No matter where you live, it is safe to assume you have come into contact with one the most unpopular and prominent bugs in Florida, the cockroach. They can be extremely difficult to get rid of infestations can be frustrating. It does not matter how clean your house is. Nearly all homes battle roaches at some point.
There are more than 3,500 cockroach species in the world, and unfortunately, 70 of those species live in Florida.
Florida roaches, also known as palmetto bugs or water bugs, are not only a nuisance, but they destroy food, damage books and fabrics, and spread disease. The most common types are the American roach and the German roach.
Roaches are not social insects. During the day they can be found in groups hiding or harborage under stoves, refrigerators, cabinets walls, attics or in molding.
Roaches need three things to live: food, water and shelter. Starving them is tough, as they are opportunistic eaters. Although they prefer decaying matter, they have been found snacking on all types of food, even paper, boots, glue and other insects.
Roaches like to have the top and bottom of their bodies touching surfaces at the same time. This means they love tiny cracks and anything that will cover them. Seal cracks, crannies and corners with caulk and clean up clutter around your home. Use weather stripping to eliminate gaps under the doors, screen vents and check the screens on attic vents.
Remember to take your garbage out frequently, use plastic containers to store food in your cabinets and unless dirty dishes are soaking in soapy water, don’t leave them in the sink. Wipe down surfaces that have been in contact with food and vacuum as often as possible.
German roaches don’t live outdoors in Florida. If you find them in your home, they were brought into the home from a store, business, a yard sale etc.
When bringing questionable items into your home, inspect all items outside in the sunlight, and use a strong flashlight to examine hidden areas, especially if it’s a piece of furniture.
Commonly found outdoors in landscaped areas, sewers or storm drains and in low areas of a building where moisture levels are higher. These roaches are capable of flight, but they usually seen scurrying around on their six legs. Their oval shaped body length can measure from 1 to 1 ½ inches with brownish/red wings and light markings on their head.
Controlling these roaches begins by maintaining outdoor areas. Remove debris, leaves, wood piles and other materials. Also be mindful of where you put food, especially dog food, outside and inside.
In most all situations this roach is found indoors with infestations beginning after the introduction of roaches in packages. This species cannot fly, avoids lights and prefers to live near moisture sources and in humid areas. They are a tan to brownish color, smaller in size with two dark horizontal stripes on their backs.
Prevention and sanitation are the keys to controlling roaches, however, the most effective solution is to call Bates Exterminating.