen, living room, and bathroom. These are trouble spots. Cockroaches don't just eat human food. They eat hair, dead skin cells, grease, oil, paper, toothpaste, feces, and other strange things. When you deep clean, you send a signal to cockroaches that your home is no longer a food-rich environment.
The final step in controlling American cockroaches is exclusion work. Inspect the exterior of your home and seal gaps and cracks. The tools for this job are expanding foam, a caulking gun, and a foundation repair kit. Pay close attention to gaps around pipes, both indoors and outdoors. Seal gaps around exterior doors and windows. Use your caulking gun to seal baseboards, crown molding, and interior door frames.
It is hard work driving cockroaches out and sealing the entry points they use to get in. Keep in mind that the service team at EcoChoice Termite & Pest Control is always available to help you with cockroach exclusion. Year-round pest control is the easiest solution to many pest control issues, including cockroach problems. If you're in Manchester, connect with us to request a service call and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Manchester. We're here to help.