There are many things you may not know about American cockroaches. You may not be aware that American cockroaches aren’t actually from America but were brought here from Africa. You may not know that American cockroaches aren’t the most common cockroach pests in America. These may be interesting factoids, but they don’t give any insight into what you can expect when these roaches get into your Raleigh property. Today, we’re going to discuss five facts every Raleigh property owner should know about the American cockroach to prevent the spread of illness and keep these roaches out.

1. American cockroaches are drawn to moisture.

If these insects are in your yard and hanging out around your home or business, it is because there is a moist habitat. This roach species is strongly attracted to humidity and damp conditions. That means you can have some success preventing a cockroach infestation if you keep your exterior dry.

2. American cockroaches aren’t always big.

You may know that American cockroaches are the largest pest roaches that will get into your Raleigh property. This is true. But it isn’t always true. Cockroaches begin life as nymphs, and a nymph can be as small as 4 mm in length. There are two reasons you should know this. When you seal entry points in your exterior, don’t neglect the smallest of holes. You’re not just keeping large 1 ½ inch roaches out, you’re also preventing smaller nymphs from getting inside. If you see a tiny, wingless roach running around in your basement or boiler room, be aware that it could be an American cockroach. Nymphs don’t start to develop wing pads until around the fourth instar, and they don’t have wings until they reach their adult stage. Understanding this can help you properly identify these pests.

3. American cockroaches can make you sick.

These insects get into dumpsters, crawl in sewers, feed on feces and carrion, and have many other nasty behaviors that expose them to organisms that are harmful to humans. If American cockroaches get into your home, expect them to be a mechanical vector for bacteria and parasitic worms. Their shed skins can be a source of respiratory illness. Their feces can be a source of disease. As these cockroaches explore your property, they’ll get into stored foods, dish cabinets, silverware drawers, and crawl across counters, cutting boards, and other sensitive surfaces. They’re also known to feed on toothpaste. These roaches can perch on your toothbrush and toothpaste tube only moments after climbing around on your toilet rim.

4. American cockroaches stay hidden.

This cockroach species does not like to be seen. If you see one, it is likely that there are thousands of cockroaches hiding where you can’t see them. American cockroaches rarely show themselves unless there is an issue of overpopulation and food resources are scarce. You are far more likely to see evidence of a cockroach infestation before you see roaches. American cockroaches leave ootheca (egg pouches), black specks of feces, and shed cuticles (skins) lying around in dark, humid, and secluded spaces. You may also smell these roaches before you see them. They give off a pheromone that is unpleasant.

5. American cockroaches are resilient.

Have you heard that cockroaches are likely to be the only animals on the planet that will survive a thermonuclear war? This is because they can tolerate high levels of radiation. But radiation isn’t the only thing they can tolerate. If an American cockroach is exposed to a chemical in your home, it has a high probability of surviving. If a nymph survives exposure to a chemical substance, the next skin it develops will be resistant to that chemical. An American cockroach will pass through six to fourteen instars before reaching its adult stage. With each instar, it will become more and more resistant to the chemicals in its environment. Licensed pest professionals who use chemicals to eliminate roaches must alternate products to ensure extermination. A professional will also use field-tested strategies and methods developed by pest control experts to ensure the greatest level of success.

What To Do When You Find Evidence Of A Cockroach Infestation

At the first sign of American cockroaches in your North Carolina home or business, contact Innovative Pest Solutions. We will guide you in selecting the right treatment plan to eliminate roaches and prevent future infestations. Reach out to us anytime. We’re here to help.