No one wants to wake up to a cockroach crawling across the countertop! Unfortunately, these hardy and persistent pests are common in Ventura County, California, and keeping them from taking over your home can be a challenge. But how do you prevent cockroaches from entering your home? Despite their persistence, there are ways to keep cockroaches out and your home cockroach-free. Addressing issues like points of entry and potential food sources can help you avoid and prevent cockroach infestations.
- Types of cockroaches: German, American, Oriental, and Turkestan
Seal entry points: Seal cracks and openings in walls, windows, and doors.
- Eliminate food sources: Clean kitchen, store food properly, and keep a clean home.
- Inspect items coming into your home: Check storage boxes, grocery bags, and used furniture for signs of roaches.
- Address outdoor issues: Manage vegetation, keep firewood away from home, and secure pet food bowls and garbage cans.
Types of cockroaches you may encounter
To begin the battle of cockroach prevention, it is best to understand your enemy. In our area, there are four main species of cockroaches that you may encounter, and understanding what attracts each species will help you create an effective prevention plan.
German cockroaches are the most common cockroach species worldwide. These roaches are light brown to tan in color with two dark parallel stripes down their back. These roaches prefer warm, humid locations next to a food and water source, so they are most often found in kitchens.
American cockroaches are the largest roaches in our area, often growing to over 2 inches in length. They are reddish-brown in color with a yellow band outlining the area behind the head. Like German cockroaches, American cockroaches are attracted to food and moisture sources and are often found in kitchen areas.
Oriental cockroaches often referred to as waterbugs, are shiny black in color and seek areas of high moisture and humidity. These cockroaches are more likely to be found near leaky pipes or faucets or in sink drains.
Turkestan cockroaches are dark brown to black in color with cream-colored markings along the side of the body. These roaches are most often found outside near areas of water, compost piles, leaf piles, wood piles, or cracks in the concrete or foundation. During the summer months, they may venture inside looking for moisture.
How to prevent cockroaches from entering your home
While seeing a roach crawl across your kitchen counter may make your skin crawl, the fact is these pests can be a serious issue. They can quickly contaminate your food, spread germs and diseases, contribute to allergies, worsen asthma, and fill your home with a musty smell. Once they take over your home, getting rid of these persistent pests can often be a challenge. In order to keep your home roach-free, prevention is key.
1. Seal entry points
Cockroaches can enter your home through even the smallest of cracks and crevices. In order to prevent entry, you want to seal all cracks, as well as pipes and wall junctures. In addition, check all windows and doors for potential cracks and openings and seal with weather stripping.
2. Eliminate food sources
Cockroach prevention often begins in the kitchen where potential food sources can be in abundance. Because roaches are most active at night, cleaning your kitchen before going to bed is an essential prevention strategy. Clean all dishes from the sink and remove any food residue from sink drains. Wipe down all countertops to remove crumbs and sweep the floors. In addition, take out the trash at the end of each day to remove another potential food source. In addition, pick up and store away any uneaten pet food overnight as this can be a target for roaches.
3. Store food properly
Cockroaches have the ability to squeeze into small places, such as between the openings of cardboard food containers or rolled bags of food. Oftentimes, these pets will enter to food at night and be gone before you ever see a trace. Unfortunately, when roaches come in contact with food, they can spread germs that can make you and your family sick. Keeping food in sealed containers will keep the roaches out. This includes both your food items, as well as pet food.
4. Keep a clean home
Regular cleaning of the home is important to help eliminate potential food sources for cockroaches. Keeping your kitchen sink free from dirty dishes and your countertops free from food crumbs helps to eliminate potential cockroach buffets. Vacuuming on a regular basis helps to remove food crumbs from family and pets throughout the home.
5. Inspect all items coming into your home
While sealing off points of entry is essential to keep cockroaches from entering your home, the fact is you can actually bring cockroaches in if you aren’t careful. Everything from storage boxes to grocery bags and used furniture can harbor roaches and, when you bring these items into the home, you bring in the roaches too. Carefully inspect everything you bring into the home for signs of roaches.
6. Address outdoor issues
Keeping roaches from entering your home includes managing your outdoor space. For example, thick vegetation around your home’s foundation can provide hiding spaces for roaches, as well as hidden entry points. Keeping vegetation away from the foundation and inspecting for cracks is essential. In addition, keep things like stacked firewood away from the home. You also want to address potential food sources outside, such as pet food bowls and garbage cans. Make sure to put up food bowls at night and ensure that your garbage can has a secure lid.
Keeping your home cockroach-free
Trying to prevent cockroach infestations can be challenging and, despite your best efforts, you may still wake up to find signs of a cockroach infestation. If you feel like you are fighting a losing battle, it may be time to call in the experts.
At Insight Pest Management, our team of experts understands cockroach behavior. If you have an infestation already, we will eliminate the cockroaches and then work with you to create an effective prevention plan to keep your home cockroach-free. To learn how we can help, schedule a free evaluation today.