In our area, there are three different species of cockroaches that have the potential to invade homes and cause major stress for homeowners - the American cockroach, the German cockroach and the Oriental cockroach. The species of household-invading roach that we are going to learn about in this blog is the American cockroach, focusing on: what it looks like, why you don’t want them in your home, what attracts them, and how they are different from the German and Oriental cockroaches.
The American cockroach is a large species of cockroach; in fact, it is the largest species of house-infesting roach! They are a reddish-brown color and have a unique yellowish figure-8 pattern located on the back of their head, which is very helpful in identifying them. American roaches are winged insects and are capable of flying: American roaches typically find their way into homes while searching for food, water, and shelter. These roaches are most active when the temperature is above 70 degrees, making them a pest you need to keep a watch out for during the upcoming summer months. While American roaches do oftentimes find their way into homes, they are also very commonly found in food processing facilities and food storage areas. Inside, they are typically found invading basements and areas around drains and pipes.
In comparison with the American cockroach, Here are some facts about the two other common home-invading roaches in Pennsylvania, the German cockroach and the Oriental cockroach:
- German Roaches - Are the most common household invading pests and often enter homes inside packages, used appliances, and paper products. They commonly invade warm humid places that are close to food sources like kitchens, bathrooms, and large appliances.
- Oriental Roaches - These roaches are large and have a very beetle-like appearance. This species typically travels through sewers; they invade basements and crawl spaces, and love to feed on decaying organic matter. These roaches are particularly filthy and produce a very strong, unpleasant odor.
Keeping American roaches out of your home this summer is important because of the potential health risks that they can introduce into your home, which can cause you and your family to become ill. American roaches travel through very unsanitary conditions, including sewer systems, before finding their way into your home. Due to their unsanitary travel conditions, their bodies and legs harbor many different varieties of bacteria, parasites, human pathogens and viruses; as the roaches move throughout your home they will contaminate its surfaces with these viruses and, consequently, expose you and your family to them. Also, their shed skins and excrement can trigger allergic reactions and cause asthma attacks, especially in children.
To help avoid American roaches finding their way into your home this summer, here is a list of common mistakes that homeowners unknowingly make that could be attracting roaches to their home:
- Not correcting areas of excess moisture in and around your home, including leaky pipes and fixtures.
- Leaving exterior windows and doors open for long periods of time.
- Keeping pantry items in their original containers instead of storing them in glass or plastic containers with airtight lids.
- Leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
- Storing outdoor garbage cans, wood piles, or compost piles very close to the exterior of your home.
- Leaving uneaten pet food out in between your pet’s feedings.
To help keep American roaches and other species of household invading insects out of your home this summer, and throughout the rest of the year as well, the pest professionals at Witt Pest Management highly suggest implementing a year-round residential pest protection program. Contact us today to learn more about how we can protect your home from dangerous, disease-harboring roaches by implementing one of our highly effective and affordable TopCare programs!