There are as many as 4,000 species of cockroach reported throughout the world. However, there are only four species of roaches classified as pests in Utah. Although others are still present, they’re not common in households, and so they’re not a concern for residents and homeowners. The four cockroaches that plague Utah homes are:
- German cockroach
- American cockroach
- Oriental cockroach
- Brownbanded cockroach
Cockroaches are some of the most undesirable pests for several reasons. For one, they have dirty habits (hiding, resting, and reproducing in sewers and garbage), and so they carry disease, and are one of the major contributors to allergens in humans. In fact, having roaches present can severely increase symptoms of asthma and allergies in individuals. Cockroaches are one of the most difficult species of pests to get rid of for a few reasons:
- They’re resistant to many insecticides and famously tough and hardy.
- They’re good at hiding, and so can be hard to catch and eliminate. Many are even savvy enough to avoid usual bait and traps used for wiping out insect populations.
- They reproduce quickly, as often as every 8 weeks.
Roaches feed on just about anything, from human feces to grease stains, to furniture glue. Because roaches are so good at surviving, it’s important to get the help of a professional, instead of just getting some bug spray from the store and trying to take care of it yourself.
Preventing Cockroaches in Your Home
- Seal up cracks and holes in and around the house so they can’t get in or around as easily. This might include using caulking to seal cracks, installing mesh on pipes and vents, and adding weather stripping and door sweepers to windows and doors.
- Eliminate drips and moisture by keeping pipes snug and in good repair.
- Keep area clean and tidy, without room for roaches to hide.
- Don’t leave out food sources for them to thrive on. Clear out garbage in a timely manner and clean up crumbs and pet food. Keep food stuff in airtight containers.
To Get Rid of a Cockroach Infestation
Because of how difficult they are to kill, roaches usually call for an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy. In order to rid your home of these pests, we’ll employ a variety of methods, including:
- Thorough inspection to determine the species of cockroach and the preferred habitat in your home. We’ll look for signs like droppings, shed skins, egg cases and the roaches themselves. In order to get a better idea of the roach population, we might also use traps, placed in areas that roaches usually like to hang out, including under the toilet, refrigerator, and under sinks.
- Inorganic dusts like diatomaceous earth, boric acid, and silicates can cut or absorb the outer layer (cuticle) of an insect’s exoskeleton, which can cause them to dry out and die. Applied in a light layer on surfaces frequented by roaches can kill them, but beware putting it in areas where it might be ingested by people or pets, as it can be harmful for us too.
- Insect growth regulators will halt a cockroach population’s growth by stopping immature roaches from developing, and mature roaches from being able to reproduce.
- Baits are some of the most effective methods for eliminating roach populations. However, cockroaches are tricky, and so it might be necessary to monitor baits to see if roaches are actually consuming the poison, or if they’re consuming slowly, but developing an immunity to it. If roaches are avoiding the baits, it’s best to rotate those baits out with another chemical class.