You’ve come back to your home after going to a restaurant for a nice dinner. After walking into your kitchen, you open your refrigerator to store your leftovers. There, you finally spot it on a cabinet just a few feet away: one solitary cockroach.
Such a sight is a shock, for many reasons. Cockroaches have a well-deserved reputation for being resilient, disgusting, and difficult to get rid of. Because most of us know that cockroaches tend to be discussed as just that—cockroaches, in plural form—does seeing one cockroach in your home mean you have a nasty infestation on your hands? At Advanced IPM, we’re here to help answer that dreadful question and explain what your options are to deal with it.
Should I Worry About One Cockroach?
Yes, you should be concerned about one cockroach in your home or business. Cockroaches are what can be termed as “social insects,” meaning that they live in groups. By putting out pheromones, cockroaches can communicate with others in their group and even recognize fellow individual roaches by scent. In other words, the presence of one cockroach usually indicates that others are nearby.
Types of Cockroaches in California
Although all cockroaches share physiological traits and exhibit similar behavior, it does matter which type of cockroach you see around your property. In California, there is one main indoor cockroach (the German cockroach) and multiple outdoor cockroaches that can infest your home.
While there are dozens of different kinds of cockroaches around the United States, there are three main kinds of outdoor cockroaches in California. The biggest similarity these cockroaches share is in their preferred habitat, which is outside. Still, they can indeed infest your home in search of moisture, such as during periods of drought.
- American Cockroach—Also called “palmetto bugs,” American cockroaches can grow up to 2 inches or longer and are a reddish-brown color.
- Oriental Cockroach—These dark-brown or black roaches are about 1 inch in length.
- Turkestan Cockroach—At about an inch in length, these roaches aren’t quite as big as the American roaches and are dark brown or black as opposed to reddish.
If you find just one of these larger cockroaches in your home, you will absolutely want to keep an eye out for other cockroach signs. However, because these roaches usually live outside, one can occasionally make their way into your home or property without their friends in tow.
Famous for infesting homes and businesses like restaurants, German cockroaches are the most persistent and common type of cockroach in California as well as throughout the entire world. Unlike outdoor cockroaches, German cockroaches don’t survive well outdoors and purposefully seek to go indoors. This makes them particularly and uniquely problematic.
German cockroaches are smaller than outdoor cockroaches, only about half an inch long. These small roaches are a distinct tan-brown color and sport a pair of darker, parallel markings on their heads.
If you spy just one of these cockroaches in your home, you can almost certainly bet that there will be more of them hanging around somewhere you can’t see.
Signs of a Cockroach Infestation
Cockroaches are nocturnal, so unless you stay up at night with a flashlight, you might never see the roaches that infest your home. Thankfully, there are a few things to look out for that may signify a cockroach infestation:
- Eggs—Cockroaches lay brown egg capsules about half the length of a penny, and these ovoid capsules can hatch dozens of nymphs.
- Droppings—The most common sign of a cockroach infestation, roach droppings look like pepper or coffee grounds and are left behind where roaches often congregate.
- Shed Skin—Roaches shed their skin multiple times in their life, and this is a surefire sign of an infestation.
- Unusual Smells—After enough time, a cockroach infestation will result in a persistent, musty odor in your building.
When Should I Contact Pest Control for Cockroaches?
It can be tricky trying to figure out when to call pest control for cockroaches because determining how big an infestation you have—if you have one at all—isn’t always simple. You should call cockroach control near you if:
- You see multiple cockroaches—One roach isn’t necessarily evidence of an infestation, but two or more is much stronger evidence of an infestation.
- You have seen one cockroach and other signs—Spotting one roach alongside evidence that there are other roaches means that you probably have an infestation.
- You want preventive pest control—The best way to get rid of a cockroach infestation is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
California Cockroach Control
Whether you’ve found one or many cockroaches at your property, you deserve a pest control company that will have your back when you’re ready to give one a call. At Advanced IPM, we’ve been providing cockroach control throughout California and Nevada for years. Our experienced pest technicians can help identify the root of your cockroach problem and implement environmentally-conscious steps to finally get your property roach-free.
You don’t have to live with unwanted cockroach roommates when there’s an alternative. Contact Advanced IPM today for a free pest control quote.