How Can I Get Rid of Cockroaches?

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“Even though I keep a clean home, I have seen roaches in my home. What is attracting them and how do I get rid of them?”

We commonly have homeowners contact us who have found roaches in their home and want to know what is attracting them and how they can get rid of them.

“Believe it or not, there are actually 4,500 species of cockroaches in the world; only 30 are considered pests, and five are found in the Arizona area: American, German, Oriental, Turkestan and Brown banded. “

Answer: Cockroaches can find their way into the home through cracks and gaps, through drains, or often within goods being transported into the home. Once in the home they can reproduce quickly and are known to be very resilient once they have become established. For these reasons, even a well-kept home can find themselves host to a roach infestation. Depending on the breadth of infestation, they can be difficult to eradicate. The only way to get rid of a deep roach infestation is to eliminate the nest, which can be difficult for a homeowner, or even impossible, because they often set up home in wall crevices, floor cracks, your foundation, and other areas that are extremely hard to reach. Treatment is most often done with insecticides that can kill roaches, or better yet, be taken back to the nest to infect the rest of the population. It’s important to determine what type of cockroach has infested your home to establish the best way to eliminate them.

Types of Cockroaches Found in Phoenix

Believe it or not, there are actually 4,500 species of cockroaches in the world; only 30 are considered pests, and five are found in the Arizona area: American, German, Oriental, Turkestan and Brown banded. As a homeowner, you probably don’t care what kind of cockroach you have, but pest control companies do, as the type of species will determine the most effective treatment.

Brown banded cockroaches prefer warm, dry places and live and nest exclusively indoors, often at higher locations, such as in ceilings, and tall kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

German cockroaches, the most common kind of roach, are found in warm, humid areas near food and water sources, and are a common problem in kitchens and bathrooms, especially near warm, running appliances.

Oriental cockroaches like wet, cool environments and tend to live indoors, at ground-level, usually in basements, near pipes and drains, in wall voids, under sinks, in sewers, under rocks, and even inside pipes and ventilation systems.

American cockroaches, which is typically the species that most people envision when they hear the word “cockroach,” prefer warmer climates, but can endure lower temperatures. They live outside, generally in moist, shady areas in your yard or near garbage cans. They usually enter through foundation cracks, utility pipes, or by climbing up tree branches that touch your home’s walls or roof. You are likely to find them in damp basements, crawl spaces, under sink cabinets, or near toilets or bathtubs.

Turkestan cockroaches are primarily an outdoor species, found in sewers, near outdoor water meters, or in compost piles and lawn debris. The males, which have wings, are strongly attracted to light during the night, so they find their way indoors through open windows and doors.

How Cockroaches Get into Your House

Many roaches enter homes and buildings from outside, through sewer openings, or by hitchhiking in used furniture, boxes, electronic equipment, and other items brought into the home.

How to Prevent Cockroaches from Showing Up

Because each cockroach species is different, the cause for each infestation and tips for prevention are different. Here are the best approaches to minimize the risk of them taking up harborage in your home.

The best way to prevent Brown Banded cockroaches from infesting your home, is to maintain good cleanliness. Avoid leaving out dirty dishes or food and empty your trash often. Be sure to check moving boxes and used furniture for roaches or egg cases before bringing them inside.

German cockroaches are almost always found on the inside of homes in Phoenix, Arizona. Most often they are introduced into a home by bringing in infested items from the inside of a home or business. Furniture, appliances, boxes, and other items are the most common infested items. To prevent German cockroaches from getting into the home, thoroughly inspect items that you are bringing into your home. This species of cockroach can multiply very quickly and can be difficult to eliminate. The gross cockroach infestations you see in restaurants or on YouTube are often German cockroach infestations.

Because Oriental cockroaches usually enter through pipes, structural cracks or gaps in doors and windows, it’s essential to caulk all ground-level cracks, stop water leaks, keep drain traps capped, remove rotting leaves from window wells, and move garbage cans out from moist areas.

To prevent infestation of American cockroaches, seal up cracks in your foundation, and around windows and doors. Keep bushes, shrubs, and trees trimmed away from your home, as these pests will climb up them to enter the house.

To avert Turkestan cockroaches from entering your home, make sure your door and window screens don’t have any holes if you keep them open at night. Because they like dark, wet piles outside, keep composting and lawn debris maintained and away from the walls of your home.

Strategies to Rid your Home of the Problem

DIY treatments, bait stations, and exclusion tactics are the common approaches that can have some effectiveness for low-level problems and the occasional sightings. However, for larger infestations, it’s important to have a professional assess the breadth of the problem and to implement the most effective treatment plan aimed at getting to the root of the problem.

The advantage of using a pest control company is that these experts will determine exactly what type(s) of cockroaches you have, and prescribe the best treatment based on the species’ tendencies and resistances. Different protocols have different timelines; for example, it may take months to rid your home of German cockroaches, while other species are quicker to fully exterminate.

Be prepared that it may get worse before it gets better. Exterminators will first purge the pests at the source, where they hide, nest, and breed, so it may feel like there are more in your home, but really, they are fleeing. Your pest control company will schedule ongoing inspections and treatments to make sure you are roach-free. Click here to get your free quote on roach control if you need help getting rid of them. We have offices in Phoenix and Gilbert and we serve the entire area including Mesa and Peoria.

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