How To Identify A Roach Infestation In The Bay Area

cockroach on cookie

When you lift a pillow on your couch and fourteen cockroaches go scrambling for cover, you don't have to wonder if you have a roach infestation. When you're sitting in your recliner and you see a big roach come crawling out of your air conditioning unit, you're not going to need a list of tips to help you figure out whether or not your Bay Area home is infested with roaches. If you see one roach in a common area, experts say it's likely that you have thousands of roaches in your home. This quick guide is to help you identify a roach infestation long before you start seeing roaches. Early detection can help you prevent ongoing stomach illnesses and other health consequences that can be a result of roach infestation.

Fast-Moving Insects

Inspect every secluded space in your home. If you see tiny insects that move quickly along surfaces, those are likely to be cockroaches. A baby cockroach can move at the same speed as an adult cockroach. They zip right along. If you use a flashlight to inspect an attic space, you may see these little guys running quickly across floors, walls, ceilings, or stored objects.

Black Droppings

cockroach on steel wool

Cockroaches leave their excrement in many places. These droppings are black. Unfortunately, cockroaches are far from the only pests that leave black excrement behind. If you detect black specks on floors, walls, or ceilings, the chances of those specks being cockroach feces increases with each. Many pests leave droppings on floors. Some leave feces on walls. Cockroaches may be one of only two pests that leave feces on ceilings. The only other pest we can think of that does this are bed bugs. But cockroaches don't typically leave their feces in the same places as bed bugs. Bed bugs find harborage near sleeping, sitting, or lounging humans. Cockroaches find harborage near food sources, or in moist, secluded areas of a home. 

Egg Casings

When cockroaches infest a home, they will leave oothecae (egg casings) in dark voids and hidden places. These may be found on the floor in hidden places or attached to walls and other surfaces near food sources. If you have a German cockroach infestation, you're not likely to see oothecae. Female German cockroaches carry their ootheca around with them. You may, however, find the broken casings of German cockroach oothecae. Look for this near food and moisture points.


Cockroach nymphs shed their exoskeletons many times. They'll leave these shed "skins" lying around your home. Look for them in tight or compressed spaces, humid areas, and dark voids. A quick spot to check is underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. 


Do you know that cockroaches feed on cardboard and paper? Yup. They eat paper products just like silverfish, beetle larvae, weevil larvae, or termites. When cockroaches get into your pantry or kitchen cabinets, they can chew through cardboard and paper packaging. While these tiny holes won't confirm that you have a cockroach infestation, since other pests can make holes in your food packages, it can be one piece to the puzzle. You may also be able to detect a cockroach infestation by noticing wallpaper, or some other paper building material, that is being eaten away.

A Not So Great Smell

If you notice a smell that is unpleasant, cockroaches could be to blame. Roaches emit chemical pheromones. These smell pretty good to a roach but are not all that great to a human. Cockroaches aren't the only pests that produce bad-smelling chemical excretions, but this warning sign can help you zero in on your pest problem to figure out what pest you're dealing with.

Okay. I Have Roaches. Now What?

When it comes to cockroach control and prevention, it is best to have a trained professional handle this problem. Cockroaches have natural abilities that help them to survive conventional treatments. A professional will perform a detailed inspection, evaluate the level of activity, determine conducive conditions, and apply a multi-pronged strategy to ensure complete control. One of the worst outcomes of do-it-yourself cockroach control is that you may think your treatments were successful. This can leave you exposed to health issues and property damage. If you do decide to attack the problem on your own, consider thoroughly cleaning areas where roach droppings are found. You can come back to these areas and inspect them again to see if new droppings appear. It's not a fool-proof way to evaluate the success of your treatments, but it's better than not doing anything.

Bay Area Cockroach Control

If you're in the Bay Area, remember that the team at Bay Pest is always available to assist you with your pest issues. Our technicians are highly trained and experienced pest management professionals. We can correct your roach problem and help you to prevent future roach infestations. Reach out to us today. We're here to help. 

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