Cockroach Control

Cockroach Facts

Cockroaches are a pest and a danger to public health because they can:

  • Spread diseases and germs
  • Pollute food with droppings
  • Damage things such as cloth and books by chewing
  • Leave a mess and foul musky odor with their dead bodies, old skins and droppings

Cockroaches are widespread, and are one of the hardest household pests to control. Four types of cockroaches cause problems for people:

  1. German
  2. American
  3. Oriental
  4. Brown Banded

(Described in detail below)

Cockroaches will eat just about anything. They prefer to live in warm, damp areas like sewers, bathrooms, cabinets, furniture, electrical appliances, basements, porches and crawl spaces.

It is also important to be aware that nymphs (baby cockroaches) look different than the adults.

Cockroach Signs

The best signs are live cockroaches, but you should also look for:

  • Small, leather-like egg cases
  • Old skins shed by the nymphs as they grow larger
  • Droppings along runways that look like coffee grounds
  • Brownish stains along cracks
  • Sour, musky odors
  • Dead cockroaches

Control/ Preparation

Over-the-counter pesticides can be counterproductive in cockroach control. Often the bugs will run and hide when household "bombs" are used, causing the roaches to harbor in unusual places and making them harder to reach. They can, however, be controlled and eliminated using a combination of good housekeeping, preparation, and the appropriate application of chemicals labeled for use against cockroaches. Pesticides and their application are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency of the Federal Government. No pesticide may be applied in a food handling area that will contaminate food or utensils (pots, pans, glasses, plates, forks, etc.) that come in contact with food. Those items must be removed and covered. There is no exception to this law. The most common type of cockroach in San Diego is the German cockroach.

Here is how we will ask you to prepare for service to control German cockroaches:

  1. Before the technician arrives, remove all contents from kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Stack food, dishes, etc. in a room other than the kitchen or bathroom and cover items with a sheet, blanket, or similar material.
  2. Once all cabinets are empty, please clean cabinet interiors and shelves. Additionally, please clean under and behind refrigerator and around the stove/oven.
  3. Remove all kitchen drawers from the kitchen, stack and cover. Please make sure drawers and their contents are clean before returning them to the kitchen. Alternatively, drawers may remain in place but all drawer contents must be removed and placed with the other items removed.
  4. Remove contents of closets only if closets are infested.
  5. If you have a fish tank please cover it with a towel, sheet, or similar material, and turn off all aeration equipment until material is dry.
  6. The technician will advise you how long to be out of your unit, but please be prepared to vacate for as much as three hours. This means people and pets must leave the house when the pest control technician arrives. The vacated time may be less depending on the materials used.
  7. You may replace materials to kitchen or bathroom cabinets after you return. Our application will not harm food or dishes. After your home has been treated, do not clean cupboards with wet materials until control has been established (at least 3 weeks) to ensure the active material is not removed.

Cockroach control may take three weeks after the time of service. Please call our office for a follow-up appointment if you still see live roaches three weeks after your initial service.

Cockroach Species And Where They Are Found

There are 4 kinds of cockroaches likely to cause problems:

1. German Cockroach: This variety of cockroach is light brown, 3/4" long and is the most common cockroach. It prefers damp, warm places inside the home such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Adults: They have two dark stripes and males and females are similar in appearance.

Nymphs: They have two dark vertical stripes just behind their head.

2. American Cockroach: This variety is reddish-brown and 1-1/2"long. It prefers warm, damp places outdoors such as sewers and water meters.

Adults: Wings cover their abdomens and males and females look the same.

Nymphs: They have darker sides and segment margins.

3. Oriental Cockroach: These roaches are black and 1-1/4" long. They prefer damp, cooler sites such as water-meter curb boxes, trash piles, shrubbery, and other protected outdoor areas as well as basements and sometimes sewers.

Adults: They are black in color and their wings are shorter then abdomen.

Nymphs: They have a shiny dark reddish-brown to black color.

4. Banded Cockroach: It is light brown, 1/2" long and prefers warm, dry places. It can be found all over the house and in furniture, closets and around the ceiling. It is less common in restaurants.

Adults: They have two pale bands across the base of the wings.

Nymphs: They have two pale bands across back.