Pest Information: Cockroaches

Cockroaches are one of the most common pests infesting homes. These creepy crawlies are known to spread and transmit diseases and are a source of allergies, second only to house dust. If your home is infested by cockroaches, then you must consider pest control treatments before these unwanted crawlies multiply and become harmful for you and for your children.

Cockroaches – Who are These Creepy Crawlies?

Types and Appearance

Cockroaches can be classified into 4 types, American, brown-banded, German and Oriental.

The American Cockroach is the largest cockroach found in homes. These are reddish brown oval shaped 6 legged creatures, 20 to 30mm in length. Female American cockroaches can give birth to 150 babies each year. The American cockroaches can grow wings and fly only when they become adults.

Brown-banded cockroaches are oval shaped and have two lighter bands across their dark brownish bodies.  The males have fully-developed wings while the females don’t. They usually live up to 5 to 6 months.

German cockroaches are 12 to 15mm in length. These are brown in color and can live up to 200 days. They breed real fast and can produce six generations of cockroaches each year.

Adult female German Cockroach

Adult female German Cockroach

Oriental Cockroaches are also called water bugs and resemble beetles. They are comparatively darker in color as compared to other types of cockroaches mentioned above. These crawlies usually travel through sewer pipes and drains. They have a strong and unpleasant roachy odor.


American cockroaches prefer to live in dark, wet and warm places like basements and sewers. They feed on plants and insects.

Brown-banned roaches prefer warm locations like kitchen and pantries. They prefer to eat starchy food like wall paper paste, book bindings and sugary foods.

German cockroaches reside in damp places such as bathrooms and kitchens. They feed on floury and sweet foods. But they also eat non-organic foods like books and tooth paste.

Oriental roaches live in sewers and decaying areas like firewood, crawlspaces and basements. They eat garbage and other organic materials.


Cockroaches use pheromones to attract their mates. A few species of cockroaches can also reproduce without the need for males. They multiply and reproduce really fast; therefore, if you have a cockroach infestation problem, you must take immediate action to pest proof your home.

Signs of Cockroach Infestation

Cockroach alert! Here are some signs of cockroach infestation:

  • Cockroach specks- These are fecal pellets that look like coffee grounds. You may spot these in the kitchen, inside drawers, cabinets, in the basement, in grocery bags and behind appliances.
  • Shell casings- if you spit egg shell cases, then this is a sign of roach invasion. The casing in dark brown in color and oval shaped.
  • Musty smell- Cockroaches secrete an odor that may cause an unpleasant musty smell in the infested area.
  • Visual encounter- If you see a group of cockroaches together, then you can never be sure than this that you have pest infestation in your home.

Harm Caused by Cockroaches

Though cockroaches don’t sting or bite but they are good agents for carrying and transmitting diseases.  They live and feed in areas like drains and dumpsters that harbor dangerous bacteria.

They carry bacteria on their body and can easily contaminate food or any place where they sit. Cockroaches are

cockroach contamination

cockroach contamination – can cause diseases

known to shed their skins. Their waste byproducts and cast off skin are allergens which can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

Pest Control Methods – How To Get Rid of Cockroaches

Here are some effective DIY methods to get rid of cockroach infestation in your home:

Store Food in Tight Jars and Containers 

The most effective way to deter these crawlies from taking refuge in your home is to make sure they don’t have access to food.  Store your food items in tight jars and containers. Never leave them out in the open.

Clean up Food Crumbs and Liquid Spillages Right Away

If you drop food crumbs or spill any sugary liquid on the floor or the table, clean it immediately. Prolonging your clean up until tomorrow will never keep cockroaches away. So, make sure you clean!

Do the Dishes Immediately

Never leave your dirty dishes in the sink. This is one of the biggest reasons for infestation in homes.  Always clean your crockery and cutlery after you eat.

Fix Leaky Pipes & taps and Clear up Drains

Sink drains can accumulate debris that attract pests and serve as an ideal breeding site. Therefore fix leaky pipes and clear up drains to ensure your home is not infested by these creepy crawlies.

Regularly check for plumbing problems, because anything that can cause moisture can serve as a potential harborage area for cockroaches.

Seal all Cracks and Cervices

To pest proof your home, make sure you seal all cracks and crevices like in the kitchen cupboards, pantry and bathroom.
Other little measures that you can take include: keeping garbage in sturdy sealed bins and de-clutter your home.

Professional Cockroach Exterminator Service

However, you should note that these insects are very resilient and while the DIY cockroach prevention methods can help deal with the immediate problem, but these may not be effective for long term.

Therefore, for long term control, you may need assistance from a professional cockroach exterminator. So, call in a professional expert to prevent cockroach infestation