One of the hardest lessons for a young child to learn is the necessity to share. Maybe you were different, but most don't want their siblings to play with their toys — especially their favorite toys. As we age, we learn the necessity of sharing if we are going to make friends and work through life. Although we understand the benefits of sharing, we still have our limits.
One of those thresholds we won't cross is sharing our house with cockroaches. We will not tolerate living with those nasty insects running around in our home at night. We can't stand cockroaches in our house because they have a deserved reputation as filthy creatures.
We don't want to be embarrassed by cockroaches scurrying out from beneath our furniture when we have visitors. We do not like it when cockroaches startle us in the middle of the night as they run across the floor looking for cover when we flip on the lights in the bathroom or kitchen. We don't want to throw out food because cockroaches have been walking over it in the kitchen.
If you see cockroaches in your home or if you know they are infesting a neighbor's house, take action and get the West Chester pest control team from Masters Touch Pest Solutions. For over 30 years, our locally owned and operated company has provided pest control with a personal touch. Our pest management professionals know the habits of cockroaches and will remove them from your West Chester home. We want you to win the war against this disgusting pest; keep reading to learn important information and tips.
How To Identify A German Cockroach
There are many species of cockroaches, but the German cockroach is the most common invader of West Chester homes. Cockroaches are insects, and like all insects, they have three pairs of segmented legs; however, cockroach legs have spines protruding. One of the ways cockroaches spread is because their spiny legs attract disease-causing pathogens lying on the surfaces of the filthy areas where they forage. Cockroaches have two long, thin antennae that they use to navigate in the dark and find food. The body of a cockroach is long and flat, with the head hidden by a cover called a pronotum.
Cockroaches produce a pheromone to attract the opposite sex for reproductive purposes. The sensitive olfactory system in male cockroaches detects the female's pheromone plume and follows it to its source locating the female. The musty odor from the pheromones can be smelled in the house when there is a heavy infestation.
German cockroaches, like all insects, have a skeleton covering the body, known as an exoskeleton. This exterior shell prevents them from growing, so they must molt or shed the exoskeleton to progress through various growth stages. A way to identify if German cockroaches are in your West Chester home is the presence of dark-colored skins in cracks, corners, cabinets, appliances, furniture, and around drains.
In conjunction with these general characteristics, German cockroaches have these distinctions:
- Length: 1/2 to 5/8 inches long (Adults)
- Color: Light brown to tan
- Unique features: Two nearly parallel strips on the pronotum behind the head
- Wings: Yes, but they do not fly
- Droppings: Pepper-like flakes resembling coffee grounds
German cockroaches are the most common invaders of West Chester homes because they are the most prolific of the 3,500 cockroach species worldwide. Female adult German cockroaches produce several purse-like egg capsules (an ootheca) during their 100-day lifetime. Each ootheca contains 30 to 40 eggs. Female German cockroaches often have a yellowish-brown egg capsule protruding from the abdomen. The presence of 1/4-inch tan-colored egg capsules signifies German cockroaches.
German cockroaches create three to six generations yearly; about 10,000 cockroaches annually. German cockroaches go through three phases in their lifecycle, egg, nymph, and adult. The maturing offspring are darker with a lighter tan spot surrounded by two dark stripes on their midsection. If there is a German cockroach infestation in your West Chester home, about 80% will be nymphs, with the remaining 20% being adults.
If you see cockroaches fitting these descriptions, you need German cockroach pest control from Masters Touch Pest Solutions before the infestation enlarges and becomes more dangerous.
German Cockroaches In Your Home Is A Serious Health Risk
Cockroaches of all types are dangerous in homes, and German cockroaches are no exception. German cockroaches forage in drains, garbage disposals, and trash cans inside homes. As they search for food in these areas of rotting food and feces, the spines on their legs attract bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms. When the cockroaches travel from hiding spots to food locations, the pathogens on their legs fall off and contaminate surfaces spreading disease.
In addition to attracting organisms to their spiny legs, German cockroaches ingest bacteria, viruses, and worms when they eat food in those filthy areas. Cockroaches defecate and deposit pathogens in drawers, cabinets, food products, and eating and cooking surfaces.
Another way German cockroaches spread infections and illness is through saliva. Cockroaches use their mandibles to chew through plastic containers, wrappers, and paper. As they gnaw on these items, they deposit saliva into the product or on the exterior. These disease-causing organisms cause salmonellosis, typhoid fever, cholera, gastroenteritis, dysentery, listeriosis, giardia, and E. coli infections. Diarrhea, vomiting, muscle aches, and nausea are symptoms of these diseases that, in some cases, may require hospitalization.
Cockroaches produce a protein on their body, saliva, and fecal matter that causes allergic reactions in some people. If family members consistently experience a runny nose, coughing, and watery or itchy eyes, it may be due to airborne protein or touching products and surfaces contaminated by the cockroaches. In some cases, the protein triggers asthmatic attacks causing shortness of breath, chest tightening, and breathing difficulties.
West Chester homeowners need German cockroach control from Masters Touch Pest Solutions to avoid these health issues.
How And Why German Cockroaches Find Their Way Into Our Homes
German cockroaches need warmth to survive. They live in warm areas from 70℉ to 80℉; they cannot survive more than ten hours in temperatures below 45℉. Although unlikely, if German cockroaches enter your home from the outside, it will be during the late spring to early fall before the declining temperatures kill them. If they enter from the outside, it will be through cracks in the foundation, soffits, and around window and door frames. They may also enter by crawling underneath unprotected door thresholds and through open garages.
Since German cockroaches in the house do not usually enter from the outside, how do they get inside? German cockroaches hitchhike in handbags, luggage, cardboard boxes, on used furniture and appliances. German cockroaches can squeeze into openings only 3/8 inches wide, allowing them to enter West Chester houses unnoticed.
In addition to needing warmth to survive, German cockroaches require moisture. They find the combination of warm, moist air around water heaters, appliance motors, garbage disposals, laundry rooms, and drains in the kitchen and bathroom; however, they may sometimes live underneath furniture in living rooms, dens, and bedrooms.
German cockroaches, like all living creatures, need food. Because these insects are omnivores, they consume just about anything from meats, seeds, nuts, sweets, and salty foods. In addition to typical human foods, they eat glue, book bindings, toothpaste, paper, and other product made from living organisms.
Finding shelter is another reason German cockroaches are in West Chester houses. They hide in cracks, crevices, cabinets, cupboards, furniture, and cardboard boxes. They will find a place to hide if the area is 70℉ to 80℉ and has a nearby food and water source.
In addition to German cockroach treatment from Masters Touch Pest Solutions, we recommend the following to prevent future infestations:
- Inspect all handbags and luggage when returning home
- Inspect used furniture, appliances, and electronic equipment before installing them in the house
- Seal cracks around the exterior of the house
- Provide proper ventilation to bathrooms and crawl spaces
- Cover all trash cans inside and outside the home
- Vacuum the house regularly
- Suction out corners and cracks
- Disinfect cooking and eating surfaces after each meal
- Remove pet food from bowls before bed
- Store food in air-tight containers
In summary, maintaining a clean and dry environment will help prevent future infestations once Masters Touch Pest Solutions eliminates the bugs from your West Chester house.
The Pros To Call To Get Rid Of German Cockroaches For Good
As previously noted, German cockroaches are prolific reproducers; just a few will quickly multiply into thousands. If you find a cockroach in your house, you need Masters Touch Pest Solutions to inspect your West Chester home. Our pest service professional will look for entry points, attractants, nesting locations, and hot spots. They will create a strategic plan to kill existing cockroaches and destroy their eggs. Upon approval, our pest service professional will treat your West Chester home using safe and effective products to remove the German cockroaches from your house. Contact us today to learn more about our plans and to get your free quote.