You flick the light on and enter your bathroom. On the floor, tucked in the gap around the bottom of your toilet, is a mid-sized bug. Is it a beetle or is it a cockroach? If it is a roach, should it concern you? Are cockroaches as bad as you've heard? These are the questions we're going to dig into today as we share our ultimate guide to cockroach control in San Diego County. When you're done with this article, you'll know some cool facts, like what a baby house cockroach looks like, what naturally deters cockroaches from getting into your home, and what works to get rid of cockroaches forever. If you don't like learning cool facts about roaches and you would prefer to have a knowledgeable and experienced professional handle your roach problem (so you don't have to think about those unsanitary insects), remember that we're always available to help! HomeShield Pest Control is a premier pest control service provider in San Diego County. With that said, let's take a look at common roaches in our area and what works to control them.

cockroach on plate of food

The Types Of Cockroaches That Invade San Diego County Homes

What does a cockroach look like? All cockroaches have unique features that help you tell that you do, in fact, have a cockroach problem and not just a random sighting of a beetle inside your home. These traits are noticeable on adults or baby roaches. But they are harder to see on a tiny cockroach. If you don't have good eyes, you may have trouble. You may also have trouble if the roach gets out of dodge before you can get a good look at it. What are these traits? Cockroaches have six legs, like other insects, but their legs have spines. They aren't the only insects with spines, but they are one of the few that enter San Diego County homes. Along with those six legs, you'll see two other appendages. These are called cerci. They are at the tail end of the cockroach. Cerci look like stubby antennae. Speaking of antennae, the antennae of a cockroach are long. That is another helpful identifying trait.

Once you know you're looking at a cockroach, it is helpful to know what kind of cockroach it is. Prevention methods vary depending on the species. Some roaches are harder to control. Some are a greater risk to human health. Here are the four common roaches in San Diego County.

  • Oriental Cockroaches: If you see a black cockroach, it is likely an oriental roach. These are the easiest to keep out of your home, but they're also the filthiest. They lay their egg pouches in very unsanitary environments and they spread harmful microorganisms efficiently. The good news is that they prefer dirty habitats that are far too stinky for you to have in your home. Cleaning your exterior, managing your trash, and pest-proofing your home may stop these roaches.
  • American Cockroaches: These are massive cockroaches. If you see a roach that is chestnut with a yellow marking on the back between the head and wings, you're looking at an Amerian roach. Keep in mind that the babies are much smaller and have no wings. The good news with this species is that it prefers moist environments. If you address damp conditions around your home, dehumidify indoor spaces, and apply pest-proofing, you may stop these roaches.
  • Brown Banded Cockroaches: As the name suggests, these roaches have brown bands. You'll also see yellow bands of coloration. The babies have the same color and are wingless. There is no good news with these pests. They prefer to live indoors and successfully thrive inside homes and businesses.
  • German Cockroaches: These are the worst of all house cockroaches. When you see a tan roach with shiny wings and a black equal sign on its back, you're looking at a German roach. Babies have no wings and the black coloration runs down both sides. The German cockroach is so successful at living inside structures that there are currently no known populations of wild German cockroaches found anywhere on the planet. That means, all of these roaches live indoors or on properties where manmade structures are found.    

These are the cockroaches you're up against and some tips for how you may control them. We'll share more tips for control and prevention in a minute. First, let's quickly look at the risks involved in having roaches in your home and why professional cockroach control in San Diego County is a wise decision once roaches find a way indoors.

How Cockroaches Are Hazardous To Your Health

Cockroaches live in unsanitary environments and feed on unsanitary food sources. We discuss these in many of our articles. If you're interested in learning what roaches eat or the habitats they explore, check out our other blog posts. Here, we are going to focus on the hazards so that you are aware of the risks.

  • Cockroaches are known to spread at least thirty-three kinds of bacteria that are associated with human illness, including salmonella.
  • Cockroaches spread seven kinds of human pathogens, the first of which are bacterial pathogens, like salmonella. But roaches don't always just give you a stomach bug or food poisoning, they can make you much sicker.
  • Cockroaches pick up parasitic worms and spread them around inside your home. These may also make you sick when they come in contact with food and are consumed.
  • Cockroaches spread allergens. These become airborne and impact those who suffer from asthma. A recent study revealed a link between cockroach infestation and an increase in hospitalizations.
  • Cockroaches can cause bacterial infection in the eyes when they crawl on people at night. If you wake up with pink eye, keep this in mind.

We could speak more on this topic but these are the critical points to consider. It is not good to have cockroaches in your home. With that said, let's explore what keeps cockroaches away. It's time to dig in and look at five tips that work best to keep roaches out of your home.

Five Tips To Keep Cockroaches Away From Your Home

The question we get most is: what keeps cockroaches away? These five tips do not provide every possible way to keep cockroaches out of your home and away from your exterior. They are the bedrock for cockroach prevention. Use them to help you get going in the right direction.

  1. Remove unsanitary things around your home and favorable conditions for cockroach habitation. Cockroaches are drawn to the scent of rotting organic matter. Clean trash receptacles and clean up anything unsanitary. Cockroaches are also attracted to junk piles, particularly paper products. You may not know it but roaches eat cardboard and paper. They're also fond of decaying remnants of pizza, so be extra careful with discarded pizza boxes. Yard work and moisture control are essential as well. Roaches are drawn to moist habitats.
  2. Remove pathways roaches may use to enter your home. Cockroaches get in through the thinnest gaps, cracks, and holes. A caulking gun, some expanding foam, fresh weatherstripping, new door sweeps, and fully-repaired window screens can help you keep them out. If your home has weep holes, make sure you have protectors installed. 
  3. Keep your home clean and protect your food. A sanitary home is not preferable for cockroach habitation. They prefer homes that have food debris, grease, juice spots, dirty toilets, hair on bathroom surfaces, etc. 
  4. Inspect used items you bring into your home. Cockroaches can hitchhike into your home. If you purchase an item from someone who has a cockroach infestation, you can find yourself with an infestation. Always inspect items for black fecal matter, shed skins, oothecae, and cockroach activity. 
  5. Get perimeter protection around the exterior of your home. Cockroaches can enter your yard, explore the perimeter next to your home, and find their way in. Routine pest control treatments on your home and in key areas, can reduce cockroach activity and deter roach development. We recommend having a licensed pest control service provider select materials and apply these treatments so that you get the best results. 

Do you see how house cockroach prevention works? There is no silver bullet. You have to apply a multi-pronged strategy to keep roaches out of your home. If you're busy most days with work, you may not have the time. If this is the case for you, it is extra important to get assistance from a pest management professional. Keep HomeShield Pest Control in mind.

Call The Pest Experts For Total Cockroach Elimination

When you need extra help keeping roaches out of your home or expert help eliminating a cockroach infestation in your home, HomeShield Pest Control is the right choice in San Diego County. We use professional-grade products, field-tested methods, and a multi-pronged strategy to remove roaches and build a protective barrier around your home. We don't just stop roaches once, we know how to get rid of cockroaches forever. Want to learn more, give us a call. We would love to speak with you, set up a service visit, and help you get answers to your cockroach questions.