Have you had the experience of walking into your house on your birthday only to be greeted by a group of family and friends shouting "Happy Birthday!"? If not, you've probably seen those scenes in movies or television shows where the unsuspecting person walks into the room, and a group greets them while wearing party hats and blowing party horns. Initially, the person is shocked, but their surprise quickly turns to a smile and laughter as they join in on the festivities.
Life is full of surprises; some are good, others are not. One shock you do not need is stumbling into the bathroom in the dark, turning on the light, and seeing cockroaches run for cover down the shower drain, underneath towels, or behind cabinets. No one wants to be surprised by these filthy insects when they go into the kitchen for a late-night glass of water.
You probably found this article because you've been surprised by cockroaches in your home. Fortunately, ATC Pest Control provides pest control in Baltimore, and we can help. We are a woman and veteran-owned, local pest control company servicing our community since 2008. We provide high-quality service and the best guarantees.
We know you don't want cockroaches to surprise you anymore. Therefore, we wrote this article to give you information so you can combat these frustrating pests and end their presence in your Baltimore home. So please keep reading.
Physical Characteristics Of Roaches: How To Identify Them
Before we discuss specific cockroaches that invade Baltimore homes, we need to have a basic understanding of their general anatomy for quick identification. Cockroaches are insects with six jointed legs, two long antennae, and a three-part body consisting of a head, thorax, and abdomen. Some cockroaches have wings, while others have wing pads. Although some insects have stingers, cockroaches do not. The two characteristics that set cockroaches apart from other insects are their vertical leg spines and extra long thin antennae.
Since we have an overview of cockroach anatomy, let's delve into the species that invade homes in Baltimore.
The following are the types of cockroaches we find in local homes:
Because each species has unique identification markers, we will briefly examine each one.
Americans are known for extravagance; our motto is "Go big or go home." So, it should not be surprising that American cockroaches have the biggest bodies in our group. These insects have a 1 1/4 to 2 1/8 inch reddish-brown oval-shaped body. In addition to their size, the other distinguishing feature is the yellowish figure-eight pattern on the back of the head. American cockroaches have wings and can fly short distances, but they prefer to run instead. These bugs usually live outside underneath flowerbeds and mulch piles. When adverse weather conditions drive them into a house, they gravitate to warm, moist and dark environments behind kitchen and bathroom cabinets or laundry rooms.
An American cockroach next to a brown-banded cockroach is a study in contrasts. Brown-banded cockroaches have a much smaller 1/2-inch brown body. Two lighter brown bands on their wings are their distinguishing feature and namesake. Only male brown-banded cockroaches can fly. Unlike the other cockroaches on our list, brown-banded cockroaches prefer to live in dry, hot environments. When they enter a house, they dwell on the tops of cabinets and near the ceiling.
While we find different types of cockroaches in Baltimore homes, German cockroaches are the most prevalent. These light brown to tan insects have a 1/2 to 5/8-inch oval-shaped body with two dark stripes on their backs just behind the head. Although they have wings, they rarely fly. Like their American counterparts, they prefer to live in warm, humid environments in the kitchen and bathroom. Unlike the other roaches on our list, German cockroaches cannot survive outdoors but live primarily inside structures.
The last cockroach on our list is a unique insect due to their shiny, dark, reddish-brown, or black one-inch body. Also known as "water bugs" or "black beetle cockroaches," oriental cockroaches prefer to live in crawl spaces and other colder damp locations. These cockroaches do not have wings but only have wing pads and thus cannot fly.
ATC Pest Control is the best cockroach exterminator in Baltimore. Our highly-trained technicians can identify which species is living in your Baltimore home because they know the signs of each type of cockroach in our area.
Health Risks: Cockroaches Spread Disease And Trigger Allergies
Cockroaches will eat anything and will travel anywhere to find food. Unfortunately, decaying fermenting plant and animal matter in drains, sewers, trash and compost piles, and animal feces attract cockroaches; however, rotting materials are not the only items in these areas.
Locations full of decaying matter tend to be warm and moist, and the combination of these factors creates the perfect environment for bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms. Other insects land in these areas, and minuscule amounts of these disease-causing organisms stick to the claws on their feet. A tiny amount of these organisms are enough to contaminate items when the pests land or travel over them; however, with cockroaches, the scenario is multiplied several times due to the spines on their legs.
As cockroaches forage in these areas, large numbers of bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms stick to the protrusions on each of their six legs resulting in a heavy load of pathogens that they spread in homes. Also, cockroaches deposit infectious organisms through their feces and saliva, which they leave on items in the house. Salmonellosis, typhoid fever, cholera, gastroenteritis, dysentery, listeriosis, giardia, and E. coli infection are examples of diseases caused by the 33 bacteria and six kinds of parasitic worms that cockroaches spread throughout a house.
In 1943 researchers found that many people are allergic to the proteins cockroaches produce. They noticed rashes on some individuals in locations where the insects had come into contact with skin. One characteristic of insects is they have an external skeleton (exoskeleton) which they must shed at each growth stage to allow their body to expand. As these discarded skins decay, particles become airborne and inhaled. Because these decaying exoskeletons contain cockroach proteins, they trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. The same is also the case for airborne fecal matter.
ATC Pest Control provides cockroach pest control in Baltimore to protect your family from the diseases and allergens spread by cockroaches.
Professional Roach Extermination: Call The Experts Right Away
For every cockroach you see in your Baltimore home, ten others may be hiding in the walls, behind cabinets, inside appliances, or in drains. While many people purchase a DIY product and get immediate satisfaction from watching a few cockroaches expire in a pool of the product, it is not enough to end an infestation.
When you contact ATC Pest Control, we will listen to your concerns and dispatch a trained, experienced technician to your house. During the inspection, we search for entry points, attractants, signs of an infestation, and egg locations. We have tools like thermal imagers to see inside walls to detect cockroach hot spots. We encourage our customers to walk with us as we investigate the house so we can gather as much information as possible. When we complete our inspection, we will provide you with a strategy and a proposal to end your cockroach infestation.
With your approval, we treat the homes using treatments that cockroaches carry back to their nests, where they spread the product to other group members. These products eliminate the adults and prevent offspring from molting, thus ending the next generation.
Since most cockroaches enter a home from the outside, we treat the entire property, not just six feet out like many other pest control companies, to create a barrier around the house. If you want to end the current infestation and protect your home against cockroaches, partnering with ATC Pest Control is the solution.
Effective Ways To Keep Roaches Out: Essential Prevention Measures
You do not want a repeat cockroach invasion once ATC Pest Control ends the current cockroach infestation.
To reinforce the barrier we create around your home, we recommend implementing the following:
Remove animal feces and rotting fruit from the yard
Cover outdoor and indoor garbage containers
Dehumidify the crawl space, basement, and attic
Repair leaking plumbing fixtures and drains
Seal cracks and gaps in the foundation and along the roofline
Prune tree branches and shrubs away from the home
Install door sweeps
Close the gaps around window and door frames, incoming wires, and siding
Fix holes in window and door screens
Inspect bags, luggage, and clothing upon returning home after a trip to public venues
Wipe down cooking and eating surfaces after meals
Remove pet food from bowls at night
Store food items in plastic and glass containers
Cockroaches often enter homes searching for food, water, and shelter. Maintaining a clean, dry environment around and inside the house will deter them from entering or staying. Contact us today to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Baltimore. Remember, when quality counts, count on ATC Pest Control.