Cockroaches are durable pests able to survive in a variety of conditions and as such are extremely difficult insects to manage. They are known to adapt to a range of environments but generally prefer the warmer habitats found indoors. Cockroaches spend close to 80% of their lives hiding in small cracks and dark spaces, meaning it is almost always difficult for homeowners to grasp the severity of an infestation. If you do see a cockroach in the daytime, it’s possible there is a large population of them nearby, so check for any of these telltale signs:
- Cockroach feces, which vary proportionally with the size of the cockroach.
- A lingering musty odor, usually indicative of a more severe infestation. Less serious infestations produce unpleasant smells as well.
- Dead cockroach bodies scattered on the floor.
- Egg cases hidden behind furniture and in hard-to-reach places. These can be challenging to find, but are highly problematic signs.
Cockroaches are a nuisance, but they can also be physically harmful to humans, especially if there is a large infestation present. A 2005 study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences showed that cockroach allergens appear to worsen asthma symptoms more than other known triggers. Cockroaches are also likely to carry bacteria, and are the pest that most commonly causes human food poisoning. If you believe you may have a cockroach infestation, contact a local exterminator for a thorough inspection in order to keep your home safe.