Keep American Cockroaches Out Of Your Bay Area Home

american cockroach on cement

If you're not already familiar, American cockroaches are the big, brown roaches that get into Bay Area homes. While not originally from America, these roaches have earned the name because they are so common in America. If you see a cockroach that is between 1 ¼ to 2 ⅛ inches in length, it is likely that you're looking at an American cockroach. It's the largest pest roach species in the country. There is some confusion about American cockroaches because they're sometimes called by other names, like palmetto bug or water bug. If you need more help with identification, you can look to the upper back of the roach, just above the wings. An American cockroach has two dark brown spots surrounded by yellowish coloration. At the right angle, and in the right light, this can look like a figure eight. Once you've determined that the roaches you're dealing with are American cockroaches, here are a few tips to help you keep them out of your Bay Area home.

Moisture Control

american cockroach in a doorway

This particular species is attracted to damp conditions. If you have a perimeter around your home that is damp or humid, it can lure American cockroaches in close. When they come close, they're likely to get inside. Use these tips to reduce moisture:

  • Inspect your gutter system and clean out debris, or hire someone to do this for you. When rainwater is collected by your roof, this substantial surface area can drive a lot of water down onto the ground right next to your home if your gutters aren't doing their job.
  • Repair your gutters. If there is a break in your gutter system, splash blocks, or downspouts, this can result in perimeter dampness.
  • Maintain dry landscaping. Your plants don't need to be wet to be healthy. Water needs to get into the soil so that the roots of your plants can suck that water up. Apply water toward the base of your plants, water them in the early morning, and reduce unnecessary vegetation to allow the wind to pass through and dry above-ground moisture.

Organic Clutter

When you examine your exterior, do you see leaf litter, leaf piles, dead branches, camp wood, wood scraps, objects stacked on wooden pallets, grass clippings, or other organic debris? These attract American cockroaches. Yard work and proper wood management will help to reduce American cockroach activity around your home.

Trash Management

Do you place garbage directly into your receptacles? If you do, American cockroaches will take notice. They feed on rotting organic material and moistened paper and cardboard. You can make your trash receptacles less of an attractant by bagging all garbage before you store it outside. Here are a few more tips that can also help:

  • Make sure your receptacles have covers, preferably covers that create a seal.
  • Routinely clean and deodorize your receptacles. Cockroaches can smell rotting organic matter from a distance. A dirty receptacle is a promise that food sources can be found.
  • Make sure to get your receptacles to the curb each week. This prevents food matter from rotting and stinking inside your receptacles.

Seal Gaps

Once you've reduced American cockroach activity around your Bay Area home, the next step is obvious. You need to inspect your exterior and seal any gaps you can find. Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you stand outside an exterior door on a dark night, you can detect tiny beams of light that escape your doors. Those tiny beams of light are potential entry points for cockroaches. While American cockroaches are large, their nymphs are small enough to get through very small openings. Replace weatherstripping, door sweeps and damaged screens. Use a caulking gun to seal gaps or fill in holes created by wood-damaging pests. If you're attempting to seal double doors, you may have to align them to make sure they make a good seal all the way around.
  • Gaps between your foundation and your sole plates or around plumbing and wire conduits need to be sealed. This can be difficult to detect. We recommend using a caulking gun to seal every potential entry point, even if you don't see clear gaps.
  • Make sure any weep holes, vents, and other openings are properly protected.

Cockroach Control In The Bay Area

It can be a lot of work to keep American cockroaches out of your home, but you don't have to do this work alone. At Bay Pest, we help Bay Area residents and business owners keep cockroaches from getting inside. We can help you find the right solution to your cockroach problem no matter what pest roach species you're dealing with. Reach out to us today by quickly filling out the short form on our contact page. If you'd like to request a free inspection, be sure to let us know in the comment window. 

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