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Ew! Why Do The Roaches In Tampa Smell Bad?

You may notice something when cockroaches find their way into your Tampa home. Roaches are stinky. But the reason roaches create an unpleasant aroma may not be for the reasons you may think. You might assume that it is because cockroaches live in sewers, crawl around in dumpsters, and get into other dirty places. If so, you are partially correct. Roaches acquire an odor when they climb in unsanitary environments, but the bad smell of cockroaches in your home won't remind you of feces or trash as much as something oily and musty. So, if it isn't a sewage or garbage smell, what is it? Join us as we discuss the aroma associated with cockroaches in Tampa and what you can do about that bad smell if you have a cockroach infestation. Before we get started, remember that you don't have to read an article about roaches to get rid of roaches in your home. You can jump to our contact page and reach out to us immediately for cockroach pest control in Tampa. The Haskell Termite & Pest Control service team is always ready to assist you. With that said, let's look at why roaches create a stink in your home.   

Roach Smell: What Do Roaches Smell Like?

oriental cockroach in kitchen

Tampa residents often describe the scent of cockroaches as oily, musty, sooty, sickly sweet, or mildewy. Some add that the oil smell is somewhat stale, or the musty smell is more musky than musty. The aroma of cockroaches varies somewhat depending on the species of cockroach. Some roaches smell worse than others. Oriental cockroaches are considered the worst, which is true in every way. These black-colored roaches lay their egg cases in rotting organic matter and the nymphs that hatch are immediately exposed to the smell of decay.   

Another distinct odor you may detect can only be described as the scent of death. You know what it smells like when you approach carrion on the side of the road, or when you open your fridge and realize one of your meats has gone bad. As cockroaches grow a population in your home, you're likely to smell this scent.

Why Do Roaches Smell So Bad?

One of the signs of a cockroach infestation is the bad smell associated with roaches. It is helpful if you do smell roaches in your home because it provides a warning that you have a problem you should address. The smells generated by cockroaches also reveal why it is critical to address a roach infestation. As we look at why roaches smell bad, let's also discuss why these odors not only smell bad, but are bad.

Pheromones: Cockroaches communicate by excreting pheromones. These pheromones smell oily and musty. The more roaches you have in your home, the more of this smell you will detect. It is not good to have cockroach pheromones in your home because it signals to the roaches that visit your home that your home is a great place to live.

Feces: Cockroaches leave their droppings all over the place. While their waste is not especially pungent, as the amount of cockroach waste builds up, you will detect it more and more. It is bad to have cockroach droppings in your home because they can make you sick. 

Death Stench: When a cockroach dies, it produces a smell that humans aren't able to detect. The smell is a warning to other cockroaches that an area is not safe. While this is a good smell to have in your home, all of the benefits are canceled by the fact that dead cockroaches smell bad. That is the smell of death that you're detecting. So, while you can't smell the death smell that roaches emit, you can smell the dead roaches themselves. Not only is this bad because the scent is offensive, but the dead-cockroach smell can attract other pests to your home. Many pests eat dead insects.

Rotting Food: When cockroaches live in your home, they grab food and sometimes leave debris in hiding places. The food collected may rot and add to the bad smell of roaches in your home. Cockroaches don't mind eating rotting food—as a matter of fact, they prefer it. So, they often collect food and let it sit.

Unsanitary Scent: Roaches are attracted to dirty things and dirty places. As they move through unsanitary environments and dine on unsanitary things, they acquire more of a bad aroma. Some roaches smell more unsanitary than others. Remember the Oriental cockroaches we mentioned? They're the worst. Cockroaches that get inside your home and remain are not likely to smell as unsanitary as cockroaches (like Oriental cockroaches) that prefer to live outside and go in and out of your home. It bears mentioning that, while Oriental cockroaches smell the worst, German cockroaches are the worst. German cockroaches are pernicious and relentless pests that love living indoors—and it is incredibly hard to get rid of a German cockroach infestation.   

While some roaches don't smell as bad as others, the smell of roaches will worsen the longer you have roaches in your home. It doesn't matter what kind of cockroaches you're battling. When you detect the foul smell of roaches or other evidence of a cockroach problem, you should do something about the cockroaches in your home. Addressing a roach infestation is the first and best way to rid your home of the bad smell created by cockroaches. Let's look at a few more things you can do.    

How To Get Rid Of Cockroach Smell In Your Home

After the cockroaches in your home have been dealt with, you may still smell them. Why is this the case, and what can you do about it? The shed materials of cockroaches hold the odor. You must clean up the shed skins, droppings, egg casings, and dead roaches. Wear protective gloves and a mask when doing this. Use a vacuum to suck up the debris and wash infested areas with soapy water. If you have soiled insulation, you should remove it. We recommend applying a blown pest control insulation in areas where you remove insulation. Doing this will help to prevent future infestations. 

Once you sanitize the areas where the cockroaches left droppings and skins, you may spray vinegar and water to address any remaining smells further or put down boxes of baking soda where you're still detecting an aroma. It is often impossible to fully remove all the materials left by roaches; but don't worry, any smell that remains after you've taken these steps will not last long, especially if you take steps to continue to keep roaches out of your home.   

Repelling Cockroaches In Tampa

If you know how to deter cockroaches from entering your home, you can be sure the bad roach smell will eventually disappear. The strategy is simple: Address food, moisture, and harborage, and seal potential entry points.

  • Remove objects in your yard that roaches can hide underneath to reduce cockroach activity.
  • Rake leaves, pick up sticks, and remove organic debris. Cockroaches prefer to hide under these. 
  • Remove unnecessary vegetation from your landscaping to reduce the humidity that attracts roaches.
  • Clean your gutters to remove clogs that allow rainwater to back up and run over the sides. Clogged gutters can lead to ground saturation near your exterior walls and foundation.
  • Get your trash to the curb weekly to prevent your garbage from stinking up the receptacles. Clean your receptacles if they acquire an odor.
  • Pick up any junk piles in your yard. Cockroaches eat cardboard and paper products. They're also known to eat clothing, fabrics, and upholstery.
  • Stay on top of pet waste clean-up. Cockroaches and several other pests are attracted to dog droppings.
  • Use a caulking gun to seal around pipes, wire conduits, and other foundation penetrations.
  • Install door sweeps on doors that don't have them.
  • Replace weatherstripping, door and window screens, vent caps, and weep protectors where necessary.
  • Keep the interior of your home clean. When roaches get inside and find it squeaky clean, they won't want to stay. No self-respecting roach is going to want to live in a clean home. They have standards. They are entirely opposite of your standards, but they're still standards.     

If you need assistance with keeping cockroaches out of your home, contact Haskell Termite & Pest Control. We offer more than just cockroach control in Tampa. Our residential services provide ongoing protection from roaches and many other common Tampa pests. We apply treatments around your home to reduce insect activity, a liquid application to the exterior of your home to keep roaches from entering, and put down bait products to directly cull roach populations near your home. On the inside of your home, we spray baseboards with a repellent that drives pests out.

Do you live in Tampa, Florida? If so, connect with us today to learn more about all of the ways we can guard you and your family from cockroach infestations. We'll help you find the perfect solution for your pest control needs. 

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