The American cockroach, also known as the water bug is one of the most common household pests. This bug can efficiently and quickly infest an area in your home, making it difficult to get rid of. In the northern states, the American cockroach is usually found to take shelter in sewers and drains, while in the southern states, they are more likely to be seen outdoors. They enjoy moist and wet locations. The cockroach can range from 1 to 3 inches long and they are usually a light brown or reddish brown color with a yellow band on their head. They are shaped like an oval with 6 six legs and 2 antennas. This type of cockroach can move very quickly and can fly as well, but for the most part you will find them in outdoor locations.
They like damp, warm places in gardens like under mulch and other types of piles. If the temperature changes or they run out of food, they will move inside to the nearest building no matter what it is. The cockroaches will seek out wet or food filled areas to survive; this includes basements, pipes, holes in a wall, drains, and under major appliances. They can feed on any organic material from crumbs and leftover human food to fungi and leaves.
The female American cockroach can lay 16-32 eggs a week for about 10 months straight, which can cause large, quick infestations. It can take 4 to 6 months for the egg to become an adult, so if you find some adult cockroaches in your home, that means there are a lot more where that came from.
Signs of American cockroaches in your home include odor, because when in a group, they give off a musty and wet smell and the sight of egg casings after they hatch is a sign as well. Also, droppings are sign because they are always eating and then always disposing their waste; leaving little brown and reddish droplets everywhere. Of course the most obvious sign is the on-sight visual because once you see one indoors, that means there are definitely more to look out for. The best way to start getting rid of the cockroaches is to clean the living spaces they like, including sinks, counters, appliances, cabinets, and drains. Check the entryways and foundations for holes or cracks because this is also how they can enter your home. You should seal up or caulk these areas and use gel repellents to prevent entry of the cockroaches in the future. To get rid of an infestation, baits, pesticides, and traps are good to use, but may be a slow process because of the large amount of these pests and how well they are able to survive.
Unfortunately, American cockroaches also can cause health problems because they are known to be transmitters of bacteria including Salmonella and E. coli. Their secretion gives off an odor that can also cause problems for people with asthma and allergies. Consult a professional exterminator to help with your cockroach problem!