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Spotting an Infestation: 9 Signs You Have Cockroaches in Your Home

cockroach on plant

These creepy crawlers carry diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, and other intestinal diseases. With over 3,500 identified species scurrying about, it’s important to have a plan to get rid of roaches in your home.

Otherwise, a roach infestation could threaten your family’s health.

Not sure how to tell if you have cockroaches in your home? Here are nine signs to watch out for. With this guide, you can learn how to identify signs of a cockroach infestation before calling for help. 

Keep reading to learn when to bring in the professionals before it’s too late. 

1. The Stench

Take a breath. Are you starting to notice an unfamiliar scent within your home? If you can’t pinpoint the source, there’s a chance you have a roach infestation on your hands.

Once cockroaches infest an area, they leave a musty scent behind. This scent is caused by the pheromones they leave within their droppings. The scent can even attract more cockroaches to your home.

As the infestation spreads, the smell will get worse.

Take notice if you recognize a damp, unpleasant odor within your home. This stench can develop on almost any surface. You might notice this odor on your clothes or your home’s air quality.

In some cases, it can even affect the taste of your food. 

Dead, decaying roaches produce a stench, too. Once they’re dead, the roach’s corpse will create an oleic acid. This scent can linger throughout the decomposition process. 

2. Smear Marks

If you’re trying to learn how to tell if you have cockroaches, take a look around your home. In addition to the smell, there are a few physical signs of a cockroach infestation you’ll need to look out for, including smear marks.

Cockroaches can leave a dark, irregular smear behind. You’ll find this evidence of a roach infestation on your walls or where they’re most active. 

If you notice these signs of a cockroach infestation, don’t wait. Instead, call a professional. Taking immediate action can help you contain the problem before the infestation grows. 

3. Roach Droppings

Are you still asking yourself, “Are there cockroaches in my house?” As you clean your home, look for cockroach droppings.

There’s a chance you’ll see these droppings before you see an actual roach. Smaller roaches will leave behind speckle-light droppings. Larger ones, on the other hand, will leave grain-shaped, longer droppings. 

These droppings could resemble coffee grains or specks of ground pepper.

You might notice small, brown stains as well.

Make sure to look throughout your home when searching for signs of a cockroach infestation. You might find these droppings:

  • In crawl spaces beneath your oven or refrigerator
  • Above your cabinets
  • In dark corners
  • The more droppings you find, the more severe the infestation. 

These droppings carry bacteria. If you decide on cleaning these droppings alone, make sure to take the necessary precautions. First, grab a pair of gloves.

If you’re noticing a lot of droppings, make sure to wear a facemask as you clean. 

You should use a vacuum to suck up these droppings first. Then, clean the area with a disinfectant. You can also search for “pest control companies near me” to let a professional handle it.

4. Property Damage

Cockroaches aren’t picky eaters. They’ll consume anything from chips to wallpaper paste if they’re desperate. If you want to learn how to tell if you have cockroaches, look at your groceries.

You might notice there’s food missing from cardboard and plastic packages. Roaches will scurry toward any food they find accessible. Larger roaches can eat through packages, especially if the food is sweet. 

Do you have a pet? You might notice some of their food goes missing each night. If food goes missing when your pet isn’t in the room, there’s a chance you have a roach infestation on your hands. 

You might also notice holes in fabric-bound materials, including your clothing. Materials with perspiration could attract roaches, too.

5. Molting

Cockroaches shed their skin multiple times in their lifecycle. If you have roaches, you might notice shredded skin throughout your home. 

Are you noticing these warning signs throughout your home? Make sure to clear the trash from your kitchen regularly. Don’t leave open containers out, either. 

6. Roach Eggs

Once you have a few roaches in your home, they’ll likely start breeding. You might begin noticing eggs contained in casings called ootheca.

Each type of roach leaves behind a different looking egg. Each type has a different lifecycle, too. For example, German cockroaches can produce four to eight egg capsules in a lifetime, each containing about 40 eggs.

The eggs will hatch within 28 to 30 days. 

If you notice roach eggs within your home, act quickly. It’s important to destroy these egg casings quickly. Otherwise, the infestation could get far worse.

7. Live or Dead Roaches

One of the most obvious signs of a cockroach infestation: live roaches. 

Some people make the mistake of thinking a single roach means it’s an isolated incident. However, roaches aren’t usually alone.

You’ll likely see a roach at nighttime since these creatures are nocturnal. Look around at night to determine if you have roaches. If you see one during the day, the infestation is likely worse than you might realize. 

You might find dead roaches in your home, too. Check dark corners to determine where they’re nesting. 

8. Migration

Are your neighbors complaining about roaches? Take their warnings seriously. Getting proactive can protect your home from a potential infestation.

Make sure to store food in air-tight containers and clean your floors and counters regularly. 

9. Allergies

One in five homes with no history of cockroach ingestion has a high level of allergen in dust and fabrics. Cockroach fecal matter and body fabrics could become airborne, contaminating your home. Once these allergens settle in dust or on your bedsheets, you could breathe them in. 

In fact, the most common way to inhale cockroach allergen is to breathe in particles that have collected on bedding or pillows. 

Are you experiencing a stuffy nose? Do your eyes look red or feel itchy? You might have trouble catching your breath, too.

If you experience these symptoms, check for roaches. 

How to Tell If You Have Cockroaches: Warning Signs

Don’t let roaches take over your home. Instead, use this guide on how to tell if you have cockroaches. If you notice these warning signs, call for professional help right away. 

Worried you might have a cockroach infestation on your hands? Contact us today to schedule a free inspection.