Mosquitoes flying around

4 Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

September 26, 2022

By Hawx Pest Control

The thought of a cockroach infestation is concerning for any homeowner, and that goes double if you’re a restaurant owner. These insects are adaptable, resilient, and very stubborn squatters once they call somewhere home.

The longer a cockroach infestation goes without detection, the worse it will get. It’s critical to keep an eye out for signs of an infestation and act quickly when you see potential evidence. 

Where do cockroaches hide?

Cockroaches, with their slim bodies and tough exoskeletons, can hide in tiny cracks and other places that aren’t easily noticeable at first. You might be in for an unpleasant surprise if you move an appliance or clean out under a sink since these critters tend to make their homes in warm, damp places.

Cockroaches make their homes in dark and undisturbed places According to CNN, Houston is the city with the most reported cockroach infestations in the U.S., and nine of the top ten cities for roach infestations are in the Southern U.S, due to their preference for warm, humid climates.

What are cockroaches attracted to?

While cockroaches will eat nearly anything, from plants to other insects, most species tend to make their homes in dark, humid places that are close to easy food sources, like small insects, open food, or trash. Unsealed food of any kind is an attractant for roaches. Even things like dirty dishes piled in a sink or crumbs on the floor will ring a dinner bell for these scavenging insects.  

Signs of a cockroach infestation

There are four main signs that are clear indicators of a cockroach infestation in your home, office, or restaurant: droppings, egg cases, molted skins, or their foul smell. Learn more about each sign below and how to identify them.

What do cockroach droppings look like?

Telltale signs of a cockroach infestation are their droppings. If you find droppings in various places around your home or business, it’s a clear indicator that an infestation may be hiding within your walls or cabinets. 

Cockroach droppings look like black specks and are more concentrated when the infestation is more serious. While it might be tough to identify droppings from just a few roaches, it is much easier to see and identify a denser area of speckled black spots.

What do cockroach eggs look like?

Cockroaches encase their eggs inside a hard shell called an ootheca, which protects them from predators and even pesticides. These egg cases are pill-shaped and sometimes have visible segments on the outside, containing up to 40 eggs.  

2 cockroach eggs or ootheca on window

Female cockroaches can produce up to 150 eggs per year, so it’s very important to act quickly if you see signs of eggs because more cockroaches are about to enter your home as soon as they hatch. Keep an eye out for their molted skins, also—another telltale sign of cockroaches in your space.

What does a cockroach bite look like?

Fortunately, cockroaches don’t bite humans in the same way as a spider or an ant might. When cockroaches do bite something, it’s because they’re eating. Since their mouthparts can’t pierce human or pet skin, we’re safe from their bites. 

But that doesn’t mean that roaches aren’t a health hazard. They inhabit dirty areas full of bacteria and walk through your home, potentially leaving germs and droppings, as well as their shedded skins behind. This can spread disease or cause allergic reactions in some people, even those with no previous history of allergies. 

What does a cockroach smell like?

Among their other less desirable qualities, cockroaches also have a notably foul odor. Often described as musty, mildewy, or oily, once you’ve smelled it for the first time, you won’t soon forget the uniquely strong smell. 

If there’s a smell in your home or business that could meet that description, it could be a sign that you have a cockroach infestation. In that case, it’s well worth it to call a pest control professional to scope out the situation.

What cockroach signs might food workers notice?

First, cockroach droppings. Most commercial kitchens are cleaned thoroughly and frequently, so if you’re seeing those telltale black specks pop up in a place you know was just cleaned, and you can rule out other food-related causes, it may be cockroach droppings. 

The second sign is finding their molted casings or egg cases in areas lower to the ground. Cockroaches shed and leave their cast-off skin wherever it happens to fall. Since they are such voracious eaters, these items can often end up in food products. 

With early detection and Hawx Pest Control’s help in your restaurant, office, or home, you should be able to get a handle on an infestation.