Pest infestations of any kind are never a pleasure, but cockroaches are something to make your skin crawl. How can you tell if cockroaches are hiding in your home? Although cockroaches are quite insidious, they usually leave clear signs when they are in your home and have no intention of leaving.
New Allergy Symptoms
Many people are allergic to cockroach droppings, including exoskeletons and feces. If you suddenly experience allergy symptoms after spending time in certain rooms of your home, or if you are experiencing allergies for the first time while in the home, it is a good idea to check the areas where you are having problems for cockroaches.
We all pretty much know what our homes should smell like. Older homes often have unusual odours because of the age of the building materials, but the smell of a cockroach infestation is different. If you notice a new damp, oily or musty smell, you may have cockroaches.
Cockroach “smears” are often reddish-brown or brownish streaks or smears that appear on surfaces where the bugs have crawled. They are very difficult to clean and can easily be mistaken for food stains. In a way, they are food stains, except that the food went through a cockroach first. If you notice strange streaks on surfaces that are difficult to clean, it’s a sign of a bigger problem.
Along with leaving smears on surfaces where they’ve been, cockroaches also leave regular droppings that are more dry. Because these pests are small, their droppings are also miniature and often look like coffee grounds or clusters of dark specks. You might find them in dark areas like cabinets, but they can also be found on surfaces where cockroaches have been hanging out at night.
Cockroaches have no bones, but rely on a hard shell to hold their insides together. As cockroaches grow, they must shed this hard shell or they will die. But since cockroaches don’t care what happens to their exoskeleton, you may see cockroach skins in dark, damp places in your home when an infestation begins.
There are many different kinds of cockroaches, and therefore they have many different packages for their eggs. Some carry their eggs around, others leave the eggs until they hatch. If you spot an elongated brown or red case, or several of them, that’s a pretty good sign that you have a breeding community of cockroaches.
Signs of Feeding
Cockroaches are extremely indiscriminate eaters and will eat anything they can get. Even wallpaper paste is not off limits. However, if they can get at actual food, the bugs are much more likely to chew through food wrappers in pantries, consume pet food left outside, and feed on dirty dishes in the sink or on the stove. Any signs of feeding, including things left behind such as egg cartons or feces, should be taken very seriously.
Living (or Dead) Insects
The best sign of a cockroach infestation is the sight of cockroaches. But not every cockroach necessarily means an infestation, because there are cockroaches that do not enter homes at all, such as the smoke cockroach. These rather large cockroaches end up in the home by accident and do not reproduce indoors. However, if you see smaller, common household pests like German cockroaches, it’s definitely time to address the problem.