Cockroaches are a problem just about everywhere in the world, and Los Angeles is no exception. In our area, five species of cockroaches commonly invade homes and businesses: the German cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, and the American cockroach.

While each of these roaches has its distinct look, they all invade our homes in similar ways, they all spread the same or similar diseases, and they’re all high on the list of pests that you don’t want living with you. Let’s talk about how to keep Los Angeles cockroaches at bay and what to do if you wind up with them anyway.

a cockroach eating food in a los angeles home

Types Of Cockroaches In Los Angeles

While there are hundreds of species of cockroaches, the most common invaders we find inside Los Angeles properties include:

  • German Cockroaches: These roaches are small and brown, reaching about 1/2 of an inch long. A pair of dark streaks running down its back helps to distinguish the German cockroach from other species.
  • Brown-Banded Cockroach: Brown to black-colored roaches that measure about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch in length, these roaches are identified and named for the distinctive light-brown bands running across their bodies.
  • Oriental Cockroach: These roaches are typically much larger than other species (3/4 of an inch to an inch or larger) with black coloration. They are also known as waterbugs as they are commonly found outdoors around moisture-rich areas.
  • American Cockroach: These large brown roaches can grow to be an inch long or larger. These roaches are one of the most common species known to infest Los Angeles homes—and also among the most dangerous.

Dangers That Roaches Bring

These species carry a number of health hazards with them into the homes and commercial properties they infest. Some of the diseases that cockroaches carry include:

  • Salmonella
  • Dysentery
  • Typhoid
  • Cholera
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Leprosy

Combined with the danger they pose from contaminating your food and home, cockroaches are a problem no one should allow to infest their home. With that in mind, it’s important to recognize the warning signs of cockroaches when they become apparent so you can treat the problem as soon as possible.

Early Warning Signs Of A Cockroach Infestation

Cockroaches don’t like to be out in the open, so the first sign of a problem probably won’t be you seeing a roach. Instead, you’ll see the debris that roaches leave behind. Look for things like:

  • Roach droppings that look like really finely ground coffee granules
  • Roach egg capsules, which will appear more similar to a tiny pill rather than typical insect eggs (other insect eggs often look more like tiny caviar)
  • Smear marks from roaches crawling through water and dragging it around on their legs and backsides
  • Scurrying noises in your cupboards or underneath large appliances
  • A foul, musty odor (this usually doesn’t occur until you have a significant infestation

In addition to these signs, you might encounter live roaches. Roaches are nocturnal, so you’re more likely to spot them at night. You may see one or more out in the open if you enter a dark room and turn on the light. You’re more likely to encounter roaches in rooms where they can access food and moisture like humid sheds or basements, bathrooms, kitchens, pantries, and anywhere that has uncovered food or garbage.

How To Prevent Cockroaches

There are a few steps to prevent cockroach infestations that you can take to keep these pests out of your home. The biggest way to prevent infestation is to reduce attractants around your house. Fix moisture issues like leaky pipes or clogged gutters. Use dehumidifiers in humid areas like basements. Cover trash in containers with tight-fitted lids. Store foods either in the fridge or in airtight plastic containers.

You can also do things to make your home less hospitable to roaches. Inspect the exterior and fix possible access points like cracks in the foundation and holes in the siding. Also keep your home as clean as possible, since clearing clutter eliminates hiding places for roaches and vacuuming gets rid of crumbs they can use for food.

While these tips can go a long way in preventing a cockroach problem before it begins, cockroaches are notoriously difficult to eliminate once they've invaded a space, so professional extermination for roaches is always the most surefire way to keep cockroaches where they belong—out of your home!

What To Do If You Have A Cockroach Infestation

If you do wind up with an infestation, getting rid of it on your own can be difficult, if not impossible. Cockroaches breed exponentially, with an infestation of a dozen or two roaches capable of ballooning into hundreds within months or even weeks. Roaches have also earned their reputation for being next-to-indestructible. They’re all but immune to common chemical pesticides like sprays and foggers. That means you’re going to need help from a Los Angeles pest control expert to eliminate the entire infestation instead of just killing some individuals and making room for more.

Here at HomeShield Pest Control, we’ve been at the cutting edge of pest control solutions in California for over 12 years. We use products made by EcoSMART—the world’s leader in eco-friendly pesticide solutions. EcoSMART is the producer of the industry’s only 100% effective green insecticide. Contact us today to get started with defense against pests, including cockroaches, for your Los Angeles home!