Telltale Indicators Of A Cockroach Infestation

Posted on: 17 March 2015

Cockroach infestations can be extremely troublesome for homeowners, as these frustrating pests not only create a nuisance, they are also known to spread disease and cause allergies and asthma.  One of the most maddening aspects about cockroaches is that infestations can go unnoticed for extended periods of time, as the insects are nocturnal and tend to remain hidden in their nesting areas until the evening hours, when they temporarily leave their nests in search of food.

While it isn't always easy to detect an early infestation when the roaches are still in hiding, there are telltale signs that the insects leave behind when they venture out of their hiding spots that indicate their presence. Knowing what to look for in the event of an infestation is the first step in prompt detection and safe eradication of these troubling house pests.

Musty Odors

One common indicator of a cockroach infestation that often goes overlooked is the presence of musty odors. Cockroaches emit pheromones when mating and marking their territory. The pheromones are similar in scent to mildew and tend to be most prevalent in dark, moist areas such as laundry rooms or cabinets beneath bathroom sinks, which is why the odor can often be mistaken for a less-serious issue such as wet clothing or a leaking pipe. If no source of mildew or moisture can be found upon inspection, a cockroach infestation may be the culprit. 

Cockroach Droppings

Another telltale sign of a cockroach infestation is the presence of multiple droppings. Cockroach droppings are black in color and similar in appearance to coffee grounds or black pepper. The insects also leave behind wet "fecal spots" that emit a strong odor and are similar in appearance to chocolate syrup. Dried fecal spots look like smeared chocolate and crumble when pressed. Cockroach feces often contain bacteria such as E. coli  that can lead to intestinal illness, so it is important to take safety precautions such as wearing gloves and hand washing when handling the droppings.

Egg Casings

When cockroaches hatch from their eggs, they leave behind egg casings that are yellow to brown in color and similar in appearance to dried skin. Female cockroaches typically hide their eggs in safe, dark areas, so the casings can often be found behind furniture or inside darkened cabinets. Egg casings should also be handled with appropriate safety precautions to avoid spreading germs. 

A Safe, Roach-Free Residence

Cockroach infestations can lead to a host of problems if left undetected, so knowing what to look for is half the battle in the fight against these frustrating insects. Understanding the telltale indicators of a potential infestation allows homeowners to take immediate action in remedying the situation and preventing future cockroach occurrences. For more information, contact a local pest control company.