Roaches are nasty business! These creepy-crawlies are among the most reviled of pests, especially because once they are in, they can be tough to get rid of. Responding to the presence of roaches in your home or business is important. As Central Indiana’s top pest control company, we keep both homes and businesses roach free. We know what it takes to prevent and eliminate roaches from your home!
Here is what you need to know.
How do you know if you have roaches?
Roaches are nocturnal, so it is rare to see them active during the day. You should inspect for them at night, using a flashlight to catch them by surprise in dark spaces. They prefer darkness and moisture, so we recommend that you look in bathrooms and kitchens first.
Laundry rooms, garages, barns, and mud rooms are other places to check out. When you inspect for roaches, use your flashlight to shine underneath appliances, in and around drains, under rugs and carpets, and in any cracks, such as the small gaps underneath baseboards.
If you see a roach, you should know there are probably many more hiding elsewhere. Unfortunately, not seeing a roach does not mean that your home is roach-free. Other signs of roach infestation include a foul odor, roach droppings, and roach eggs.
What attracts roaches to a home?
Cockroaches love dirty dishes, crumbs, trash, and leaks. They sneak into your home through cracks, pipes, drains, open windows and screens, and in just about anything you might carry inside. Clutter is not a huge appeal to roaches, but if something is sticky, crumby, messy, or wet, they are going to love it.
What attracts roaches to a business?
Why do some businesses have roach problems? There are a few reasons. First, some businesses have the same attractive environmental conditions that homes do: kitchens, trash cans, messes, and moisture.
If your company produces a lot of trash, you are more susceptible to an infestation. The same is true if you have a kitchen, a garage, barn, or storage area. Companies are also more likely to have drop ceilings, which can hide roaches as they breed and take over an area.
What kind of roaches are most prevalent in Indiana?
The Purdue Extension office explains the types of cockroaches that are most common in Indiana. They describe roach varieties as follows.
- The German roach can typically be found in your kitchens; it’s one of the most common species. When these roaches achieve adulthood, they stay small (about 1/2 inch long). They are tan, and they generally travel in large numbers. Young German roaches, known as nymphs, can be identified by their dark markings that change their appearance, making them look dark brown to black.”
- The largest of the roaches, the American roach is usually reddish-brown in color and can grow to be roughly 1-1/2 inches in length when it matures. You’ll generally find these roaches in food establishments, but any dwelling near the place that serves food runs the risk of infestation.
- Another large roach, the Oriental roach grows to be about 1 inch in length. These roaches are typically shiny black or dark brown. Oriental roaches are also referred to as “water bugs” or “black beetles.” They prefer to live somewhere damp, and generally invade homes through places like the sewer opening. When it’s warm outside, Oriental roaches might take up residence outdoors; during the less temperate months, they tend to move from home to home.
- While the Brown-banded roach is usually thought of as southern species, it can be found in Indiana. It’s roughly the same size as a German roach, but the resemblance ends there. Brown-banded roaches make free with your whole house— they don’t restrict their activities to the kitchen. Any item that is shipped from one location to another can contain these less-than-desirable tagalongs.
- Woods roaches usually restrict their activities to the outdoors, generally residing under the loose bark of dead trees, logs or stumps. They might invade a home that is in a heavily wooded area, but they don’t typically thrive unless they’re outside. At nearly 1 inch long, male woods roaches are dark brown with a pale stripe on the outer edges of their wings. They fly well, so that’s often how they make their way into homes. The female woods roaches have shorter wings, closely resembling the Oriental roach; however, it’s rare to find a female inside the house.
Are roaches more common in one season?
Roaches tend to head inside buildings and homes to avoid the cold in winter, so winter infestations are pretty common. However, it is summer when the creatures thrive. They love the heat and breed in the warmest months. That is why many homeowners choose to start protecting their homes in the spring— they want to prepare for the upcoming summer months.
Why should you hire a pest control professional?
Getting rid of roaches is a serious challenge. Hiring a pest control professional like Freedom Pest Control can get your roach problem under control and prevent future infestations. Why should you hire a professional instead of trying to get the infestation under control yourself?
- Professionals know how to detect and defeat infestations faster and more effectively than home and business owners. Our years of experience allow us to do a better job in a shorter amount of time than attempts at amateur pest control.
- We can prevent infestations. Instead of having to worry about roaches and other bugs coming back after you get rid of them, we can prevent you from ever having to deal with another pest infestation again.
- We can protect homes and businesses alike in a cost-effective way.
Do you need help now for a pest problem? Do you want to make sure that your home or business is not a home for creepy-crawlies like roaches? Let’s talk today about how to keep you from ever needing to deal with roaches again!
Spring is in the air! At least we hope it is. Seems we bounce from freezing to beautiful every day now. While it may confuse us, it’s not confusing pests. As the days become warmer, you’re going to see more issues with ants, bees, cockroaches, earwigs, flies, mosquitos, silverfish, wasps, and rodents.
- Ants are most active in spring, building routes into homes to bring food and moisture back to their nests.
- Beetle grubs begin to feed on your yard roots… preparing for summer when they’ll emerge.
- Stink bugs will emerge from their hiding places and begin to mate and lay eggs.
- Wasps, hornets, and yellowjacket queens are coming out of hibernation and ready to start new nests.
- Mice and rats are on the hunt for food – finding any way they can to get into your home to feast on whatever they can find.
- Spiders mate in spring and their fall eggs will begin to hatch.
- Ticks that have stayed warm in leaf bins and garden mulch for the winter begin to lay eggs for the summer.
Since it’s also Spring Cleaning time, be on the lookout as you’re cleaning out your garage, opening the windows for fresh air, and clearing up the winter mess from the yard. Be on the lookout for three things:
- Water or moisture that will attract bugs and small posts.
- Dark and hidden spaces where bugs and spiders will make their new home.
- Cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation, siding, and roof where pests can make their way indoors.
This is the best time of year to prepare and prevent pests since they’re most vulnerable, mating, and laying eggs. Treating your home, gardens, and yard today can save you a ton of energy and money later! Here’s a detailed checklist:
- Cabinets and Pantries – empty out, vacuum out, and wipe down to ensure no food or traces of food are in there.
- Windows and Doors – patch and replace screens and insulation that may be damaged and provide a means into your home.
- Garages – move your lumber and stuff off the floor onto shelves with plenty of room to wipe and vaccuum in, around, and behind them. Break down boxes and toss out anything that will provide a home or bedding for pests.
- Leaks and Drips – keep an eye out for any puddles or moisture around pipes and hoses and fix them all.
- Foundation – walk around your home and look for breaks in your siding and cracks in your foundation. You can typically find outdoor caulking kits you can use to fill them.
- Firewood – store old firewood away from your home. Spiders and pests love wood piles.
- Soffit – clean and inspect your soffits frequently looking for wasps who may start building a new hive.
And, as always, if you find a nest or some other creature that sends you screaming – give us a call and we’ll take care of you.
Vacation may be the highlight of your year, but humans aren’t the only species you can find boarding flights and sleeping in hotel rooms. Every year, 488 million people in the United State travel, with 1.8 million of those people traveling to cities like Chicago, London and New York on business. With pests like bed bugs found in all 50 states, the risk of picking up an uninvited guest is significant. Learning more about the life cycles, appearance and signs of an infestation can help you keep these tiny hitchhikers out of your home upon returning from your next business trip or vacation.
The Pests That Come Home With You
The most common types of pests you find in luggage, or in items you buy new or used, are bed bugs, fleas, cockroaches, and ants. Each of these pests has unique characteristics and habits that can help you identify an infestation early.
- Bed bugs are tiny bugs that usually live in mattresses and bedding. The signs of an infestation include itchy welts upon waking and dark spots on your bedding caused by waste products or crushed bed bugs. Bed bugs can also live in appliances, inside drawers, and behind electrical outlets, and the bugs can survive for months without food. These pests often enter the home on your luggage or clothing.
- Cockroaches also enter the home by hiding away in virtually anything you bring into your home, including cardboard boxes, clothing, and luggage. These pests are also found throughout the world and can find hidden food and water sources in the home easily. Fast treatment is usually recommended if you see even one cockroach in your home.
- Ants are attracted to the scent of food. To reduce the risk of an ant infestation, seal all foods in resealable plastic bags before leaving your destination and check the food when you arrive home. Sweet foods are particularly attractive to ants, but these pests eat a variety of foods and are most commonly found in vehicles, including buses, trains and personal vehicles, where food is eaten during long trips.
- Fleas are small, jumping insects that cause itchy bites in humans and furry pets, like cats and dogs. These insects are commonly found on clothing or in luggage after you stay in a hotel or rental cottage that is infested with the insects. The insects may initially cause only minor problems like an occasional bite, but the infestation usually worsens over time even if you don’t have pets.
Preventing Pests Before Your Hotel Check-In
Preventing pests is the simplest way to avoid taking them home with you. Hotel reviews are a simple way to get insider information on hotels in cities around the world. Avoid any hotels that have recent reviews indicating pest problems, and avoid hotels with room prices that seem too good to be true. Sometimes, the hotels with the cheapest rates are those that skimp on necessities like regular inspections from pest professionals. Other ways to prevent hitchhiking pests before your check-in include the following:
- Check the Bed Bug Registry to see if your hotel has had an infestation and how long ago.
- Choose luggage that reduces the risk of pest infestations. Opt for washable luggage, like a duffel bag or hard-shell suitcast, whenever possible.
- Before entering your room, leave your luggage in the hallway with your family and examine the room carefully. If you’re by yourself, place the luggage on a counter or on the luggage rack (typically found in the closet). Bed bugs are easiest to spot by examining the crease between the headboard and mattress but can be found anywhere on the mattress or bedding. The insects look like small black dots during their nymph stage, so make sure to use bright lighting while checking your room.
- During your stay, do not put dirty laundry on the floor. Bring your own plastic bag or use the dry cleaning bag left in the room.
- Ants and cockroaches are commonly found under sinks, around plumbing fixtures, and near food preparation areas. Examine these areas carefully for live insects or insect waste, which may look like pieces of dirt.
- Both fleas and bed bugs live in carpeting and on soft furnishings like beds and sofas. Fleas may not be noticeable until you feel an itchy bite. Examine your exposed skin for tiny, dark brown spots that suddenly jump away to identify fleas.
- Bed bugs usually do not bite until you are sleeping unless the infestation is severe, while fleas bite at any time. You should be able to identify a severe bed bug infestation almost immediately if you examine the bedding and mattress after checking in.
If you see any signs, contact the front desk, switch rooms or hotels immediately. If it’s a bed bug infestation, report it to the Bed Bug Registry. Infestations are not often passed from room to room.
Preventing Pests from Hitchhiking Home With You
Chances are that you may not even notice that you have friends stowed away, so follow these steps to remove the risk of letting them into your home.
- To prevent an infestation, or as a cautionary measure, seal your luggage in a garbage bag before you put it into your car. If you are taking a taxi home, seal the luggage outdoors or in the garage after you unpack. It is better to toss luggage if you have confirmed the presence of bed bugs in your hotel, as these pests are difficult to exterminate once they have an established nest in your home.
- If you have confirmed bed bugs at your hotel, leave your luggage sealed for up to six months after removing your personal belongings, or toss the luggage and purchase new bags. If is often easier to buy new luggage than to treat an infestation of bed bugs. If your bag is washable, wash it in hot water and dry it on high heat to eliminate the risk of infestation.
- You should also leave your shoes on the porch, or in the garage, for at least 24 hours to eliminate insects like ants. Seal your shoes for up to six months if you suspect bed bugs may be on your clothing or luggage or have the shoes professionally cleaned before taking them inside.
- After sealing your luggage, change into clothing from home, and wash all the clothing from your trip in the hottest water possible. If you don’t want to wash clothes that are clean, put the clothes in a dryer set on high heat, and let the clothing go through the full drying cycle. The high heat cycle is hot enough to kill all common pests.
With some basic research and a few precautionary measures, you can prevent bringing pests back from your vacations and business trips. If you do find an invasion of hitchhikers in your home, a simple call to a professional pest control company is enough to send any insect packing.