It is important to know about the signs that cockroaches have invaded. The most conclusive sign of a cockroach infestation is simply seeing them in the home, but because they are nocturnal insects they are not always easy to spot. Luckily, roaches also leave a tell-tale odor as well as other signs of infestation.
When a very severe infestation is present, cockroaches can often be seen during the day. These unpleasant insects are quite distinctive and are easily identified. Between half an inch (1.3 cm) and two inches (5 cm) long, roaches have flat elongated bodies and are colored light or dark brown or black. Along with six legs and a set of long antennae, these characteristics ensure that identifying a cockroach is usually a simple matter.
The more severe the infestation, the more cockroach sightings are likely during daylight hours. This is not the case 100% of the time, of course, and regular daytime sightings aren’t that common for minor infestations. Given that cockroaches are nocturnal and normally stay hidden during daylight hours, knowing how to recognize other signs of cockroach infestation is essential.
One of the most common signs that cockroaches are present in the home is the presence of what are known as shell casings. These are egg cases from recently hatched cockroaches, and appear as small dark brown oval-shaped casings. Another common sign is the presence of cockroach specks. These dark-colored specks are fecal pellets and regurgitated food, and look like grains of ground pepper.
Finally, there’s the smell. Cockroaches give off a strong, very oily odor, which becomes extremely pungent when large numbers of the insects are present. Aside from all the hygiene issues associated with a cockroach infestation, the smell itself is unpleasant and can permeate food that is left exposed to the air.
The problem is, controlling a cockroach infestation isn’t only about killing visible cockroaches, as even a minor infestation is usually much more extensive than it appears. More important than finding and eradicating a cockroach nest is making the home inhospitable to roaches so that they won’t want to come back. The use of a cockroach trap or cockroach bait can be essential for homes in cooler climates because roaches prefer warm habitats and often move inside during the winter. A serious cockroach infestation where several nests are involved will often mean pest control requires the help of an exterminator.