There is no doubt that cockroaches are among the most disgusting creatures on the planet. Whether you see one scoot across the breakfast table, just missing your bagel, or crawling out of your shoe, just as you go to put it on, any of these things is equally disturbing. In fact, if you are like most folks, any sighting of a cockroach is enough to make your skin crawl. But, hopefully, this article will shed some light on these awful insects and give you some ideas on how to avoid them as the weather warms up.
Before answering the question of why cockroach populations explode during the summer months, let’s look at what happens to cockroaches, and insects in general, when temperatures turn colder. When summer turns to fall, and winter approaches, it is very noticeable that the number of insects we see in and around our homes continues to decline. This is because insects are cold-blooded, they slow down when temperatures drop. And while many will die off, the ones that are hidden inside wall voids will simply slow down. And when they slow down, they do not multiply as quickly.
When temperatures warm up again, those cockroaches that have been laying low for the winter will suddenly go into high gear, searching for food sources and multiplying like crazy. Cockroaches are famous for loving warm, humid areas, so they will typically be found congregating in certain areas inside homes, such as kitchens and bathrooms. And when temperatures get too hot outside, they will find their way into buildings to escape the heat. Whether roaches are coming inside to escape the cold, or the hot heat, once they are inside, they will multiply and grow their populations and be extremely difficult to completely eradicate without professional help.
What Are Some Warning Signs Of A Cockroach Infestation?
- Cockroach sighting. The most obvious sign that you have cockroaches is, you guessed it, actually seeing a roach. But, be warned, if you see just one cockroach, or maybe a few, this could be an indication that there are hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, just out of sight inside your walls.
- Finding crunchy “shells.” Cockroaches shed their skins and leave them behind. These are usually found in secluded areas of a home and can be a dead giveaway that you have a cockroach infestation. Cockroaches have a couple of different ways that they leave their skins behind. One way is they shed skin as they grow, to make room for a larger version of themselves. Another way is for female roaches only. Female roaches can produce as many as 400 eggs in a single year, which is a lot. Because of this, their bodies have what is called an ootheca, which is a shell that protrudes from the back of their body. This ootheca protects their eggs and, periodically needs to be shed.
- A bad smell. Cockroaches release a chemical smell in order to attract a mate. It can be described as a strong oily smell and is not attractive at all to humans. A few places you may notice this smell if you have a cockroach infestation are storage areas, garages, or attic spaces.
- Black streak marks. Roaches leave their droppings everywhere they roam. These droppings may be found in kitchen drawers, on food shelves or in cabinets where dishes are stored. They may also leave them on the floor near baseboards.
Are You Attracting Cockroaches To Your Home?
There are several things about a home that can make it more attractive to cockroaches. First, we will look at outside attractants. One thing is clutter. A yard that is cluttered is more attractive to insect and animal pests alike. Clearing your yard of objects, leaf piles, and other items will help in keeping pests at bay. Moisture is another thing that attracts roaches. All pests need a water source to survive. If you have clogged gutters, areas of hardened ground that collects rainwater, or any other spot where water collects, cockroaches will love you for it. Another attractant is food sources. Roaches will eat just about anything and if you have pet food outside, leftover barbecue foods, or vegetable gardens and fruit trees, cockroaches will be drawn into your yard.