Cockroaches can seem like an inevitable part of living in Tampa, but they don't have to be. There is a way to get rid of cockroaches and keep them out for good. The secret is understanding how cockroaches behave, knowing what attracts them, and learning how they get into your home. Join us as we take a look at these factors and tell you how to deter cockroaches with all-natural methods. Let's start by discussing cockroach identification and what cockroaches do when they invade your home. Cockroach control takes some muscle work, and knowing what these pests do as they crawl around in your home can provide motivation to do that hard work. If you don't want to do the hard work of cockroach control, we understand. Remember that you can contact us at any time to get professional cockroach pest control in Tampa. The service team at Haskell Termite & Pest Control is happy to help. You don't have to read a cockroach control article to find a solution to your cockroach problem. Help is available.
Types Of Cockroaches Found In Tampa
There are several pest cockroach species in Tampa. The species we see most often are German cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches, and American cockroaches. It is helpful to know which of these cockroaches you're dealing with in your home.
German Cockroach: A German roach is between ½ and ⅝ of an inch in length. It is shaped like an almond and has six spiny legs and two long antennae. It is tan and has two black stripes running down each side of its body. These strips are more noticeable on nymphs (baby roaches) because they don't have wings to cover the black stripes. On an adult, these black lines look like a small equal sign between the head and the top of the wings. The wings of a German cockroach stack on top of each other and hang past the abdomen slightly. While the wings of German cockroaches do function, they rarely use them. These insects mostly have no use for wings because they hide in tight cracks and crevices. Keep this in mind as you go looking for roaches in your home. Seeing a German cockroach is a warning sign that there are hundreds more that you aren't seeing. Two ways to deal with German roaches are to keep things clean, so these pests don't accidentally spread germs to your food, dishes, and silverware; and to seal the gaps they use to go from wall voids into areas you don't want them to be. There is no easy solution to arrest a German cockroach infestation; we strongly recommend a professional German cockroach treatment.
Brown-Banded Cockroach: A brown-banded cockroach is about ½ of an inch long and a teardrop shape. You may also look at the shape as an exclamation point without the point. As with all cockroaches, it has six spiny legs, two long antennae, and two small appendages on the abdomen called cerci. What you'll notice most about these roaches is that the females have short wings that only stretch about ¾ of the length of the abdomen. They are distinct. The males have wings that hang past the abdomen like many other roaches, and you may mistake them for German cockroaches. They are similar, except that brown-banded cockroaches don't have a black equal sign. If you see a small roach with no black equal sign on its back, it is likely a male brown-banded cockroach. Nymphs have noticeable brown, pale, and orange banding, which is how these roaches got their name. You'll find these roaches hiding in warm and humid spaces in your home. Keeping your home cool and dry may drive these pests out. Add sanitation and exclusion work, and you may get control of these roaches.
American Cockroaches: These are notorious Florida roaches. They're often called water bugs or Palmetto bugs. An American cockroach can grow to be 2 ⅛ inches long. They're huge! So, you won't have any trouble telling adults from the other two cockroaches mentioned here. But, if you need more help with your identification, look for the yellow mark on the back, between the head and wings. It looks a little bit like a yellow (or pale) figure-eight. American cockroaches have a high moisture requirement but can survive in a dry home. Sanitation can remove food sources and help to entice these tricky roaches to take cockroach bait. If an infestation persists, contact a licensed professional for treatment.
Once you know your foe, it is time to consider what roaches do inside your Tampa home. They are unsanitary pests that can make you sick. They also have the ability to damage your stuff.
The Diseases Cockroaches Can Spread
Cockroaches are attracted to unsanitary locations and should not be allowed to roam around in your home. Cockroaches move about in unsanitary environments, feed on unsanitary things, and get into places you wouldn't expect.
- Cockroaches crawl in dumpsters, sewers, trash piles, and on compost, dead animals, and other things. They pick up bacteria, parasitic worms, and pathogens when they do this. On the interior of man-made structures, roaches spread invisible organisms that are associated with diseases such as cholera, dysentery, campylobacteriosis, listeriosis, leprosy giardia, salmonellosis, and more.
- Cockroaches consume rotting organic matter, feces, and other dirty things. As they move about inside man-made structures, their feet, bodies, and waste materials are a source of contamination. Touching a surface, eating off a plate, or ingesting food contaminated by cockroaches can cause stomach illness.
- Recent studies link cockroaches to increased hospitalizations for asthma-related symptoms, with children being in the highest risk group. The materials left by roaches can also cause an allergic respiratory response in those who do not have asthma.
- Cockroaches can cause rashes when they crawl on human skin.
- While cockroaches don't eat living tissue, they sometimes bite when feeding on dead skin caught in eyelashes. Waking up with a swollen eye or allergic conjunctivitis is a warning sign of a cockroach infestation.
Sanitation is essential when addressing cockroaches. Not only does it remove food options and increase the success of baits, but cockroaches in a clean home won't be as dirty. You should know, however, that roaches can access dirty things outside and come into your home after doing so.
How And Why Cockroaches Find Their Way Into Your Home
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of this article. If you're struggling with cockroach control around your Tampa home, these tips will help you drive cockroaches away and keep them from getting inside. They'll also help to deter roaches from bringing invisible organisms into your home from dirty environments found outside.
- Before cockroaches get into your home, they're attracted to stinky things near your home, like trash receptacles. Wash your receptacles with soapy water to remove strong odors.
- Cockroaches are attracted to dog, cat, and wildlife waste. Keeping waste cleaned up and deterring wild animals can reduce roach problems.
- Cockroaches hide under objects to protect themselves from the sun. Removing objects that sit on the ground will deter roaches.
- Cockroaches need moisture. They're drawn to saturated ground caused by damaged or clogged gutters. They'll also hide under leaf litter, dead branches, and overgrowth in your landscaping. Yard work deters roaches.
- Cockroaches get in through gaps under and around exterior doors. Align your doors, fix damaged window panes, repair screens, replace weatherstripping, replace door sweeps, and seal gaps around your frames with silicone caulk.
- Cockroaches are particularly drawn to pipes. Use expanding foam to seal gaps around pipes that penetrate your foundation or exterior walls.
When you address the conditions that lead to an infestation and seal routes cockroaches use to get into your home, you have protection against an infestation and critical control needed when arresting an infestation. It pays to know how to get rid of cockroaches naturally, but as you can imagine, there is no replacement for the targeted use of cockroach control products.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Your Home
It isn't easy to apply cockroach control products. In fact, you can make your problem worse if you do it wrong. For example, improper baiting can cause the roaches in your home to become bait averse. If you find a cockroach in your house, contact Haskell Termite & Pest Control. Our technicians use trusted materials and strategies that work to evaluate cockroach control products continually as the treatments are applied. There is no replacement for the specialized knowledge a licensed and experienced technician brings to the table.
Have you had it with roaches in your Tampa home? If so, navigate to our contact page and connect with us. We'll take a look and guide you toward a solution that works for you—one that will help you get those roaches out of your house and give you peace of mind. Once they're gone, we can help you find a solution to keep them out of your home for good. If this is something you want to do, we're happy to provide you with effective options to meet your ongoing cockroach control needs. Connect with us today!
Efficient, effective and trustworthy. After using them, I paid the annual insurance in case the drywood termites came back. When they did come back, Haskell promptly re-tented the house - no arguing, no cost to me.