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What’s The First Thing Pest Control Professionals Look For When Inspecting Homes For Cockroach Pests?

A Giant Hairy Scorpion native to Arizona climbing on a cactus.

What’s The First Thing Pest Control Professionals Look For When Inspecting Homes For Cockroach Pests?

Cockroaches are one of the most commonly managed insect pests within homes and buildings, and their indoor presence is more than just an annoyance to residents, as cockroaches contribute to the development of asthma and they carry numerous pathogens. According to researchers, professional cockroach control accounts for more than 20 percent of pest management revenue nationwide. Chemical insecticides are no longer the primary method of cockroach control, as chemical insecticides do not address the cause of cockroach infestations, and most cockroach pests have developed a resistance to most chemical insecticide formulations. Today pest control professionals practice integrated pest management, which aims to prevent insect pest infestations by means of “exclusion” and “habitat modification.” In order to pinpoint the indoor conditions that are conducive to cockroaches, pest control professionals first carry out a thorough inspection of infested homes.

Pest control professionals and home inspectors are trained to recognize the structural defects that allow cockroaches to enter homes, as well as the indoor conditions that favor cockroach activity. It is also important for professionals to accurately identify the species of cockroach infesting homes, as cockroach pest species differ in behavior, habitat and food preference. For example, German and brown-banded cockroaches dwell primarily in homes, but Oriental cockroaches alternate between indoor and outdoor habitats, and American cockroaches prefer dwelling in sewers and drains. To put it simply, cockroach control programs differ depending on species.

Some of the most common indoor and outdoor conditions that are conducive to cockroaches include high moisture, loose food scraps, cluttered homes and yards, and abundant vegetation around foundations. Plumbing leaks, pipe condensation, and water from kitchens and bathrooms can make dark floor voids and wall voids ideal cockroach harborages. Clogged gutters, heavy lawn irrigation and improper rainwater drainage systems contribute to high moisture around foundations and within crawl spaces, which can attract cockroaches into homes. Heavy vegetation around foundations can also trap moisture within crawl spaces. Inspections also reveal cracks, crevices and other openings on the exterior walls of homes that cockroaches use to get indoors. The small bits of food that tend to gather beneath kitchen appliances is more than enough to feed large numbers of cockroaches, and clutter provides cockroaches with readily accessible harborages that aid in their dispersal throughout homes. Eliminating all sources of high moisture, removing clutter and sealing entry points is often sufficient to clear up infestations and to prevent further infestations from occurring.

Have you ever contacted a pest control company due to a cockroach infestation?

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