Seeing a cockroach in your home can send you into a frenzy. It can be unsettling to see one scurry across your kitchen floor. You don’t really care what kind of cockroach it is. Rather you just want it and any of its friends out of your home! However, knowing the species can help get rid of them and prevent future cockroach infestations. The reason cockroaches are of concern is because of the dirty places they like to hang out. It’s very easy for them to pick up bacteria, pathogens and parasitic worms on their bodies and the hair on their legs. They can then transfer these to areas where you prepare food or on your food directly and can make you and your family very sick. Children can develop allergies where fecal matter or cockroach debris is present. Cockroach allergens can also cause allergic reactions and aggravate asthma. The allergens buildup with deposits of cockroach droppings, secretions, cast skins and dead bodies.
Identification of Cockroaches Found in the Greater Pittsburgh, PA Area
To help you identify the cockroach you saw let’s go over the three that are commonly found in the Pittsburgh area.
American Cockroach: This cockroach will be the largest you may find in your home. They can get as big as two inches in length and are reddish brown in color. You will also notice a yellow figure eight pattern on the back of their head. When temperatures are above 70 degrees F they will be especially active. They can be found in moist environments that can include basements and sewer systems.
German Cockroach: These cockroaches are ½ to 5/8 of an inch long. They are light brown to tan in color. You will see two almost parallel stripes on their backs. They can be found where paper products and packaging is found as well as around appliances. They would rather be inside and will move outside when temperatures rise.
Oriental Cockroach: Adult Oriental cockroaches grow to be 1 inch in size. They are dark brown, almost black in color. They will make their way into your home through sewer pipes and can be found in basements, under sinks and in crawl spaces. Outdoors they are found in leaf piles under stones. They like any area that is dark and damp as this gives them a place to hide and eat decaying material.
How to Keep Cockroaches Away from Your Home
It doesn’t matter how you look at it. You do not want roaches in your home. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce the risk of a cockroach infestation.
• Don’t leave food sitting out unless its stored in an air tight container.
• Keep leftover food in the refrigerator where appropriate.
• Take trash out regularly.
• Keep your kitchen clean and free of crumbs and spills.
• Make sure areas under appliances are clean.
• Repair leaky pipes and faucets.
• Use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity in the home.
• Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
• Seal cracks and crevices that cockroaches can use to get into your home.
DIY methods of cockroach control are difficult because cockroaches are better at hiding than you are at finding them. The eggs are naturally protected from many over-the-counter insecticides and without the right equipment, material and know-how, it can be a losing battle. It’s best to contact a professional pest control company to quickly identify which cockroach is infesting your home and the best way to get rid of them. Contact Stewart Termite & Pest Control for any pest control needs!