How to Avoid a Cockroach Infestation
Also called Palmetto or Water Bugs, cockroaches are a common household pest with some thirty species invading Texas human habitats.
Types of Cockroaches in Texas
Roaches are a year-round problem in Austin, mostly due to our hot and humid weather that provides the perfect breeding ground for these hazardous, unwanted insects. The most common cockroaches found in Texas include:
- American Cockroach
- German Cockroach
- Oriental Cockroach
- Smokybrown Cockroach
What Roaches Eat
Cockroaches are generally omnivorous and will feed on most pet food and human foods such as bread and fruit. Therefore, human habitations very attractive. Roaches also eat things like paper, glue, hair, skin cells, and dead insects.
Some species of cockroach can last for up to a month without food. Their wide range of foods and tolerance to survive for long periods without food make them challenging to manage.
Cockroaches generally live one to four years. Females lay eggs in egg cases (ootheca’s) with approximately thirty to forty eggs in a single egg case.
And she can do this around eight times in her lifetime, meaning a single female can produce three hundred to four hundred offspring in her lifetime!
Roaches passively transport pathogenic microbes on their body surfaces, linking them to sometimes dangerous allergic reactions in humans. They also carry bacteria and disease. All of these factors make cockroaches a visitor that you do not want in your business or home!
Cockroach Harborage Areas
Outside, cockroaches prefer living in leaf litter, rotting wood, holes in tree stumps, cavities under living tree bark, log piles, and debris piles.
However, they also prefer warm and moist environments. You’ll find roaches inside living near water sources like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.
Roof gutters with leaves in them are a common external harborage area for cockroaches. They are nocturnal and prefer dark areas to shelter, often scuttling away when exposed to light.
They are sociable insects. Thus, they are often found in high numbers, especially when conditions are favorable.
How Cockroaches Get into Your Space
Cockroaches have an uncanny ability to get inside homes and buildings. Entry points include:
- Doors or windows left open
- Weep holes
- Drains or broken plumbing
- Septic systems
- Exhaust vents
- Ceiling lights
- Electrical fixtures
- Parcels delivered with live cockroaches or egg cases inside them (cockroaches eat the glue and cellulose of the packaging to sustain them for a long time).
How to Prevent and Avoid Cockroach Infestation
Given that cockroaches survive on many different food options inside a home or office, the key is to make getting inside in the first place as difficult as possible. Then, in case they get inside, make the interior less attractive for cockroaches, so they are less likely to thrive indoors.
Make Your Space Less Attractive
Things that you can do to make your home or office less accessible and inviting to cockroaches:
- Install screens on all windows, doors, vents, and floor drains.
- Place weatherstripping on windows and doors.
- Consider air doors and strips for doors that remain open for extended periods.
- Caulk and seal openings, crevices, and holes.
- Install LED lighting or yellow lighting instead of incandescent lighting around doors and windows.
- Clean your landscape of debris regularly.
- Maintain a thirty-foot band around the building.
- Keep the landscape free of organic debris, stumps, and unkempt plants.
- Remove fallen fruit, and clean up pet droppings.
- Store wood in an above-ground frame at least fifty feet away from your home.
- Trim tree and shrub branches away from the house.
- Seal the compost bin properly.
- Use tight-fitting lids on both indoor and outdoor garbage containers.
- Remove all indoor trash daily. No garbage should remain indoors overnight.
- Scrub indoor and outdoor trash cans regularly.
- Keep outdoor trash cans at least thirty feet from your home or building.
- Store food in plastic, metal, or glass containers.
- Clean all food preparation areas after each use.
- If you leave dirty dishes in the dishwasher, be sure to close the door properly.
- Never store food on the floor.
- Wash all dishes after use; never leave them overnight.
- Clean out the food disposal system regularly.
- Ensure fruit is not kept when overripe and store it in a refrigerator whenever possible.
- Empty and clean grease pans regularly.
- Clean stove exhaust regularly.
- Pour boiling water down drains monthly.
- Don’t leave pet food or water out overnight.
Your YardDoc Pest Control team is Here to Help!
There is little consolation when seeing a large cockroach inside your space, but a single large one is a better sighting than small ones. A bigger cockroach could have just flown in and is yet to get established.
When you see several small cockroaches, it’s a lot more concerning. It indicates the roaches have established themselves inside your home or commercial building, and successful breeding is underway.
If you have an issue with cockroaches in your Austin office or home, let one of the professional pest control technicians at YardDoc help manage it.
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