If you’re in the multi-family management or property management business, you know that early intervention is key to gaining control of the situation when tenants report pest sightings.
This is especially true when we’re talking about the German Cockroach. One of the most common cockroach species found in homes, offices, apartments and other shared living spaces across North America.
A single female German Cockroach can produce 4 to 8 capsules per year containing 30-40 eggs. The ability to reproduce rapidly can make this species very difficult to control. Chances are, by the time you start receiving tenant complaints the problem has already become a full-blown infestation.
This is why knowing and being able to detect the signs of a cockroach infestation is so important for landlords and property managers. So, In addition to actual pest sightings and tenant complaints, here are a few signs that may point to a cockroach infestation.
Common signs of a cockroach infestation
- Cockroach feces
- Discarded caste skin, egg cases
- Dead or live cockroach sightings
Cockroaches are largely nocturnal preferring to hide in cracks, crevices and wall voids during the day. Because of this, one of the best early warning signs of a cockroach infestation is the presence of cockroach feces.
Feces produced by small cockroaches can resemble small pepper specks or coffee grounds, while larger cockroaches will produce larger, cylindrical droppings. As a general rule, the quantity of visible feces, or the presence of brown stains and smears is a good indicator that an infestation is present.
In addition to the presence of feces, serious infestations have been known to give off a distinctive oily or musty odor that can be quite strong.
Discarded Caste Skin and Egg Cases
Another sign to look for is brown, oblong-shaped egg cases that are left behind after the nymphs have hatched. These egg cases are often spotted in tight, protected areas like cracks, crevices and underneath or behind furniture and appliances.
This can include the inside of drawers, false bottoms of cupboards and even the spaces between books.
Dead or Live Cockroach Sightings
Adult German Cockroaches are approximately 1/2” to 5/8” long, with two dark stripes running lengthwise along the shield-like area behind the head and can range in color from light brown to tan.
Cockroaches thrive in areas where warmth, moisture, food and shelter are easily accessible. Because they are nocturnal, cockroaches generally remain hidden in dark, damp spaces during the day. At night, they will leave their hiding places in search of food. And for cockroaches, food can include food scraps, soap, toothpaste, glue, hair, excrement and other items.
Anytime a cockroach is spotted during the day, you can expect that others are lurking nearby. This is especially true for multi-family housing units.
Cockroaches are very mobile and have the ability to enter adjacent units via common walls, ceilings, pipes, wires and other openings. This can make it challenging for property managers to find and eliminate the source of the problem.
Preferred hiding places include:
- Floor Drains
- Kitchen Cabinets
- Crawl Spaces
Because cockroaches tend to congregate and breed in warm, dark, moist areas they are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms. However, when populations are large or food is scarce they may be found anywhere.
German cockroaches have been known to congregate in clocks, toaster ovens and other heat-producing electronic equipment. And because they can flatten their bodies to fit in narrow areas, cockroaches have even been found hiding beneath rubber mats and behind wallpaper.
Cockroaches are known mechanical vectors for bacteria including E.Coli and Salmonella making them a serious health risk for tenants living in densely populated housing conditions.
However, there is one other health risk that can present itself when there is a significant accumulation of cockroach feces and discarded caste skins. In some people, the build-up of excrement, eggs and shed skin has been known to trigger allergic reactions.
Cockroach-produced allergens have been linked with symptoms like congestion, sneezing and watery eyes. In severe cases, asthma triggered by the presence of cockroaches has been characterized by recurrent coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Getting Rid of a Cockroach Infestation
Cockroaches can be difficult to control. Any customized pest management program will require regular monitoring and visual inspection. So, having a trusted partner with the expertise and experience to effectively treat and prevent a re-infestation is essential for success.
For over 35 years, business owners and multi-family property managers have counted on our expertise to eliminate their toughest pest problems. If you have a cockroach infestation on your hands, call 877-755-2726 and discover the JAPCO difference today.