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Get Rid of Cockroaches from your Home

Winter is the worst time for a cockroach infestation in your home in the McAllen area, so now is the time to do what you can to get rid of roaches. Learn the biggest problems related to a roach infestation and what to do if you have one. If a cockroach is spotted in your house, this is a sign of a serious infestation, so don't hesitate to take action right away, and some roach populations won't go away without professional help.

Cockroach Information

Cockroach Species Common in McAllen

These critters originated in tropical and subtropical areas but have found a way to adapt to suburban areas throughout the entire United States, including the cold and wintery areas. Depending on the species, they range in length from ½ inch to over 3 inches long. Other species exist, but these are the main culprits of home invasion, including your residence in McAllen.

  • American Cockroach | Periplaneta americana
    • This cockroach variety can be found around the globe and is the most infamous of all the varieties. Its reddish-brown, shiny exoskeleton, its average length of about 1.5 inches, and its habit for residential building invasion have made it iconic of all roaches. It contains its eggs in a shell called an ootheca, which holds around 16 eggs.

  • German Cockroach | Blattella germanica
    • German roaches have also adapted neatly into residential environments, though they aren't as large or quite as iconic as the American roach, growing to a little under ½ inch in length. On her abdomen, the female carries the ootheca case, which is about two-thirds her body length, until the eggs are nearly ready to hatch. Depositing the eggs near a food source, she leaves the 40 eggs in the ootheca and allows them to hatch and forage on their own.

    Life Cycle and Behaviors

    Cockroaches prefer to skitter along the ground rather than fly unless populations reach large numbers and overpopulate a specific environment. When this occurs, roaches migrate from their chosen harborages to find another location with readily available food and water.

    Roaches exhibit extraordinary abilities for adaptation and survival in the harshest environments, especially when those environments are compared to the roach's evolutionary locations of origin: tropical and subtropical, humid regions. The roach also can live from ten days to up to three weeks without its head, and it dies only due to the lack of water. Its diet is so widely varied that even the scarcest areas can support cockroach survival.


    Cockroaches prefer the same food sources that humans enjoy, which is one reason why they like to live in your home in the McAllen area. They like starchy and sugary foods the most, but they also can eat a number of uncommon foods: starch- or sugar-based glues used in ceilings, walls, cardboard, book bindings, shoes or other clothing items; their own molts, other roaches, blood, human waste, sputum, and fingernails or toenails softened by disease or age, very young or very old.

    Here are the more common food sources roaches will eat:

    • Milk and Milk products, such as Cheese
    • Chicken or Turkey
    • Beef or Pork
    • Grain products, such as Pastries and Bread
    • Plain Table Sugar
    • Candy or other sweets, including Chocolate

    Problems Roaches Cause

    These critters aren't major causes of disease, but they can carry and spread some serious ones, like diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, leprosy, the plagues (bubonic, black, etc.), typhoid fever, and viral diseases like poliomyelitis (polio). They are more likely to cause allergic reactions from their feces or molts and contaminate food with food poisoning diseases or stomach worm eggs picked up from the sewers or other such places.

    Cockroaches Elimination at Home

    Roach Evidence

    Evidence roaches leave are the surest signs of an infestation, though definitive diagnostics may require a pest professional's expertise. If you find any food roaches have begun to eat, discard the affected food right away. The following may be found in the areas listed later.

    • Ootheca | After the eggs hatch from the ootheca egg case shell, the shell will dry and flake off, so you can find these lying around (again, areas to look for these are listed later.) These shells may be hard to find if they were placed inside the walls or in a crevice that is hard to reach.
    • Discarded Molts | Between each of the nymph stages before adulthood, the roach will leave its exoskeleton behind. A molt will look something like a transparent cockroach without wings, and depending on the species, molts may look like crumbs left behind in a crack or on carpeting.
    • Musty Odor | Roaches produce a musty smell that can be nauseating. The stronger the smell, the more roaches you have in your home or a particular area; however, some insects have a similar smell, so this by itself isn't enough for a diagnosis.
    • Roach Poop | Fecal matter from a roach is similar to black pepper attached to a surface where the roaches hide and can become infected with bacteria that produce allergens that cause irritation. Roaches rarely defecate in the open, but their favorite hiding places may be peppered with these little black, sticky dots.

    Places to Find Roach Evidence

    When looking for the above roach evidence, always be sure to wear personal protective equipment. Using a flashlight, inspect cracks and crevices of the following areas.

    • Kitchen and other food preparation areas, flood boards and cracks between walls and floors, and check under, in, and around all appliances, including stoves and stove covers, ovens, toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, freezers, blenders, food processors, mixers, and every other appliance.
    • All places where a roach could find water, including water pipe access cabinets or cupboards, drains, sinks (inside and out), water leakages, water heaters.
    • All areas behind, under and around all furniture, including the underside of all tables, chairs, bookshelves or other shelving, pantries, closets, beds and bedding, loose carpeting or tiles, air ducts, air return vents, sewers, and utility holes.

    Solutions You Can Do at Home

    Few over-the-counter insecticides can kill roaches because of their resistance to many of them. However, there are solutions any homeowner can employ at home.

    • Block Roach Entries | Use silicone caulking to seal any gaps or cracks along the foundation and sill plates. Ensure all window and door screens seal well and are in good repair, and install and maintain weather stripping and door sweeps on the exterior.
    • Roach Kits | Roach kits exist with some products that are optimal for over-the-counter roach control solutions. These kits include gel bait with bait stations that are placed in areas where roaches are found.
    • Boric Acid | This chemical is commonly used in everyday household items and can be purchased at your local hardware store. Apply lightly in areas where roaches are found, but be careful not to apply them where children or pets could be harmed. Human adults are not affected.
    • Home Cleaning Program | Home sanitation is essential for roach management. While they aren't attracted to grime, if their hiding places are regularly sanitized, they are far less likely to stay. Consider purchasing an automatic vacuum that can run at night when they are most active.

    Control Cockroaches Permanently with Fox Pest Control

    Now is the time to take action if you have an infestation, and Fox Pest Control has the right products and the best team to do it. Our Pest Pro technicians are just the ones to identify a roach infestation and do everything necessary to make sure they don't come back. Check out our guaranteed Home Protection Plans for details on our highly-rated programs.

    Maybe you've dealt with roaches in your home in the McAllen area in the past, or maybe you've just started to fight a roach problem, or maybe you're worried and unsure what's going on in you're home. But whatever the case, whatever the situation, call us today so we can restore the peace of mind you crave, give a free quote or set up a free inspection right over the phone, so don't delay your comfort and safety, because pests ... it's what we do.

    Posted on December 13, 2019.

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