If there’s one guest that doesn’t mind showing up at your San Mateo home (or overstaying their welcome), it’s the cockroach. But how do you identify cockroaches and keep them out?
Here’s what San Mateo homeowners should know about identifying the kinds of cockroaches in your home, whether they’re hazardous to your health, how and why they come inside, and how to get rid of them with pest control in San Mateo.
How To Identify Species Of Cockroaches Commonly Found In San Mateo
There are three major types of cockroaches that aim to invade San Mateo homes, including:
While they’re not as big as American cockroaches, German cockroaches can still grow over half an inch long. Most people recognize this species by its light brown or tan coloring, with two darker stripes running parallel behind their heads. Like most other roach types, German cockroaches do have wings – but they’re not great fliers and prefer to run if they can.
American cockroaches are a formidable opponent with lengths varying from one to three inches, oval-shaped bodies, and yellow bands stretching across the back of their heads. Not only are they the biggest home-infesting roaches you’ll ever encounter, but they actually don’t come from the United States. American cockroaches originate from Africa, and evidence suggests they made their way to America by hitching a ride on North American-bound ships.
With so many different types of cockroaches in San Mateo, it can be difficult to identify the ones plaguing your home. Still, there are a couple of key ways to tell oriental cockroaches apart from the rest.
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to distinguish them from other roaches is their coloring – oriental cockroaches have mahogany to black bodies with glossy, oily sheens that make them look shiny at first glance. While they grow bigger than German cockroaches at around an inch long, they’re still smaller than American roaches. Both males and females have wing pads, but oriental roaches aren’t capable of flight, so you shouldn’t see them flying around your home.
While most cockroaches need moisture to survive, oriental cockroaches are especially drawn to damp environments. As a result, they’re often found in sewers, drains, and other unsanitary spots where they can pick up moisture and feed on organic, rotting materials.
When they hang out in these areas, oriental cockroaches also pick up a variety of pathogens and bacteria, which they can bring into your home. Not only can they contaminate your home with pathogens like streptococcus, staphylococcus, or salmonella, but their saliva and droppings can also trigger allergies and asthma attacks.
Cockroaches In Your Home Are Hazardous To Your Health
One of the biggest reasons you don’t want cockroaches inside your San Mateo home is because they are a health concern. Cockroaches aren’t deadly, but their unsanitary habits can make them a danger to you or your family’s health in the following ways:
- Cockroaches can spread dangerous bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, and streptococcus to you and your family. This may happen when they contaminate your food or crawl across the surfaces where you’ve prepared food, like your table or kitchen counter. Coming in contact with a cockroach doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get sick, but the risk is always there.
- Cockroaches may trigger allergies or asthma in your family members, especially small children. One of the enzymes in a cockroach’s saliva, skin, and droppings can give some people asthma-like symptoms. As the infestation gets worse, so can the symptoms. Not everyone has an allergic reaction to cockroaches, but many people do.
- Do cockroaches bite? Cockroaches aren’t known to bite or act aggressively but can scratch you with their spiny legs. This is usually out of self-defense, but it can be another way for them to spread bacteria to you.
Regardless of the species, cockroaches in your home are a health risk.
How And Why Cockroaches Find Their Way Into Your Home
What attracts cockroaches to your San Mateo home? Some people may call cockroaches equal-opportunity invaders because they’re not picky about where they infest. While roaches can survive in both clean and dirty homes, they’re more likely to invade unsanitary homes because they’ve got easier access to the things they love. Some of the factors that may attract cockroaches or make an infestation more likely in your home include:
Cockroaches will seek out food wherever they can find it, and if you’ve got leftovers lying around your kitchen, you’re just making things easier for them. Unsealed leftovers sitting out or crumbs and food scraps that never get cleaned up can all draw cockroaches inside. Even dirty dishes can be a possible attraction for cockroaches. Keep in mind that cockroaches are resourceful. You may be putting leftovers away, but cockroaches can still survive on those tiny crumbs and scraps that get left behind.
Moisture attracts cockroaches, and homes with drainage or moisture issues are a big draw for these insects. This is also why you frequently find cockroaches in kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms. Besides plumbing problems, humidity can also serve as an attraction. Cockroaches may congregate in basements or attics with too much humidity, even if there’s no direct water source.
While homeowners have some influence over food and water attractions, cockroaches can sometimes invade your home because it’s nearby, and they know it’s a source of shelter. As temperatures drop in the winter, even outdoor roaches look for a place to hunker down. If they can find a way into your home, they’ll use it for warm shelter.
Speaking of cockroaches inside your home, how do these critters get inside? Cockroaches, like any pest, need a way to get inside your home, and it doesn’t have to be an open door or window. Most of the time, cockroaches use tiny cracks and crevices in your walls or foundation to get inside, but how do you identify these entry points?
A good place to start is with the foundation of your home. You can walk around the exterior of your house and look for open cracks and gaps. Cockroaches don’t need a lot of space to get inside, so even the tiniest cracks or crevices can serve as an entrance. Besides holes in your foundation, roaches also have the potential to crawl under gaps in your doorway or through tears in your window screen.
Here are some quick tips for sealing off entry points that many types of cockroaches may try to use:
- Tip #1: Use a sealant to get rid of holes in the foundation. Caulk, foam, or another type of sealant can eliminate those tiny cracks and crevices in your foundation and prevent roaches from slipping through.
- Tip #2: Replace torn or ripped window and door screens. Along with regularly checking for tears or rips in your door and window screens, it’s important to replace the broken ones you find.
- Tip #3: Use weatherstripping and door sweeps to get rid of gaps around doors and windows. Some may have openings that are big enough for roaches to crawl through, and these materials can block that gap.
- Tip #4: Inspect second-hand items before you bring them into your home: While it’s not the most common way for roaches to get inside, these pests can sometimes end up in your home accidentally through second-hand appliances or furniture. Before bringing in used items you’ve bought, double-check those cracks and crevices for potential roach colonies.
In addition to these tips, the best way to kill cockroaches is by working with a professional pest control company to eliminate the infestation.
The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Your Home
Because cockroaches can be a health concern and they’re so hard to eliminate, the best way to get rid of American cockroaches or other roaches is by working with the pros at Pacific Pest Management.
Rather than rely on DIY solutions that won’t work or get rid of the infestation, you can save time, money, and plenty of peace of mind with the professionals. We’ll use time-tested treatments that are proven to work time and time again – no matter the size or extent of the infestation. We’ll also come up with a customized treatment plan to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of your San Mateo home.
If you suspect that you have cockroaches in your San Mateo home, there’s only one thing to do. Contact the pros at Pacific Pest Management today to learn more about how our cockroach control services work or to schedule an inspection of your California home.
Excellent people to work with! They took great care of my family member's home, the price is fair, and both the owner and the team is super responsive.