Types of Roaches in Florida Homes
Roaches are more than just annoying, gross pests. They can pose a serious risk to Florida homeowners, causing allergies and spreading disease wherever they go.
Unfortunately, the climate and temperature of Port St. Lucie means residents are always at potential risk of roach infestation. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. In this article, we’ll take a look at the types of cockroaches that could be trying to get inside your home, the dangers they bring with them, and steps you can take to defend yourself.
Before you can eliminate roach infestations in your Port St. Lucie home, first you need to understand what you’re up against.
While the World Health Organization recognizes over 3,500 species of cockroach across the globe, Florida homes are often infested by one of five common breeds. Let’s take a look at the usual suspects:
- American cockroaches are the largest species of common cockroach in America, growing up to two inches long in size. American cockroaches are particularly common on Palmetto trees and in flower beds.
- German cockroaches are extremely destructive, feeding on books, bindings, and any other soft items they come across. German cockroaches have to live near humans to survive, making them a common sighting in homes across America.
- Australian cockroaches are more often found outdoors on tree bark, under rocks, in gardens, or inside firewood or mulch piles, but can be taken inside accidentally by unaware homeowners. Once inside, they are notorious for eating and destroying clothing items they find.
- Brown-banded cockroaches are named for the light brown bands across their wings. Unlike most cockroaches, brown-banded cockroaches prefer drier environments, and inside homes they are commonly found under or inside furniture.
- Asian cockroaches are relatively new to the United States, arriving through commerce in the 1980’s. Very similar to the German cockroach in size and appearance, Asian cockroaches are agile fliers, using their wings outdoors to seek out flowers and aphid honeydew for nutrients.
Different breeds of roaches thrive in different environments and can mean different things for your home, but regardless of the species, roaches are bad news.
What Roach Season Means for Port St. Lucie
Roaches mean a lot of things for Port St. Lucie residents - none of them good. Roaches are one of the most common nuisance animals in the world, and with good reason. An untreated roach infestation can have a negative impact on Florida homeowners in a number of ways:
Nothing ruins warm summer nights enjoying the Florida weather faster than disgusting, buzzing roaches invading your personal space. Humans have always had a natural animosity toward cockroaches, well before we understood the full risks they post. Even without health concerns, cockroaches are annoying to be around.
Roaches will bite, but the main health threat they post comes from the things they leave behind as they scurry across floors and surfaces, contaminating any food products they come across. The droppings and dead skin they leave behind can lead to serious allergic reactions, with dangerous and even life-threatening results.
People with asthma are at particular risk. Cockroaches trigger allergies in a manner similar to dust mites, so if you or someone in your home suddenly starts showing signs like frequent sneezing, runny nose, difficulty breathing, or asthma attacks, it could be one indication that roaches have made a nest inside your home.
If triggering allergic reactions wasn’t enough, roaches can also be vectors for numerous serious diseases. Cockroaches are known to be carriers for the pathogens responsible for typhoid, polio, dysentery, and more.
Worse, roaches can spread diseases even if they’re not directly vectors for them. Diseases like salmonella, pneumonia, and E. coli, in addition to various parasites, can all get picked up by the tiny hairs on a cockroach’s legs. From that point, the disease can spread to any food, surfaces, or people the roach comes into contact with.
Roaches’ reputation as nuisance pests, allergy triggers, and disease vectors is well-known, causing most people to avoid any locations where cockroaches are present. Naturally, this is bad news for businesses and restaurants looking to attract customers, but cockroaches can have a serious negative economic impact on homeowners as well in the form of damaged books and clothing.
Why Cockroaches Love Port St. Lucie Homes
Roaches thrive in warm conditions, especially in areas where temperatures exceed 70° Fahrenheit, and they love humid, dark places where they can be safe from predators.
Unfortunately for most Florida homeowners, that means their property could be a hotspot for cockroach activity at potentially any time of year. They may not be out on the beach, but rest assured they’re trying to get into any unprotected areas around your home.
Why Cockroaches are Year-Round Problem
Roaches are attracted to three things: moisture, food, and filth. At any time of year, at least two (and probably three) of those things can be found inside your home. As the weather cools in the fall and winter months and food becomes harder to find in the wild, human residences become more and more tempting to break into.
The main problem is that cockroach infestations only grow exponentially harder to eliminate the longer they’re left untreated, which is why it’s so important to treat cockroach problems immediately. But with your home vulnerable at virtually any time of year, how can you be sure severe damage isn’t going on right under your nose?
The answer is through year-round protection.
Year-Round Roach Prevention
For Port St. Lucie residents, prevention is always the best course of action in regards to keeping roaches out. The more easily they can find food, water, and shelter, the more likely they’ll take up permanent residence, so follow these year-round roach prevention tips to stop an infestation before it starts.
Know the Signs: Roaches leave traces of their existence behind while foraging, namely droppings, body parts, and corpses, so be on the lookout. If you see a roach in your home in broad daylight, it probably means you have an infestation. Likewise, if someone in the home suddenly shows signs of asthma or other health concerns, this could be an indication of roach presence.
Know Where to Look: There are a few areas around most homes that can become hotspots for roach activity. Check around toilets and sinks, in pantries, near pet food containers, and around any piles of trash, boxes, books, or magazines. Roaches are also known to hide behind or inside furniture, appliances, drains, water heaters, and grease traps, as well as potentially any shady, moist place around the home - so be vigilant.
Deep Clean: If you’ve inspected your home and know you’re already suffering from an infestation, it’s vital that your first step be to deep clean the house. Use an air purifier to capture and dispose any airborne particles from droppings or body parts, and don’t be afraid to move furniture and appliances in order to hit all the hard-to-reach areas.
Get it Clean, Keep it Clean: The importance of cleanliness cannot be overstated, and once you’ve gotten your house deep-cleaned, it’s up to you to keep it that way. Stay on top of trash disposal and dishwashing. Vacuum regularly, store all food in sealed containers, keep paper products off the floor, and don’t let waste build up in the garbage disposal or other areas.
Yard Maintenance: Keep the yard clean and remove any possible food sources that could lead roaches back to your home. Keep compost and wood piles at least ten feet away from the home, lifted if possible. Check around the yard for any sources of standing water and eliminate them, and make sure your gutters are working properly, as these areas are both common water sources around infested homes.
Eliminate Water: Like any other pest, roaches need a water source to survive; deny them one. Fix any leaking pipes or faucets around the home, and consider getting a dehumidifier to both eliminate excess moisture and limit the spread of biological contaminants roaches carry.
Why Professional Pest Control is Worth It
Roaches are notoriously difficult to get rid of, which is why they are one of the most common pests in the world. But the problem is even worse for Florida homeowners, whose homes are usually sitting in perfect conditions for roach infestation.
If you want your roach problem solved for good, the best solution is always to bring a professional on board.
At Nozzle Nolen, we know roaches like no one else. We understand that every pest infestation is unique, and will take the time to fully understand the problem so that we can keep it from coming back.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Nozzle Nolen can help you take your home back from roach invaders, head over to our residential pest control page to explore your treatment options or contact us for more information!