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Control Cockroaches in your Lubbock Home

It's that time of year again and with the declining temperatures comes an increase of cockroach infestations in the Lubbock area. If you've had them in your house, you're probably looking to get rid of roaches as quickly as possible. In this article, we discuss the major characteristics and facts about roach behavior to demystify these little creatures, what to look for when you suspect them in your home, and best practices to rid your life of these nasty nuisance pests.

Learn about Cockroaches

Lubbock Cockroach Species

Cockroaches originated in tropical and subtropical regions along the equator, and in the last few centuries have adapted to civilian households. They range from 1/2 inch to three inches long, depending on the species. These types of cockroaches are the most likely varieties to infiltrate your home in the Lubbock area this winter.

  • American Cockroach | Periplaneta americana

      The largest and most infamous pest variety of cockroach, this reddish-brown shiny creature grows to an average length of 1.5 inches or so, but can grow longer, with a lifespan ranging from 1-2 years, depending on the conditions. In its egg case, a small pouch called ootheca, it can lay as many as 16 eggs. This species is found in virtually every region around the world.

  • Australian Cockroach | Periplaneta australasiae

      This particular species of cockroach is approximately equal to the American in every way, except for its slightly smaller size, darker coloration, and a yellow stripe on the front part of each forewing. Usually found in tropical or subtropical regions, it lays its ootheca egg casing with 20-25 eggs inside.

  • German Cockroach | Blattella germanica

      The German roach also gives these creatures a bad name with its infiltration of almost every part of the world, yellowish-brown coloration, and its ootheca egg casing, which the females carry on their abdomens until ready to hatch, containing 40 eggs or more. This roach is the smallest of all the household roach varieties and is tricky to get rid of due to its minuscule size of 1/4 to 1/2 inch long as an adult.

  • Brown-banded Cockroach | Supella longipalpa

      This variety also occurs in most parts around the world, is about the same size as the German roach, and has yellow and brown bands to identify it. Its ootheca egg case is the smallest of all the varieties at only 4.5 mm and carries approximately 16 eggs.

    A Day in the Life of Roaches: Facts to Help Get Rid of Them

  • Migration

      Although they have well-developed wings as adults, roaches tend to remain on their hairy legs and run everywhere. However, they are capable of flight when roach populations in a particular area explode to large numbers and harborage locations, food, or water sources become scarce. If conditions are prime, with moderate temperature and humidity and readily available sources of food and water (see below), their population numbers can expand exponentially.

  • Life Cycle

      The life cycle of roaches is simple with only three stages: adult, nymph, and egg. Females deposit the ootheca full of eggs and utilize its adhesive surface to stick it to a surface near a water or food source. The nymph stage includes as many as six substages, between each of which the roach must molt, or shed its exoskeleton, to allow room for its growth. In most species, the wings do not fully develop until the adult stage.

  • Resilience

      Cockroach resilience is astounding due to its wide food variety, flattened body shape, quick legs, and general hardiness. A roach can live without its head from 10 days to as many as three weeks and perishes only due to the lack of water. Roaches can also live long periods without food, as long as a month or more, depending on the species and other environmental conditions, and although they originally evolved in tropical and subtropical regions, their resilience has allowed them to survive the harsh winter regions of North America.

    Bad, Terrible, Worse: Roach Diet

    Cockroach’s preferred food sources include everything humans eat, although their main preference is sugary and starchy foods. The usual foods they eat include sugar- or starch-based glues used in the production of books, cardboard, construction of walls and ceiling panels, blood and human excretions including sputum, dead roaches, and softened fingernails and toenails.

    Here is a list of more common roach foods:

    • Milk
    • Milk products, like cheese
    • Bread
    • Grain products, like pastries
    • Sweets, including chocolate
    • Meats of every kind

    Damages, Problems, Dangers, and Risks of Roaches

    Cockroaches are most likely to contaminate food with diseases, parasitic worm eggs attached to their bodies during excursions through excrement, or the spread of allergens that come from their feces, molts, and the nauseating chemical they emit. They aren't primary vectors for the following diseases, but they can have these on their bodies:

    • Poliomyelitis and other viral diseases
    • Leprosy
    • The Plagues
    • Dysentery
    • Diarrhea
    • Cholera
    • Typhoid Fever

    Household Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches

    How to Diagnose a Roach Infestation

    Look for these things that roaches leave behind. See the paragraph below for areas where to look for them:

    • Egg cases (oothecae) | Some species wait to leave these near a food source until they are ready to hatch. After hatching, the little roaches find the nearby food and water source and survive until adulthood. The egg case will dry out, harden, and flake off sometime after the eggs hatch.
    • Discarded Exoskeletons | Between each of the nymph substages, the roaches have to molt in order to continue growth. A molt looks exactly like a roach, except that it's hollow and more see-through. Look for these in the hidden places cockroaches commonly find, listed below.
    • Odors | Roaches produce a musty, nauseating smell. The stronger the smell, the larger the infestation.
    • Feces | Roach poop looks like little black peppers dotted all over a surface. Clean this away as soon as you find it because if left to collect bacteria, it may produce allergens and cause an allergic reaction.

    Where Do I Look?

    Use a flashlight and be sure to use personal protective equipment to examine the cracks and crevices, gaps, and other spaces in the following areas:

    • Throughout the kitchen, in, around, and under all kitchen appliances -- such as microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens, stoves, blenders, food processors, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, sinks
    • In and around utility cupboards or cabinets, especially those with access to water pipes, pantries, food cupboards or cabinets
    • Under loose floor coverings, carpet, tile, etc.
    • Inside, under, around, and behind wardrobes, drawers, bookshelves, dressers, desks, and beds
    • In and around air ducts and air return vents

    Do-It-Yourself Roach Management Methods

    • Roach-Proof Your Home

    The best option for do-it-yourself roach prevention is to use silicone caulking to seal the areas listed above and ensure to completely seal every crack and crevice. Mix water and grease-fighting dish soap in a hand-sprayer bottle, and when you find them running around in your kitchen, spray them heavily with the sprayer until they immobilize. This is a quick, clean, and humane way to kill roaches since it dissolves their bodies quickly. The same can be done with WD-40, but dish soap is less expensive.

    • Bait

    Roach kits exist for consumer purchases that include insecticides for roaches, but most over-the-counter insecticides are virtually ineffective against them. There are roach baits, like gel bait, and bait stations included in many of these kits that are much more effective against them since the bait is attractive to them and kills them slowly.

    • Boric acid

    This chemical kills roaches quickly and is easy to find at your local department store. Commonly used in everyday household items, this chemical will not harm adults but can be harmful to children, pets, or the elderly. Be careful not to apply boric acid near an air duct or air return vent.

    • House Cleaning

    The rumor that dirty homes cause infestations is simply untrue. However, regular washing and cleaning will reduce harborages and keep a roach from coming out at night. Since roaches are nocturnal, consider purchasing an automatic vacuum that can run at night to discourage nightly foraging.

    Cockroach Elimination with Fox Pest Control

    Not all roach infestations are possible to get rid of on your own, but don’t worry: Fox Pest Control is here to help. Your Lubbock home is the perfect spot for these creatures to explode in population size. Maybe you've seen a roach in your home, or maybe you've fought them for months or longer.

    Don't wait to use the resources at our disposal, including our Pest Pro Technicians who are friendly, qualified, and well-trained to use our top-of-the-line products guaranteed to get rid of roaches, so restore your peace of mind and call today for a free quote.

    Posted on December 15, 2019.

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