We live where people from around the world travel to enjoy a piece of paradise. Because this is our home, it is easy to forget that many tourists save for a lifetime to visit our beautiful state. When guests arrive, they may see the incredible Waimea Canyon, our volcanos, and our exotic wildlife; they experience our fabulous food, traditions, and water adventures. Hawaii is all about fun, food, and beautiful scenery for those visiting our islands, but our great state is not always a paradise for those who live here.
Beneath the glitz, glamour, and exotic feel of paradise, cockroaches lurk. We are grateful that guests bring in tourists' dollars, but the all-night parties, free flow of food and drink, and disregard for cleanliness by some (after all, they are on vacation) is a paradise for disgusting cockroaches. Our tropical climate is another draw for our nocturnal enemies providing the perfect environment for continual reproduction without fear of death by freezing.
If you suspect cockroaches are in your house or have seen a couple in the grass outside your home, take preemptive action and get the Honolulu pest control team from Pest Tech Hawaii. Nine individuals with 130 years of combined pest control experience began our locally-owned and operated company in 2016. We grew up in Hawaii and recognized the need for an independent company that understands the unique Hawaiian needs and environment. We know from experience that each situation requires a custom plan and solution. We desire to help you determine if a cockroach infestation is present in your Honolulu home and what you can do about it in this brief article.
How To Tell If You Have A Cockroach Infestation In Your Home
You may have recently seen a cockroach in your house or yard and wonder if you have a problem. While the cockroach may be just passing through your property, there is a high probability that you have a problem brewing on your property. Of the 19 cockroach species in Hawaii, the German cockroach, oriental cockroach, and brown-banded cockroach are the types of cockroaches most problematic for homeowners.
Let's suppose you saw a German cockroach passing through, and let's assume it was the only one in your home. If the cockroach was a fertilized female that finds a crack to lay an egg capsule, known as ootheca, you now have potentially up to 48 cockroach eggs in your home ready to hatch in the next two weeks. Assuming at least one-half of the newly hatched cockroaches are females, you now have up to 24 roaches that will also begin to produce egg capsules containing 30 to 48 eggs each. It is no wonder that German cockroaches can produce 10,000 offspring in one year. Oriental and brown-banded cockroaches do not have the same amount of eggs in their capsules, but each capsule still contains numerous eggs ready to hatch.
Cockroaches forage while you sleep (and the tourists on the island party), but that does not mean they don't leave visible signs of cockroaches in your home. To determine whether or not you are sharing your Honolulu house with cockroaches, look for the following:
- Capsules: Since we alluded to these egg-laying hotels earlier, here is what you need to know. The ootheca (purse-like capsules) are tan, brown, or black with ridges along the edge and are often "glued" to surfaces from mouth secretions. German cockroaches deposit their tan pill-like structures behind cabinets, inside walls, and near appliance motors. Brown-banded cockroach lay their capsules in dark corners on cabinet tops; you will find oriental cockroach ootheca in areas of high humidity like the crawlspace or basement, especially amongst the clutter.
- Skins: Mammals have their skeleton on the inside of the body that supports the body. Insects don't have bones per se on the inside of their body but have a hardcover, known as an exoskeleton, made of chitin that protects them. Like bones, the exoskeleton has joints and hinges allowing the cockroach to move, but unlike a mammal's skeleton, the insect must shed the covering to enable growth. Cockroaches endure several growth phases, known as instars, during which they shed or molt their exoskeleton. If you have an infestation, you will find discarded skins in cabinets, drawers, appliance bases, and underneath furniture.
- Droppings: When a living organism eats, it produces solid and liquid waste products. The size of the fecal matter, known as frass, depends on the cockroach species' dimensions. Of the three common cockroaches in Honolulu homes, the oriental cockroach produces a waste product of about one inch, which resembles a pellet-shaped grain of rice. German and brown-banded cockroaches create pepper-like flakes with jagged edges. Look for German cockroach droppings in kitchen cabinets, cupboards, and around appliances, oriental cockroach droppings in damp areas of the basement or crawlspace, and brown-banded cockroach droppings along the top of cabinets and doors.
- Smell: When tourists discover an exciting cuisine on our island, they tell their friends; cockroaches are no different. When a cockroach finds a food source, it alerts others through a pheromone in the droppings. Furthermore, this chemical serves to seduce female cockroaches to the males to enable the production of more offspring. The presence of this pheromone creates a musty smell in areas with a high concentration of cockroaches.
If you see these signs of a cockroach infestation, you need our professionals at Pest Tech Hawaii to remove the problem from your Honolulu house. Remember, these pests multiply fast, so the longer you delay, the greater the infestation.
Cockroaches Trigger Allergies And Spread Disease
When people think about what causes allergic reactions, they think about ragweed, pollen, and pet dander, but few associate cockroaches as the cause of nasal and sinus irritants. Allergens trigger reactions like a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, throat, skin rash, and wheezing. Saliva, skins, and droppings of cockroaches contain proteins that act as an allergen for most people.
According to the National Pest Management Association, 63% of homes contain cockroach allergens, and in urban areas, that percentage increases to as high as 98%. In some people, allergic reactions from cockroach allergens trigger asthma attacks producing difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.
Cockroaches not only trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in some people but spread diseases that can affect all household members. As they forage in sewers, drains, rotting garbage, and animal feces, the spines on their legs attract disease-causing organisms lying on the surface. When the roaches enter your Honolulu home, the pathogens fall off and contaminate surfaces, utensils, and exposed foods. The disease-causing organisms cause salmonellosis, E. coli infections, typhoid fever, cholera, gastroenteritis, dysentery, listeriosis, and giardia. These illnesses result in flu-like symptoms that, in some cases, may require hospitalization.
In addition to shedding bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms, cockroaches spread disease through defecation and saliva. While the fecal matter may be noticeable in drawers and cabinets, dried urine may not be as apparent on utensils, exposed food, and serving items. Assuming the serving and eating items are clean, household members may inadvertently ingest harmful pathogens when using these tainted items.
Pest Tech Hawaii provides pest control for cockroaches to protect Honolulu residents from the harmful diseases cockroaches spread.
Factors That Attract Cockroaches Into Your Home
Most cockroach species prefer temperatures between 70? and 80?., and some, like the brown-banded cockroach, prefer temperatures above 80?, so our hot, semi-arid climate allows cockroaches of all species to flourish year-round outside. If you find a cockroach in your house, it is because outdoor conditions have become too dry or they have found another location with food, water, and shelter. Let's briefly examine these three attractants and where they may exist in your Honolulu home:
- Food: Cockroaches find food in open garbage cans, exposed fruits and vegetables on the countertop, crumbs on the floor, in the pantry, underneath appliances, and poorly stored food products; they may also forage in garbage disposals and drains.
- Water: Other than the brown-banded cockroach, other species prefer warm, moist areas. You will find many cockroach species living around leaking water pipes and in locations of the house with high humidity (i.e., bathrooms, laundry rooms, crawlspaces, and basements). Brown-banded cockroaches prefer the top of kitchen cabinets, cupboards, and drier areas of the house.
- Shelter: Cockroaches create homes in wall voids, underneath furniture and appliances, in dark, secluded areas of the crawl space or basement; they reside in piles of clothing, discarded cardboard boxes, and other debris in the home.
To get rid of cockroaches in your house, maintain a clean, low-moisture environment in your home and yard, and call Pest Tech Hawaii. Our technicians will identify attractants inside and outside your Honolulu home upon inspection.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Your Home
Pest Tech Hawaii provides cockroach pest control in Honolulu. When you schedule an inspection by one of our professionals, they will thoroughly evaluate the situation as they look for entry points, attractants, damage, and infestation indications. Once the inspection is complete, we create a treatment plan using Integrated Pest Management techniques for your location that targets the cockroach species invading your house.
We live in a beautiful part of the world, and the last thing we want to do is to hurt our environment, so we use safe but effective products against cockroaches. You can rest assured that our decades of combined experience and knowledge will deliver the results of a cockroach-free home. Contact us today and request an estimate.
As a Realtor with At Home Hawaii, I work with Pest Tech on a regular basis. The quotes are always competitive and the people we've been working with have been great. I highly recommend Pest Tech.