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What attracts cockroaches is one of the most common questions we are asked. Public opinion is that cockroaches only appear in dirty environments, but that is not entirely true. Let’s talk about cockroaches and learn how to keep your home or office from infestation.
What are cockroaches?
There are more than 4,000 different cockroach species worldwide. The most common is the German cockroach. In the US, you will find brown-banded, American, and oriental cockroaches. Cockroaches are incredibly resilient and can live up to a week without its head and hold their breath for over 40 minutes! They love dark, warm, and wet environments and have outlived dinosaurs!
According to Pestworld.org, cockroaches can affect your family’s health, “including the allergies and asthma triggered by cockroach allergens and the germs and bacteria they have been known to spread. What may not be as widely known is the fact that cockroaches are very intelligent and resilient pest that exhibits some very odd behavior and survival tactics. For example, cockroaches spend 75% of their time resting and can withstand temperatures as cold as 32 degrees Fahrenheit!”
Water bug vs. cockroach
It is widespread to confuse and misidentify these two pests. People often refer to cockroaches as water bugs or common house water bugs, but they are different. This is especially true for the oriental cockroach because they are commonly found near water and damp areas such as basements.
Are water bugs roaches? Here are some quick facts:
- Water bugs are typically brown or grayish in color and just about 2 inches in length. Roaches have a redder hue and can be larger. They also don’t have antennae.
- Water bugs, aka toe biters, can bite if handled or threatened but cause no harm to humans.
- Water bugs rarely enter a home and are not food scavengers like cockroaches.
- Cockroaches live on land, while water bugs, well, they love the water.
- Cockroaches travel in groups, and water bugs tend to go solo, except during mating season.
- Water bugs are predatory, hunting small insects and creatures, while cockroaches are scavengers and feast on your garbage and rotting food.
How do you get rid of water bugs?
Water bugs, like cockroaches, should be exterminated by a professional pest control company. Insecticides are risky business for the average homeowner, and properly identifying the pest ensures accurate handling and extermination.
Where do roaches come from?
Roaches are incredibly resourceful and intelligent. They find ways into your home through the smallest spaces. They are also speedy and travel quickly.
Can roaches smell food? Yes! According to organiclesson.com, Yes, roaches can smell food. That ability has made them some of the best scavengers out there. Roaches smell both natural and man-made food, allowing them to survive in every habitat.
However, there are some types of foods that attract the roaches more than others. Sugars, for instance, are a roach magnets. They love sugar more than anything else. Starch is also a roach favorite. They will eat anything starchy, including books, bindings, papers, and cardboard.
Your primary defense is always to keep your home clean, your basement dry, and windows and doors tightly sealed. In addition,
- Be clean, and do not leave dirty dishes in the sink. Cockroaches can come from drains!
- Check areas where your family eats, such as the family room, basement, and even bedrooms, where a stray plate may be left behind.
- Cockroaches are attracted to leftover pet food. If you free feed your pet, keep an eye on the area and never leave pet food or dishes in the garage or deck.
- Keep your landscaped areas free from rotting leaves and debris. Bag all yard waste.
- Did you know cockroaches love paper? Be sure your garbage and recycle bins are tightly closed.
- Seal up all leaks, loose screens, gutters, soffits, and other areas offering entry to your home.
- Keep your basement, attic, and crawl space dry and ensure proper airflow to avoid mold and mildew.
Why do I have roaches in my clean house?
As we discussed, there are several ways cockroaches can enter your home and what attracts them to your clean house. Yes, the rule does apply that if you see one roach, there are more.
In many cases, it is not the homeowner’s fault that cockroaches are present. Water leaks in the attic or basement are like a welcome mat. An infestation can occur when these problem areas are not addressed, and roaches have found a new home.
You may also have cockroaches in your home due to their ‘hitchhiking tendencies.’ Cockroaches can enter your clean house in your luggage from a recent beach or holiday vacation. Large box stores are often unaware of roaches, even though they are diligent about extermination. The roaches can hide in food and paper good packing and stealthily enter your home.
What can I do about cockroaches in my house?
We have listed a few to-do items for homeowners to reduce the incidence of cockroaches in their houses. Infestations can be overwhelming. Never take matters into your own hands when dealing with pests and wildlife. Our technicians are trained to safely treat and remove them from your home or business. Contact us to schedule a free inspection and remove the worry of cockroaches in your home.