Cockroaches are common pests here in Honolulu and throughout Hawaii. Unfortunately, they are also among the deadliest household pests around. These harmful pests are difficult to eliminate, spread several notable bacteria and diseases, and are just plain gross. Spotting so much as one cockroach in your home can indicate that an infestation is brewing. Many homeowners in our area face the struggles associated with cockroach infestations and may become discouraged when dealing with them. Fortunately, you don't have to face these pest pressures alone.
Pest Tech Hawaii is your local cockroach control professional. Our team of Honolulu pest control experts has what it takes to get rid of cockroaches in your home for good. Today's article covers how to identify a cockroach infestation in your home, how cockroaches trigger allergies and spread diseases, why do-it-yourself cockroach control usually fails, and the trick to getting rid of a cockroach infestation in your home. As always, contact Pest Tech Hawaii with questions about pest control in Honolulu or request a free quote for your home.
How To Identify A Cockroach Infestation In Your Home
The most important thing you must remember about cockroaches in Honolulu is that they can find their way into even the cleanest homes. Easy access to food and water is all a cockroach needs to find its way into your house, so practice regular housekeeping to deter them from entering. Open trash containers, compost, gardens, and pet food are all objects that are easily accessible for cockroaches to forage for food.
So, what does a cockroach look like? The answer to this question largely depends on the specific species you're dealing with. Cockroaches generally have oval-shaped bodies with wings, antennae, and six spiny legs. There are over 4,000 species of cockroaches; the most common types of cockroaches our communities deal with include American cockroaches, Asian cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, and German cockroaches. Each of these species has distinctive features from its relatives.
The American cockroach is the largest of the household cockroaches and a major pest in Summerlin and throughout the United States. They are reddish-brown with a pale "figure eight"-shaped pattern on the backs of their heads and fully grown, can range anywhere from 1 ¼ to 2 ⅛ inches in length.
Despite their moniker, American cockroaches are native to Africa and the Middle East and are believed to have been brought westward due to human commerce. American cockroaches live in private residences after heavy rainfall and are more frequently encountered in commercial settings such as bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants, and food processing facilities. In any structure, American cockroaches prefer to hide in dark, damp areas, including basements, bathtubs, drains, pipes, sewers, and stream tunnels.
Brown-banded cockroaches are a small, invasive species that entered our country in 1903, first traveling from Cuba to Florida. They are brown with pronounced banding across their wings and measure about ½ inch in length.
Not unlike all other cockroach species, brown-banded cockroaches are scavengers that will eat almost any organic material they come across, including bodily fluids and decaying matter. The brown-banded cockroach sometimes eats glue or paste and starch or color dyes, so you may find them nibbling on books, envelopes, stamps, and wallpaper. They also search for substances such as body oils and skin cells and can be found eating non-food items like nylon stockings that contain traces of these cells.
Adult German cockroaches are light brown to tan with two dark stripes running parallel down their backs. German cockroaches range from ½ to ⅝ inches in length – slightly larger than the brown-banded cockroaches in your home.
German cockroaches prefer warm and humid environments close to food and water sources. As a result, they frequently invade residential properties by hitchhiking in cardboard boxes, grocery bags, and secondhand appliances. Once these roaches live comfortably indoors, homeowners will likely find a German cockroach crawling around the bathroom or kitchen. To discourage German cockroaches from invading, you should make a concerted effort to keep kitchen counters and floors clean and free of crumbs. It's also important to vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.
Because cockroaches are so good at hiding and may often live in your home for some time before the infestation is discovered, knowing the signs of a cockroach infestation is just as important as identifying cockroaches in your home. If you ever find exoskeletons, droppings, or a foul odor that you can't place, immediately call for professional help.
Cockroaches Trigger Allergies And Spread Diseases
Most other species of cockroaches require more moisture than you likely have inside your home, but cockroaches adapt well to being indoor pests. When cockroaches get into your Honolulu home, they will likely stay inside.
Cockroaches are implicated in transmitting at least 33 bacterial diseases, seven human pathogens, and six parasitic worms.
As cockroaches explore your home, they also spread harmful bacteria and disease pathogens that they carry on their legs and bodies; they pick these up while crawling around in feces, garbage, and rotting organic materials.
Bacteria can live inside a cockroach's gut for months or even years without harming the roach. These organisms are expelled when the cockroach inevitably leaves its droppings around your home. Be cautious when cleaning if you find black specks sprinkled on walls, floors, counters, or other surface areas.
Unfortunately, cockroaches don't need to get into your food or crawl on your toothbrush to make you sick. Research has shown that allergies and asthma-related symptoms increase in cockroach-infested homes. This is because cockroaches get into ventilation systems and leave allergens; cockroaches are particularly good at doing this because of their ability to tolerate drier conditions.
Here are several other more subtle ways cockroaches can negatively impact your health:
- Bites around mouths can sometimes occur as cockroaches attempt to drink saliva from people's mouths as they sleep.
- Cockroaches feed on dead skin. When they eat the dead skin off the eyelashes of sleeping people, a swollen wound can develop from an accidental bite. These bites become infected from exposure to bacteria on the roach's leg spines. Cockroaches may also cause bites as they feed on dead skin around the mouth.
- Cockroaches are known to be attracted to the smell of stale milk on the breath of sleeping babies. This puts babies at greater risk of harm from cockroaches crawling over them.
- When cockroaches crawl across the skin, a rash can develop. This rash can be mild or severe, depending on the person's sensitivity.
Why Do-It-Yourself Cockroach Control Usually Fails
Who doesn't love a little good, old-fashioned American ingenuity? Here in Honolulu, people are always looking for new ways to save money with little time and effort, but there are some problems you are just not equipped to handle yourself. As 84 percent of American homes deal with pest infestations, it's not as if people don't want to get rid of the pests. Some pests, especially cockroaches, are more challenging to eliminate than many others.
When you're in the heat of a cockroach infestation, you may be tempted to attempt to control the problem yourself. Unfortunately, D.I.Y. pest control methods and products often cause more harm than good. Proper pest control requires chemical applications that can be dangerous if not handled by a trained professional, and these materials are just not as effective as professional products. Professional exterminators are highly trained in the responsible handling and use of pesticides. The wrong products and treatments may temporarily drive pests away, only to return in larger numbers than before.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your home from future cockroach infestations. Practice the following cockroach prevention measures to keep your home safe from an infestation:
- Eliminate food sources for cockroaches by keeping your cupboards, counters, appliances, and floors crumb-free and clean. Store all food, including pet food, in airtight containers and put pet bowls away when not used. Make sure to cover your garbage cans tightly.
- Repair entry points like holes and cracks in the walls to prevent cockroaches from gaining access to your home.
- Repair any areas with moisture damage, such as leaking pipes or faucets.
- Keep your yard clear of large leaf piles, mulch piles, and other debris.
- Following these essential tips will significantly reduce your risk of a cockroach infestation. In addition, eliminating the resources cockroaches are looking for can make your home undesirable to this scourge, protecting your home and family.
If you're concerned about cockroaches in your home, the best thing you could do is schedule a professional inspection for your home. Call Pest Tech Hawaii today to request your free quote.
The Trick To Getting Rid Of A Cockroach Infestation In Your Home
Getting rid of cockroaches just for them to return can be frustrating. Cockroaches are incredibly adaptable pests, which means they can scatter through your home and develop a resistance to DIY pest solutions. You can not beat these pests without professional help. When you partner with Pest Tech Hawaii, you can rest assured your cockroach problems will go away for good.
All services begin with a thorough examination of your property. Then, our professional team of pest control experts practices the most advanced Integrated Pest Management products and techniques available to guarantee you a pest-free home. Contact Pest Tech Hawaii today to request a free quote.
I have been using Pest Tech for the unit I manage and my personal property for the last 3 years. They are always on time, makes sure to follow up before regular service, cost efficient and always friendly.