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When a cockroach infestation begins, you probably won't know it. Cockroaches have behavior patterns that cause them to hide from view, such as a preference for nocturnal activity, a love for tight spaces, and an attraction to dark voids. Experts say that seeing one cockroach is a warning sign that your home has thousands of cockroaches living in it. If you want to detect roaches early and arrest an infestation before you start to have health consequences or property damage, here are five subtle signs to look for.

1. Excrement

Long before you see roaches, you'll probably see roach droppings. These insects leave their excrement in many places. You'll find it on floors, surfaces, and even on walls. Roach droppings may appear as tiny specks scattered about or they can appear as black stains on furniture and fabrics. 

2. Cockroach Egg Cases

We have many pest cockroach species in Plano, Texas. Each has a slightly different egg case (called an ootheca). These cases aren't very long. On average, you can expect an ootheca to be about 5 mm in length. When you do an inspection of your home, you may find these cases intact or broken apart. If you're fortunate enough to find them intact, you can suck them up with a vacuum and dispose of them outside.

3. Sounds

Most of the time, you won't hear cockroaches in your home. They're pretty quiet. But a roach that travels across a hard surface, such as a tiled bathroom or kitchen floor, can make a detectable noise. If you hear a slight clicking noise in the middle of the night, you may be hearing cockroaches in your home. 

4. Damage

Cockroaches chew on paper and cardboard. If you have cockroaches getting into your pantry or kitchen foods, you may start to notice tiny holes or areas of deterioration on your packaging. Roaches will also feed on wallpaper, books, documents, and other paper products in the same way a silverfish will.

5. A Bad Smell

One of the ways cockroaches communicate with each other is by the release of pheromones. These pheromones are often described as unpleasant. If you smell something that doesn't smell quite right, it may be that you have a cockroach infestation and don't realize it.

How To Uncover Evidence

There are many ways you could detect cockroaches. Some of them are easy. Some are not so easy. Check these places for black droppings, egg pouches, damage, or the presence of cockroaches.

Kitchen

  • It doesn't take much effort to lift mats and look underneath. You could get lucky and find a roach this way.

  • Look in the cabinet underneath your kitchen sink. Roaches commonly come in on pipes and enter common areas through gaps around pipes.

  • Pull drawers out and examine the areas near the back, or the socket your drawers go into.

  • Pull your oven out and examine the sides. This takes a little more effort but it is worth it.

  • Cockroaches commonly feed on the grease, oils, and juices that drip down the sides of ovens.

    Use a flashlight to look underneath your refrigerator.

Bathroom

  • Check behind your toilet. This is a moist, tight space that is perfect for a roach.

  • If you have a jetted tub, use a flashlight to inspect the void of the cabinet your tub sits in (if you're able to do this). This is a humid, dark void fit for cockroach habitation.

  • Look underneath your bath mat.

  • Look on the top of your medicine cabinet.

  • Check inside the cabinet(s) underneath the sink(s).

  • Inspect all cracks and crevices. 

Storage

  • Check behind boxes and look between boxes that are stacked.

  • Inspect cardboard boxes for areas that look worn.

Attic

  • Check on top of and underneath insulation if you're able to do this.

  • Look behind stored items.

  • Look inside attic voids. Any dark, hidden space is perfect for a cockroach.

What To Do If You Find Roaches

You should never allow cockroaches to live with you. They are known to spread many diseases and aggravate allergies. The presence of cockroaches in your home can lead to many forms of sickness. We also recommend that you seek the assistance of a licensed pest professional if you have more than an isolated infestation. Cockroaches can have immunity to many of the over-the-counter pest control products you might buy to exterminate them, and some German cockroach populations have shown themselves to be bait averse. Cockroach control requires a multi-pronged approach.

If you live in Plano, Texas, contact All-Safe Pest & Termite for expert assistance. We use field-tested strategies and several control options to identify areas of infestation, treat infested areas, and monitor the success of the treatments. Reach out to us through our contact form and schedule service today. 

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