Signs of a Cockroach Infestation
Realizing you are experiencing a cockroach infestation is not a discovery anybody would like to make. Their appearance alone is enough to give pretty much anyone the shivers, and heaven forbid you find them anywhere near your food. But cockroaches are a lot more than just disgusting to look at. Just as their presence on your property indicates issues with cleanliness that need to be resolved as soon as possible, so also their presence poses serious health risks that cannot be ignored. Numerous health problems, such as salmonella poisoning, dysentry and gastro-entiritis are all closely linked to exposure to this insect, and even things such as eczema and asthma have been linked to their droppings.
As always, the sooner you become aware of this problem, the sooner you can deal with it and put it behind you, and quick action is essential, as cockroaches multiply very fast in the right conditions. Here are a few things that can clue you in to the fact that your property is being infested by cockroaches, even if you have not actually seen them yet (they do tend to come out more at night).
- Droppings, eggs, smear marks and shed skin
- Damage that cannot be explained any other way
- Unusual odors
Cockroaches produce black droppings.
They look a little like dust, just much larger than specks of dust are, about 1mm wide and sometimes 2 or more millimeters long. Another telltale sign that there may well be cockroaches infesting your house or business are the brown, irregularly shaped smear marks they can leave behind if they have access to water. These are usually found on flat surfaces, as well as where the floor meets the wall, which is where they spend most of their time. Another, perhaps more obvious sign are the skins they shed from time to time as they mature, about 5-8 per insect. You may also find their eggs, about the size of 2 droplets of water, in groups of ten or more in favorable environments.
The damage they cause
Cockroaches seem to prefer eating thins people consider foodstuffs; however, they are pretty much omnivores that will chew on just about anything if they need to. Aside from food packaging, you may notice damage on organic goods such as books or leather products.
A lasting odor
Some species produce a worse smell than others, but in the event of a serious infestation, there will always be a strong oily or musty odor present. The smell is a lingering one that does not fade over time, but rather gets more intense as the infestation gets more advanced. The odor cockroaches produce will also taint all of the objects they come into contact with. Basically, roaches give off a certain type of pheromone to let each other know they’ve found a good place to nest, and as they swarm together, the smell can be quite overpowering. The female also gives off another distinct odor to let the males know she is ready to mate. In fact, it is often the distinct odor produced by cockroaches that alerts home or business owners they are being infested first.
In short, the more you know about what a cockroach infestation looks like, the better, as you can start taking the necessary steps to eliminate them before the problem becomes more serious.