Effective Residential and Commercial Cockroach Control

Cockroach Identification

Cockroaches generally have a flat, oval-shaped body with spiny legs and long antennae. Size may vary from about 5/8 of an inch to 2 inches long, depending upon the species as well as climate and environment factors. The male is usually light brown and boat-shaped, whereas the female is slightly darker in color with a broad and rounded posterior. The wings cover the entire abdomen of both genders except the abdominal tip in males. Nymphs resemble adults, but they are smaller with undeveloped wings. They are also nearly black with a single light stripe running down about halfway of the middle of the back, separated by two black bands. Egg capsules are light tan and less than a quarter of an inch long. Adult German cockroaches are the most common type of cockroach in the Portland and Vancouver areas. They are light tan to medium brown. The shield behind the head is marked by two dark stripes running lengthwise and separated by a lighter stripe. While they do have wings, they rarely take flight.

If you spot a pest in your home that matches the description of a cockroach, contact a local pest control company for a pest inspection as soon as possible.

Cockroach Education

German cockroaches produce more eggs and generations per year than any other species of roach. More than 100,000 cockroaches may be produced in a home with one year if an active roach infestation is present. The female German cockroach produces an egg case or capsule containing 30 to 48 eggs. She then carries the capsule for about three weeks and goes into hiding before dropping her egg case. Once hatched, the emerging nymphs will molt (shed their skins) six or seven times in about 60 days. After the final molt, adults emerge fully winged and sexually mature. In addition to the new generation of breeders, the original female continues to produce four to eight more capsules during her lifetime. German cockroaches require high levels of moisture to survive. They will travel 10 to 12 feet from their nests to find food and water in humid areas including kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms. They also prefer darkness. As such, German cockroaches will gather in dark places that have high humidity. They eat food of all kinds and may hitchhike into the home on egg cartons, potato sacks, food packages, handbags, folds of clothing, used furniture, and so on. If there is water, adults can live for up to a month without food. Otherwise, they will die in two weeks without food and water. During the day, German cockroaches may be found under, around, or inside the following places:

  • Insulated walls of stoves
  • Refrigerators
  • Dishwashers
  • Sinks
  • Electric clocks
  • Beneath or around water heaters
  • Inside or around cabinets, closets, and pantries
  • Behind baseboard moldings
  • Telephones
  • Toasters, coffee makers, and other small appliances

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

Cockroaches often live in cracks and crevices so small that they are easily overlooked. Also, if clusters of cockroaches are seen during the day, this is a good indication of a large infestation and you should call a cockroach control professional as soon as possible. Brown-banded cockroaches are more often found in homes, apartments, hotels, and hospital rooms than in stores, restaurants, or kitchens. A female carries her egg capsule for a day or two, then attaches it to a protected surface. The egg case is purse-shaped, light brown, and shows about eight external divisions or segments along either side. The female produces about 14 egg capsules, each containing about 18 eggs, during her lifetime. The eggs eventually hatch in 50 to 75 days, depending upon temperatures. Brown-banded cockroaches do not require as much moisture as German cockroaches, and they prefer feeding on starchy materials.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are generally found outdoors during warm weather. As the cold weather approaches, they migrate indoors and live in dark, damp areas including basements, sewers, drains, and water meter enclosures. A female carries her egg capsule for about 30 hours, then drops or attaches it to a protected surface near a food supply. She produces an average of eight capsules, each containing 16 eggs, during her lifetime. It takes about 60 days for the eggs to hatch. Unlike the other species, Oriental cockroaches have seasonal life cycles. Adults peak in late spring or early summer and then decrease in numbers by early fall due to natural mortality and the hatching nymphs. They also have different diets than both the German and brown-banded cockroaches, preferring instead to feed on filth, rubbish, and other decaying, organic matter.

American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are the largest of the common species, growing to 1.5 inches or more in length. The female drops her egg capsule within a day after it has formed. The capsule is dark brown, symmetrical, and about 5/16 of an inch long. One egg capsule is formed per week until a minimum of 15 or maximum of 90 capsules are produced. Each capsule contains about 14 to 16 eggs. Oftentimes, American cockroaches are found in steam heat tunnels and boiler rooms. They feed on a variety of foods, but they especially prefer decaying organic matter as well as book bindings, manuscripts, clothing, glossy paper, and other starchy materials. Homeowners may be allergic to cockroaches because they generally carry many allergens and disease-producing bacteria. Once they contaminate food, it can result in food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea for any member of the household. Cockroaches can also cause childhood asthma. For these reasons, it is critical to hire a cockroach control professional to ensure the health of your family.

Customer Preparation for Cockroach Extermination

Inside Your Home:

  • Place food waste in cockroach-proof containers such as glass jars with air-tight lids if a garbage disposable is unavailable.
  • Clean all surfaces before and after food preparation including counters, tables, and floors.
  • Immediately clean all eating areas and silverware after each use. This includes dishes, bowls, utensils, and glasses. Leave items soaking in soapy water if impossible to clean them immediately.
  • Clean grease as much as possible from pots, pans, oven hoods, and walls where frying pans have been used. Cockroaches like to feed on grease film.
  • Clean all spills on carpets, furniture, or clothing. Spilled food leaves a residue that attracts cockroaches.
  • Place clothing in sealed plastic bags or tight-fitting hampers without ventilation holes.
  • Thoroughly clean sponges, cleaning pads, and brushes after use.
  • Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, electrical locations, metal cabinets, and small appliances are oftentimes overlooked as a source of water, food, or shelter for cockroaches. Ignoring these areas can counteract the effectiveness of both treatment and life cycle management.

Refrigerators

  • Check door gaskets and replace them if they are hard, stiff, or cracked.
  • Vacuum the coil and compressor.
  • Wash and dry the bottom tray.
  • Check the insulation around motors and clean or replace it as needed.

Dishwashers

  • Check leaks and repair any that are present.
  • Remove the bottom panel and clean regularly.
  • Check insulation for cleanliness and replace it if needed.
  • Check door gaskets and seals, replacing them if leakage is detected.
  • Ensure food residue is removed from inside the dishwasher daily.

Stoves

  • Clean regularly and thoroughly. Don’t forget to clean under the burners.
  • Use heat-proof sealants to caulk cracks.
  • Check the insulation for possible infestations and replace if needed.

Electrical Locations

  • Examine electrical fixtures and caulk around outlets and switches.
  • Use foam sealant if an infestation exists inside the electrical conduit.

Metal Cabinets

  • Examine cabinets carefully. Seal hinges, latches, seams, and holes in the bottom and/or top of the doors.

Small Appliances

  • Cockroaches can enter small appliances through tiny holes and cracks and live around the motor. Consider taking the appliance apart or use a cold treatment.

Customer Expectations from Cockroach Treatment

Following a professional cockroach treatment in a residential or commercial building, cockroaches will act abnormally prior to their death. They may appear from hiding places by the hundreds so keep a vacuum handy. Additional flushings may occur for the next three to four weeks. Keep in mind, while our products kill cockroaches on contact, it also acts as a repellent by leaving a long-term residue that outlasts the life cycle of the bugs.

Call PestLock today to learn more about our cockroach control services in the Portland and Vancouver area.