When you lift a pillow on your couch and a dozen cockroaches go running for cover, there is little doubt that you have a cockroach infestation. However, long before you start seeing roaches, you can be impacted by the presence of cockroaches in your home. Roaches can make you sick and damage your property. That's why we've put together this quick guide to help you spot signs of cockroach activity in your Los Angeles County home. Here's what you need to look for and where you need to look.

a german cockroach on the back of a chair

What Warning Signs Cockroaches Give You

  • Feces - When a cockroach explores your home, it does its business in many places. This waste material is black. When it soaks into fabrics it can create a yellowish stain around the black fecal spotting. As you look for cockroach feces, keep in mind that roaches can leave their feces on vertical surfaces, ceilings, and inside very tight cracks, gaps, seams, and creases.
  • Oothecae - This is a fancy name for a cockroach egg pouch. These pouches aren't very big. Most are around 8mm in length. They will be a dark reddish-brown or an orange to yellow gradient. Orange to yellow oothecae are created by German cockroaches. These roaches carry their cases around with them, so you're only likely to find the broken pieces of their oothecae after the eggs have hatched.
  • Skins - Cockroaches shed their skins many times as they grow. These shed skins are the same color as the cockroaches that shed them, and they're the same size. Cockroaches stop shedding their skins when they become adults, so the skins you find could be quite small. They may also be broken apart.
  • Damage - There are many ways you might see cockroach damage. These insects can leave a crater in an apple left out on your kitchen island. They can chew through cardboard, paper, and thin plastic packaging in your food storage areas. They can chew holes in clothing, drapes, bedding, and other fabrics. They can eat away at wallpaper, books, and documents. If you're finding tiny holes, cockroaches could be the culprits.
  • Pheromones - One of the ways cockroaches communicate with each other is by the excretion of chemical pheromones. This smells pretty good to a cockroach, but not so good to humans. If you notice an unpleasant, oily smell, it could be cockroach pheromones.
  • Prints - When a cockroach crawls on powder sprinkled on your pantry shelves or dust on the tops of cabinets, you may be able to detect their prints.

Where To Look For Cockroach Warning Signs

When you go looking for cockroach warning signs in your home such as feces, oothecae, and shed skins, the tools you're going to need are a powerful flashlight and a mirror.

  • Inspect in and around appliances.
  • Inspect the cabinet underneath your kitchen sink.
  • Examine your boiler room and other areas of your home that get humid.
  • Look inside every void you can inspect, such as the cabinet underneath a jetted tub.
  • Check the insulation in your attic space.
  • Inspect all of your food packaging.
  • Pull kitchen drawers out and fully inspect them.
  • Look behind food packages stored on shelves and in cabinets.
  • Inspect vents and ventilation. This is where that mirror can come in handy.
  • Check stored furniture seams, under cushions, and in voids.
  • Check every tight space you can think of.

What To Do When You Find Cockroaches

Cockroaches are notoriously difficult to control. What's worse is that you can attempt to get rid of the cockroaches in your home and only add to your misery. Cockroaches can become tolerant to chemical agents and this can lead to a hazardous situation for you if you try to spray your home with toxic chemicals.

The roaches could pick those harmful chemicals up and bring them into sensitive areas, but what typically happens is cockroach treatments simply fail, and residents don't realize it. This allows cockroaches to continue to spread sickness. When you find roaches in your home, don't try to get rid of them on your own. The best solution for cockroaches is professional cockroach control.

If You Need Help Getting Rid Of Roaches

Cockroaches can be tricky to locate and even trickier to exterminate. If you need assistance with a cockroach inspection or cockroach extermination in Los Angeles, we can help. The team here at HomeShield Pest Control uses a multi-pronged strategy that combines methods and products to achieve the greatest chance of success with spot treatments.

In particularly difficult cockroach infestations, we can do a full structure treatment. This is like flicking the reset button on roaches. Reach out to us today and request a free quote. From our findings, we'll guide you toward the right pest control solution for your L.A. property. You don't have to live with roaches!