There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than seeing a cockroach creeping around your kitchen—or anywhere in the house. It might immediately make you feel like you need to call an exterminator or scrub down every inch of your home. Of course, you might also wonder if more roaches are lurking around.
If you see one cockroach, you’re likely to have many more in your home that you haven’t spotted yet. So, while it would be nice if cockroaches were a “one and done” type of bug, they tend to be “social” insects.
Unfortunately, yes. Cockroaches tend to hang out in communities for a variety of pretty ingenious reasons. First, since they only live for about a year, they need to reproduce as much as possible. Hanging out in groups makes that easier.
Additionally, when cockroaches spend time in these communities, they can share resources like food and shelter, so they don’t have to fend for themselves all of the time.
Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures that tend to come out when it’s dark, so it makes sense that you wouldn’t see many of them crawling around during the day. But, if you’re a night owl and flip on the light in your kitchen for a midnight snack, you might see a few of them scatter and try to hide away—and you’ll probably lose your appetite.
If you do see a roach (or more than one) out in the open during the day, your problem might be even worse. There are only so many places in a home for roaches to hide and nest. Once those areas are full, the insects are forced out due to overcrowding.
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The first thing you’ll likely notice if you have a cockroach infestation is the smell. The insects tend to give off a musty/oily odor that’s hard to miss. Additional signs of an infestation include droppings that look like specks of pepper, eggs, or egg shells, and smear marks on your floors or walls (yes, it’s as gross as it sounds).
You might also notice your allergies acting up. It’s not uncommon for people to be allergic to things like the feces and exoskeletons cockroaches tend to leave lying around, so if you’re sneezing and itching your eyes more than usual, you could be dealing with a cockroach infestation.
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So, whether you see one cockroach or a few, you could have an infestation on your hands if they’re crawling around the kitchen during the day.
The best way to get rid of a cockroach infestation is to kill any roaches you see on sight and consider using cockroach bait and insect killer to stop them from getting comfortable in your home. It’s also a good rule of thumb to sanitize your home. Make sure there are no food scraps or crumbs anywhere. A cockroach infestation will continue to grow if they have a reason to be more attracted to your home.
Additionally, make sure there is no standing or stagnant water in or around your house. Cockroaches rely on moisture to survive, which is why you’ll usually find them in dark, damp areas.
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If you’re still having issues or you keep seeing signs of cockroaches, contact a local exterminator for help. Sometimes, an infestation can get so bad that it’s nearly impossible to take care of it on your own.
Most importantly, once you get rid of your cockroach community, keep them away for good by keeping your home clean and dry. If you take the time to recognize the signs and practice prevention, you’ll usually be able to prevent cockroach communities from moving into your home.