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If there’s one thing that all homeowners in and around Portland, Maine fear equally, it’s probably seeing a cockroach. Usually, noticing just one lone roach roaming around the house is enough to make them contact a professional company for pest control in Maine.

That’s not an overreaction. It’s actually a very wise move- and a necessary one.

Cockroaches are one of the most dreaded household pests because they multiply fast. These disgusting insects love to hide in dark and damp areas such as behind your sink, fridge, kitchen drawers, and bathroom cabinets as well as in plumbing lines and various other nooks and crannies around your house.

Since they are always searching for food, water, and shelter, it can be hard to make your place unappealing for these invaders. The scary thing is that cockroaches pose a serious health and safety hazard.

According to research, cockroaches carry around 33 different types of germs and bacteria responsible for different diseases. This includes salmonella typhi, which causes typhoid; poliomyelitis, which can lead to polio; and E.coli bacteria, which causes dysentery, a disease characterized by severe diarrhea and bleeding.

The University of Maine identifies the German cockroach as the most common species to infest homes in the state. These are about ½ inch long and generate over 35,000 offspring per year!

That’s why seeing even a single cockroach around the house must not be taken lightly.

How to Identify a Cockroach Infestation

The following signs can help you determine whether what you saw was just a stray cockroach or a member of a whole colony thriving in your house.

You Spot a Roach Now and Then

Cockroaches are nocturnal insects, i.e., they are typically active during the night only. If you spot one during the day, there’s a high chance that you have a serious problem at your hands. This is because, despite the lack of darkness, they tend to come out in the open mostly due to overcrowding. The lack of food supplies enables them to brave the daylight in order to survive.

The interesting thing is that seeing even dead roaches around the house can signify an ongoing infestation. So, watch out! 

There’s Roach Feces on Your Stuff

From dead leaves and insects to human food, garbage, dead skin cells, etc… cockroaches eat a lot! They have a huge appetite and an equally high metabolism rate to digest it all.

Thus, one of the biggest telltale signs of a cockroach infestation is a visible amount of droppings around the place. Roach feces can look like tiny brown specks on your stuff or even considerably large oval pellets that somewhat resemble ground coffee. Sorry for the example, but if you don’t want these nasty pests to contaminate your food, you ought to be able to detect even the most subtle signs of their presence indoors.

Make sure to check the pantry, cupboards, and similar areas where they might have access to food or food traces such as the space behind the stove.

Seeing Cockroach Eggs

Cockroach eggs, called oothecae, resemble oddly-shaped oblong brown casings with a thin, papery texture.

Cockroaches lay eggs in sheltered places. So, if you find evidence of breeding, it typically means that the problem has already gone out of control. You will need a professional pest exterminator in Portland, Maine to deal with the infestation.

However, on the brighter side, finding roach eggs allows you to quickly take the corrective measures before they cause wreak more havoc for you and your family members.

Your House Smells Weird

If there’s a strange pungent order in your house that’s only becoming stronger with each passing day, get in touch with an expert pest control service immediately!

The odor might be due to cockroach feces and cast skins that produce oleic acid when decomposed by microorganisms in the air. It can not only lead to breathing difficulties but also cause food contamination as the particles are airborne.

What to Do If You Have a Cockroach Infestation

The no-nonsense answer is to hire a pest control service as soon as you possibly can. Professional exterminators use advanced equipment to determine all spots where these repulsive insects might be hiding and then use powerful treatment methods to drive them all out of your house.

Meanwhile, try to follow the tips below to reduce the health and safety risk posed by cockroaches:

  • Don’t leave food open at any time and never eat what was left out on the tables or counter overnight as these abhorring creatures may have  crawled over it already
  • If you notice roach feces in your kitchen, make it a habit to wash all containers, cutlery, jars etc. before opening them
  • Do not leave wet or damp clothes in the laundry bin
  • Try to keep the garbage bin empty at all times. Throw out the waste at your earliest as this will cut off their food supply and hopefully, keep their breeding in control until the exterminator arrives
  • If your cockroach infestation has reached a point where there’s a peculiar smell lingering indoors, wear a medical mask until the house is properly cleaned

How to Prevent a Cockroach Infestation

Good sanitation is the number one to prevent a cockroach infestation. Follow these tips to keep your house free from these formidable foes:

  • Do your dishes daily, wipe the counters, and clean all food spills as they easily attract cockroaches
  • Regularly clean and disinfect your pantry, kitchen drawers, and bathroom cabinets
  • Don’t forget to clean behind the stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, toaster, and other similar appliances
  • Store all food in sealed containers. Transfer pet food to plastic containers as cardboard boxes provide the ideal breeding ground for these insects
  • Use a trash can with a tight-fitting lid and keep it away from the home
  • Check all pipes for leaks and fix any damaged lines as they become the water source for cockroaches.
  • Seal your windows and doors to keep roaches from getting into your house.

If your house has been taken over by cockroaches or you feel that these creepy insects are breeding in the nooks and crannies of your house, get in touch Ants Plus Pest Control in Maine.