The Best Option To Avoid Roaches In The Bay Area

German cockroach in background

Most Bay Area residents don't think about cockroaches all that much until warning signs (or the roaches themselves) start to appear, but waiting until you see signs of a cockroach infestation is not a good idea. It is wise to prevent cockroaches from invading in the first place. Once these pests get into your home or business, it is much harder to get rid of them, and you may end up paying a lot more to get rid of your cockroach infestation. These pests create many problems. Let's take a quick look at these problems and then discuss how to prevent cockroaches in the Bay Area. If it is too late to avoid cockroaches and you're currently dealing with a cockroach infestation and need cockroach pest control in The Bay Area, jump to our contact page and we'll send someone your way.

Roach Smell: What Do Roach Infestations Smell Like? 

The best way to avoid cockroaches is to detect them early and stop them in their tracks. One of the ways you can do this is by using your nose. Cockroaches have an oily, musty scent. When they get into couches, chairs, beds, and other furniture items, you may smell them. It is a good idea to check for this scent and other warning signs when you purchase used furniture, or you may accidentally purchase a used cockroach infestation. Cockroaches don't just get in from the outside. They also hitchhike. Here is how to deter cockroaches from doing this:

  • Use your nose to detect the distinct oily, musty, and somewhat musky scent of cockroaches in furniture items.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect voids, recesses, and cracks. Look for shed skins, black fecal matter, egg cases, or the presence of cockroaches.
  • Use a probing tool (such as a debit card or butter knife) to inspect seams, creases, pockets, and other hiding places. Roaches love to hide in tight spaces.

These tips can also help you detect cockroaches in exterior locations. Inspect sheds, outside storage closets, barns, outbuildings, and garages for odors, black excrement, egg casings, shed cockroach exoskeletons, and cockroach activity. Inspect your foundation, perimeter, and landscaping for black excrement or roach activity. While finding black-colored fecal matter is not proof-positive that you have cockroaches trying to get in, it is a sign that can help you direct your search to that area and uncover the insects that are leaving that waste.      

Roach-Prevention Tips You Should Try

Along with routine inspections, you must know how to deter cockroaches without seeing them because you often won't see them. Most pest roaches hide from view. They're really good at it. These tips will help you manage cockroaches without using cockroach control products, which often fall short or make roach problems worse, when misapplied. 

  • Address smells that attract cockroaches from a distance. These insects are attracted to stinky things. If you think something smells bad, you can bet cockroaches find it pleasing, and the stronger the odor, the stronger the attraction. For this reason, it is essential to stay on top of garbage disposal. You should remove trash weekly and clean receptacles or dumpsters that develop an odor. Don't neglect the ground or concrete underneath trash receptacles. Apply a disinfectant to prevent cockroaches from getting under receptacles.  
  • Remove desirable hiding places. Cockroaches prefer moist habitats and get underneath leaf litter, leaf piles, dead branches, plant clippings, and other organic debris. Rake this material away from your exterior and put it in a large plastic storage bin or trash bag. The goal is to get it off the soil where cockroaches can hide under it.
  • Address moisture. Cockroaches don't just get underneath organic debris to find moisture. They'll hide in landscape vegetation, tall grass, weeds, and underneath decks, patios, stairs, and other structures. General moisture control will help to make these locations less inviting to roaches. Clean and repair your gutters. Remove unnecessary vegetation from your landscaping. Water your landscape plants early in the morning if appropriate.   
  • Remove general hiding places. Cockroaches hide under any object that blocks the sun. The sun acts as a desiccant. When cockroaches get dehydrated, they die. Some cockroaches are more prone to dehydration than others, such as Oriental cockroaches. It is a good idea to learn cockroach identification so you're able to identify species that can be deterred in this way.  
  • Seal potential entry points. Cockroaches squeeze into tiny gaps and cracks. If they can find a route to interior wall and floor voids, they'll take them. A caulking gun and some cans of expanding foam will go a long way toward keeping cockroaches out. Use the caulking gun to apply patches in visible areas. Caulking materials look nicer and can be color-matched to building materials. Use expanding foam where you don't mind making a little bit of a mess. You don't want to use foam in areas where you're concerned about curb appeal.
  • Replace protective materials. Certain building materials work to keep cockroaches and other pests out. Inspect these and replace materials that aren't getting the job done. Ensure all doors have door sweeps to protect the gap underneath your doors. Replace old or damaged weatherstripping. Repair or replace damaged door and window screens. Install covers on vents that need them. Install weep hole protectors if necessary.     

Cockroach management isn't easy. You'll have to roll your sleeves up and do some hard work. But it is work that is worth doing. When cockroaches get inside, they won't just cost you money to remove, they create other problems—problems you want to avoid. 

Three Problems Roaches Cause In The Bay Area

Okay. Why is it so important to work hard at keeping cockroaches out? You can probably guess that we'll be talking about disease transmission. But you may be surprised by the other two problems on our list.

  1. Disease Transmission. Cockroaches spread more than thirty-three strains of bacteria and more than seven human pathogens. Here are a few diseases you may know by name: salmonellosis, typhoid fever, leprosy, dysentery, cholera, plague, and listeriosis. When cockroaches get into stored food, climb on surfaces, climb across dishes, and come in contact with other sensitive items, they make people sick. When you apply natural prevention to deter cockroaches, your sanitation efforts work to reduce the threat of cockroach-related illness. It is important to keep this in mind.   
  2. Asthma. Cockroaches shed their body parts and leave waste in areas they infest. These materials have proteins that aggravate asthma symptoms. A recent study showed increased hospitalization for asthma-related symptoms in homes with cockroach infestations. The study also showed that children are at greater risk than adults. In residences, cockroaches can increase medical costs. In businesses, cockroaches can lead to legal issues or worse. It is best to keep these pests outside.      
  3. Property Damage. Cockroaches feed on cellulose in the same way that silverfish, clothing moth larvae, and termites do. While cockroaches don't damage wood, they can do a number on your wallpaper, essential documents, clothing, and more. If you own your home, cockroaches can eat into your equity and make you pull money out of your savings for repairs. If you own a business, cockroaches don't just eat into your equity; they can damage belongings you store for your customers.  

It is best to avoid a cockroach infestation rather than exterminate cockroaches after they've gotten inside. While natural cockroach control is laborsome, it provides long-lasting protection from cockroaches with none of the downsides of using over-the-counter products. When products are needed, it is best to contact a licensed applicator. 

Why Professional Pest Control Is Always The Best Answer

Whether you're looking to get rid of cockroaches or avoid a cockroach infestation, a licensed pest management professional is always the best solution. When you get year-round pest control from Bay Pest for your home or business, it comes with layers of protection.

  • We help with many natural solutions, such as exclusions, and take that work off your plate. Our technicians are trained in Integrated Pest Management, which uses limited control product applications.
  • We make recommendations and alert you to vulnerabilities.
  • We treat certain entry points to bolster your protection when exclusions aren't applied.  
  • We treat the entire exterior with a liquid product that makes it hard for cockroaches to live near your exterior walls and find their way inside.
  • We spot treat with granular products. These are water-activated and reduce cockroach activity before roaches get to your exterior. 
  • We inspect the interior and apply interior treatments if necessary. Indoors, we rely more on bait products than liquid treatments.

The best solution for cockroaches is a layered approach. Each layer provides a little more protection. When our licensed and experienced service technicians apply these layers, you'll have the best protection possible. And, if cockroaches manage to find a way indoors, we make sure they aren't able to keep finding a way.

Are you in the Bay Area? Connect with Bay Pest today to learn more about our services. We help Bay Area residents and business owners keep pests outside, where they belong.     

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