While West Chester residents have plenty of different pests to worry about, they’ve especially got to watch out for cockroaches. Roaches are a common invader of local homes and businesses, especially these species:

American cockroach: Also called palmetto bugs and water bugs, American cockroaches can grow up to three inches long, and are the largest house-infesting roach.

German cockroach: German cockroaches may be smaller, but they reproduce the fastest out of any roach species, and have two dark, parallel streaks behind their heads.

Brown-banded cockroach: This roach’s name comes from the noticeable, brown bands that run across their body.
Wood cockroach: While they may prefer to infest your porch, deck, or other outdoor structures, wood cockroaches need a lot of moisture to survive.

Oriental cockroach: Oriental cockroaches are almost as large as American cockroaches, and tend to be dark brown to black.

Whether you’re dealing with the large American roach or moisture-loving wood roaches, dealing with these pests can be dangerous. Here’s what West Chester homeowners should know about where cockroaches infest, the true dangers of cockroaches, and what to do if you’re dealing with an infestation.

oriential cockroach on a rock
american cockroach on floor

Do Cockroaches Only Infest Dirty Homes?

There are many misconceptions floating around about cockroaches, but one of the biggest is that roaches only infest dirty homes. However, this is false. Although unsanitary or dirty homes may be more attractive to cockroaches (and make it easier for them to survive), these pests aren’t picky. They may prefer unsanitary homes, but if they end up in a clean house, they’re unlikely to leave unless they’re exterminated.

Cockroaches are resilient and formidable enough to survive in almost any environment, including sanitary and clean homes. So, as unsettling as roaches are, finding them in your home isn’t necessarily a sign of poor housekeeping.

Cockroaches may use pipes or holes in shared walls to travel from one apartment to another, and once they’re inside your space, they can survive off almost anything. Non-food materials, like decaying matter, hair, or even books, can all serve as a food source for cockroaches. So, even if you practice proper food and trash storage, the roaches in your home can still feed off personal items or even discarded hair follicles.

Are Cockroaches Dangerous In West Chester, PA?

Whether you’ve got a clean house or a dirty one, the dangers of cockroaches remain the same. Many cockroach species rely on pipes, sewers, and drains for travel and a place to feed on decaying organic matter. Some roaches, like German cockroaches, even prefer to breed and reproduce in sewers and drains.

As a result, cockroaches often pick up harmful pathogens and bacteria that they bring into your home – such as salmonellosis, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. As they crawl across surfaces, especially kitchen surfaces, looking for food and water, cockroaches can spread these pathogens around your home.

It’s not uncommon for roaches to contaminate surfaces that you eat off or even contaminate individual food items. In some cases, roaches may even scratch you with their spiny legs and spread bacteria that way.

Besides the bacteria and pathogens they may have, roaches can be a health concern in another way – an enzyme found in their discarded skin and saliva can trigger asthmatic symptoms and allergies in many people, especially younger children. If someone in your home already has asthma, a cockroach infestation can worsen their existing symptoms.

How To Handle A Cockroach Infestation In West Chester, PA

Not only are cockroaches excellent hiders, but most species, especially German cockroaches, reproduce extremely quickly. Over-the-counter treatments may be able to eliminate some of the infestation. Still, they’re unlikely to kill every cockroach in your home – and the survivors will only relocate and begin reproducing again.

Getting rid of a cockroach infestation on your own may be almost impossible (and even dangerous), so many homeowners opt for professional help – like those of us at Masters Touch Pest Solutions. We’re committed to providing you with the best service possible. If you suspect that you’ve got roaches in your home, there’s no reason to wait. Contact us at Masters Touch Pest Solutions today for more information about our cockroach control services or more advice and assistance.

 

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