Cockroaches are usually synonymous with filthy restaurants and grocery stores, but did you know that cockroaches can just as easily infest residential homes? They are especially challenging to get rid of once they get into your house and choose to stay. If they find something to feed off of like toothpaste, dog food, dirty dishes, fallen crumbs, soap, and even glue. The most common types of cockroaches in California include Oriental cockroaches, German cockroaches, and American cockroaches.

What kind of cockroaches live in California?

Adult Oriental cockroaches are 1-1/4 inch long and are red-brown and black in color. They have a distinct shiny, dark body which separates them from other cockroaches. Unlike German and American cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches are not common household invaders. Oriental cockroaches are more likely to be found in sewers and commercial properties such as restaurants, office buildings, and grocery stores. They prefer to eat starchy foods which are readily available in food establishments.

American cockroaches are one of the largest cockroaches that invade homes and adult American cockroaches are reddish brown or mahogany colored. Sometimes called palmetto bugs or water bugs, American cockroaches are found throughout the United States and California. Both male and female American cockroaches develop wings when the roaches become adults and they can fly. They are usually found in kitchens, bathrooms, and electrical rooms. American roaches will feed on beer, pet food, fermenting fruits and vegetables, as well as human food. Their presence is a concern for public health because they are capable of carrying and spreading various pathogens.

Adult German cockroaches are typically ½-5/8 inch long and are tan or light brown in color. Although they have fully developed wings, they do not fly. German cockroaches are best identified by their small size and two dark parallel lines or “racing stripes” running from the back of the head to the wings. It is usually found in kitchens near dishwashers, stoves, and sinks, and in bathrooms of homes. They feed on a wide variety of foods, including almost anything like soap, glue, and toothpaste.

What attracts cockroaches to my house?

Cockroach infestations typically begin when they are transported from place to place in boxes and other items. Once they are in your home, they can hide amongst clutter in your attic or closets where there is little foot traffic. Uncleanly habits such as leaving out food or dirty dishes, can encourage an infestation since this type of clutter provides a good food source for the cockroaches. Other pests like American roaches travel in drains or sewers, and make their way into working or living areas via the pipes and drains. The adults are very strong flyers, allowing them to easily migrate from building to building. Without addressing a cockroach infestation, they can multiply very quickly.

Should I be worried about cockroaches in my home?

A lot of humans are allergic to cockroaches. If you experience sudden, extreme allergies, it may be triggered by a cockroach infestation. Cockroaches cause sanitary problems. When they get into food, it quickly becomes contaminated. Even if you aren’t allergic to cockroaches, their presence causes unsanitary conditions. Cockroaches frequently live in sewers, bringing these conditions with them as they migrate indoors. Pet food bowels are also an easy target for cockroaches, making them a health threat to your dog or cat. Cockroaches can bite humans, but it’s highly unlikely. Although the odds are in your favor, there have been reported cases of cockroaches biting nails, eyelashes, and calloused skin on heels.

How can I prevent cockroaches from getting into my home?

Roaches love to hang out in your home mainly because of one thing: food. To get rid of them, get rid of the food that makes them come back again and again. Remember that roaches are not discriminating when it comes to their dinner, so hunt around for possible food sources for them:

  • Keep all your food in airtight containers. Don’t leave any edible uncovered.
  • Clean up after eating and food preparation. Even the smallest crumbs in your kitchen are an open invitation for roaches.
  • Don’t leave stagnant water out. Drain sinks and tubs and keep toilets covered.
  • Be vigilant about cleaning. Regularly vacuum hidden corners and wipe down surfaces with cleanser and water or a vinegar and baking soda mixture.
  • Wash your dishes immediately after use.

If you see cockroaches in your home, you should call AAI Pest Control immediately. The problem will not go away on its own and will escalate quickly if not addressed.

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