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Have you noticed how many indicators are on the roadside? Stop, yield, merge, speed, danger, dreaded road construction, billboards, and electronic highway signs are all vying for our attention. One could argue that there are too many signs on the freeway, but we would be in trouble if we didn't have any indicators alongside the roadways. 


Can you imagine how difficult driving would be without signs? If there were no signs, you wouldn't know the speed limit, if you were supposed to stop at an intersection, or whether traffic was about to merge into your lane! We live in a world full of indicators, and even stealthy pests, like cockroaches, leave signs behind. 


Indicators of cockroaches in your house may go unnoticed until you shuffle into the bathroom in the middle of the night, turn on the light, and see cockroaches running for cover! If you suspect cockroaches are in your house, you need to quickly call the best pest control in Houston, All-Safe Pest & Termite. 


We have removed cockroaches from local area homes since the 1980s days of big hair and fanny packs! All-Safe Pest & Termite is your locally-owned, independent pest control company, and we deliver award-winning pest control services to our community. Our technicians have the tools, experience, and knowledge to eradicate cockroaches from your Houston home. We will answer frequently asked questions and give you tips so you can win the battle against cockroaches. 

Clear Signs Of Cockroaches In Your Home


You are most likely reading this article because you encountered a cockroach or two in your Houston home and wonder if you have a cockroach infestation. Although you may have seen the only roach or two in your house, it will not be long before these filthy insects overrun your home. The German cockroach, for example, is the most common roach in Houston homes, and these cockroaches are quick, prolific breeders that can produce a new generation every 100 days. Just one fertilized female German cockroach can create 150 offspring alone. Thirty to forty eggs are in each egg capsule the female lays, and those baby cockroaches will be reproducing adults within two months. So, if you try to console yourself by thinking the one or two cockroaches you saw were the only ones in your house, even if that is true, within two months, you may have more than thirty running around at night!


The types of cockroaches that invade homes in the Houston area, American, German, Australian, smokeybrown, and oriental cockroaches, have a common characteristic; they forage at night while you sleep. As you rest and enjoy dreamland, these insects scurry through the house and hunt for food in shower tub drains, the garbage compactor, open trash containers, the pantry, kitchen floors, and wherever food crumbs may be present. When light from the rising sun begins to flood through your house, the cockroaches flee into the floor and wall cracks, dimly-lit corners, underneath appliances and furniture, and behind objects in kitchen and bathroom cabinets when the sun rises.


To understand the severity of the infestation, these are signs of a cockroach infestation; the more you see of these, the greater the problem:

  • Droppings: Cockroaches constantly defecate and leave behind jagged-edged, pepper-like fecal matter. Investigate the corners, the top of doors, and cracks in walls for dark fecal stains; examine the interior of cabinets, drawers, and underneath appliances and furniture for pepper-like droppings. 
  • Capsules: Cockroaches do not lay individual eggs but produce pill-like capsules, called ootheca, that contain the eggs. Female German cockroaches release six to eight egg capsules during their 20 to 30-week lifespan, with each ootheca having 30 to 40 eggs. American female and German cockroaches produce one egg case monthly containing 16 eggs for ten months, and oriental female roaches release eight egg capsules containing 16 eggs during their lifetime. Other cockroach species release similar amounts of ootheca and eggs. The egg capsules of cockroach eggs in your home are glued to surfaces by secretions from the female cockroaches near food sources in dark corners of the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other locations in the house. 
  • Skins: Cockroaches are insects, and one of the characteristics of insects is that their skeleton (exoskeleton) is on the outside of the body. Growth stages, known as instars, occur by shedding the exoskeleton to allow for expansion, and cockroaches go through several instars leaving behind dark-colored discarded skins. Body shells under appliances, furniture, in between towels in bathroom cabinets, and corners of kitchen cabinets indicate an infestation.  
  • Odor: Male cockroaches communicate with female roaches through pheromones; they release the chemicals to invite females to reproduce. The musty smell from the pheromones is noticeable when a large-scale infestation is present in an area of the house. 
  • Cockroaches: You may inadvertently sneak up on cockroaches in the middle of the night when you stumble into the bathroom or raid the kitchen refrigerator, or you may scare them out of hiding when you move an appliance or furniture, but the more the cockroach population grows inside your Houston home, the greater the possibility of seeing a few during the day. 

Begin looking for these indicators of an infestation if you find a cockroach in your house. Even if you do not see all the signs, it is still best to call All-Safe Pest & Termite and take action before the cockroach population explodes in your Houston home. 

How Roaches Spread Around Dangerous Pathogens


Cockroaches forage in unsanitary, bacteria and virus-ridden sewers, storm drains, garbage heaps, compost piles, trash compactors, and animal feces. Because they are insects, cockroaches have three pairs of legs, but unlike most insects, they have spines on their cockroach legs. As they travel over filthy surfaces, the spines attract the disease-causing organisms in the areas. 


When the cockroaches enter your Houston home through foundation cracks and gaps, holes in screens, and unprotected exterior doors, they move across the kitchen countertops, inside cabinet drawers, and other areas in the house. The cockroaches shed harmful pathogens as they move through these spots; when an occupant eats with utensils or food infected by bacteria and viruses, the organisms enter the body and begin to wreak havoc on the individual.  


Cockroaches eat food from unsanitary areas and pass the nasty organisms onto the eating, storage, and cooking surfaces through constant defecation. The pepper-like droppings intersperse with food and damaged products, and household members consume them exposing them to dangerous pathogens. Cockroaches also contaminate packed food products from their saliva from chewing in the packaging. 


Cockroaches carry E. coli infection, typhoid fever, cholera, gastroenteritis, other diseases, parasitic worms, and pathogens; symptoms from these infections are fever, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In some cases, inflammation and severe dehydration may occur and require hospitalization. 


Airborne fecal particles are another way cockroaches endanger Houston families. As the pepper-like feces dry and begin floating along air currents, children and elderly occupants inhale them and may experience allergic reactions or asthma attacks. Another way cockroaches trigger a runny nose, sneezing, itchy and red eyes, coughing, and postnasal drip in some people is from a protein in their body, feces, and urine. 

Practical Cockroach Prevention Tips For Your Home

 

People ask us, "What keeps cockroaches away," so here are several practical, natural suggestions that work:

  • Provide proper drainage in your yard: Don't allow standing water to remain in ditches and low-lying areas. Ensure gutters and downspouts are not clogged and are draining away from the house. 
  • Remove debris from the yard: Cockroaches hide under rocks, wood and leaf piles, junk, and other objects on the property. Eliminate unnecessary things, locate firewood 20 feet from the house, and elevate it off the ground. Pick up animal feces and rotting fruit from the property. 
  • Seal entry points: Cockroaches will enter through foundation cracks, gaps between incoming wires and pipes, and crevices along the roof line. Use caulk to cover small openings and sheet metal, mortar, or steel wool in larger voids. 
  • Repair screens: Fix holes in window and door screens, and cover attic, crawlspace, and chimney openings with 1/4-inch wire mesh.
  • Install door sweeps.
  •  Close outdoor trash receptacles. 

Removing attractants from your property and closing entry points into your Houston home will help stop future infestations. Deter cockroaches by vacuuming the house, wiping down eating and cooking surfaces after each meal, keeping trash cans closed, and providing ventilation to areas prone to high humidity (bathrooms, crawlspace, basement, and attic).

Call The Professionals At The First Sign Of Cockroaches

 

All cockroach species reproduce rapidly; an invasion of only a few cockroaches can become a large-scale infestation within only a few months. The best way to get rid of cockroaches is to partner with All-Safe Pest & Termite. Our technicians will inspect your Houston home to identify the cockroach species, infestation hot spots, egg locations, entry points, and attractions. We will use a combination of low-toxicity baits, dust, and liquid applications to target the cockroach species infesting your Houston home. Contact us today to get your free estimate.

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