Archive for the ‘Roaches’ Category

The Types of Cockroaches That Often Appear In Homes

Several cockroach species have been documented in Louisiana, a minority of which are pests. The most common cockroach pests in Louisiana include German, American, Oriental, brown-banded and smoky-brown cockroaches. These cockroaches are more than just a nuisance within a home, as they spread allergens and disease-causing organisms. Two species, the German and brown-banded cockroaches, dwell primarily indoors, making them particularly difficult to control. All other pest species invade homes occasionally where they often maintain a long-lasting presence. However, in a wet and humid state like Louisiana, not every cockroach/es a person sees indoors is categorized as a pest. This may come as a surprise to some people, as spotting even one roach indoors is often reason enough to assume that an infestation has occurred, and identifying the species of cockroach found indoors is not always considered necessary. That being said, there are four roach species often found in Louisiana homes that pose no health threat to humans, and are not looking to set up camp indoors. These four species are not pests, but a few of them are commonly mistaken for pest species, which may prompt unnecessary calls to pest control professionals.

According to the LSU Ag Center, the Cuban cockroach, the red-legged cockroach, the September cockroach, and multiple species of woods cockroaches are not pests despite being found indoors occasionally. Woods cockroaches can be found on trees during the nighttime hours, and they are often mistaken for German cockroaches when they appear in homes due to their dark exterior and .5 to 1 inch body length. The September cockroach is also similar in appearance to a few cockroach pest species, only the September cockroach is particularly well suited for flying and a red-colored patch can be found behind their heads. This species is abundant on lawns and leaf-litter, and they are highly mobile during the day and evening hours during the summer, sometimes bringing them into homes. The red-legged cockroach is one of the most common roach species in Louisiana, and they can be identified by their conspicuous red legs for which the species is named. The Cuban cockroach is not easily confused with roach pest species on account of its lime green exterior, but they may become a nuisance during the spring and early summer when they take flight toward porch lights.

Is it normal for you to notice multiple roach species in your home during the summer months?

How Louisiana’s Common Cockroach Species Differ In Terms Of Pest Behavior And Infestation Tactics

Louisiana is home to many cockroach pest species, nearly all of which were introduced into the state from other countries. The most common cockroach pest species that can be found in Louisiana include German, American, Brown-banded, smokybrown, Asian, Surinam and Oriental cockroaches. The state is also home to recently introduced species, including Cuban, large brown, Australian and Florida woods cockroaches. The Pennsylvania woods cockroach has been found in Louisiana numerous times, but they are not as common as the above named species. The state is also home to several rural cockroach species that can become problematic in country homes on rare occasions.

Cockroaches are considered by some experts to be the most commonly reviled and problematic indoor insect pests, as roaches spread numerous disease-causing microorganisms on human food sources and indoor surfaces. Roaches also play a significant role in the development of allergic conditions, and they can exacerbate existing allergy symptoms, especially asthma. Unfortunately, cockroaches are also one of the most difficult types of insect pests control, and control methods differ tremendously depending on the species.

American cockroaches are said to be the largest roach pests in the US, as both males and females of this species grow to be around 2 inches in length. These roaches congregate in sewers, and they tend to infest the ground and below-ground levels of homes and buildings, particularly damp and musty basements. Pest control professionals usually resort to gel or granular baits to eliminate American cockroach infestations, but unfortunately, fully grown adult cockroaches cannot always fit into bait station entrances due to their large body size.

Unlike American and Oriential roaches, smokybrown cockroaches are rarely found in sewers, and their need for high-humidity conditions limits their habitat to the southern states. Despite their need for humidity, these roaches can be found anywhere in a house, including basements, crawlspaces and even attics. Smokybrown cockroaches are also large-bodied at around an inch and a half in length, and they are usually controlled with gel or granular baits.

German cockroaches are the most common cockroach pests, and just like the brown-banded species, German roaches dwell primarily indoors. Eliminating German cockroach pests from infested homes is difficult and requires a combination of methods. For example, sticky traps must be strategically placed around a home so that pest control professionals can determine the location of their harborages. These insect pests are only attracted to pheromone-based sticky traps, and many bait stations must be strategically placed throughout a household in order to successfully eliminate infestations. Professionals also spray minimal amounts of insecticide into small cracks and crevices where the roaches are known to hide.

Have you ever attempted to eliminate a cockroach infestation on your own and without professional assistance?

Rainstorms And Floods Prompt Smokey Brown Cockroaches To Invade Louisiana Homes In Massive Numbers

The German cockroach is the most widely distributed and the most common indoor roach pest species within the United States, and the entire world, for that matter. The German cockroach is one of only two roach pest species in the US that dwell solely indoors, the other species being the brownbanded cockroach. The American cockroach is the second most commonly encountered roach pest species within homes and buildings in the US. This species is notable for being particularly filthy, as they are well known for dwelling within sewers where they sometimes traverse through plumbing only to emerge from drains within people’s homes. The Oriental cockroach is another common indoor pest species in the US, but they are not as widespread as the German and American species. The smoky brown cockroach species is closely related to the American cockroach, but they cannot match the American species in terms of body size, as smoky browns grow to be slightly larger than 1 inch in body length, whereas the American roach can grow to 2 inches in body length. The smoky brown species’ habitat is largely limited to the southeast US, but they can also be found in southern California and parts of the midwest. The smoky brown’s dependency on high-moisture environments make them particularly abundant in Louisiana.

The tropical storm Barry, which is currently causing flood conditions along the Gulf Coast, is causing smoky brown cockroaches to invade homes in massive numbers in the region. Unfortunately, this behavior is typical of smoky browns during heavy rainstorms. According to entomologists with Louisiana State University, the roaches develop a sudden preference for indoor conditions during rainstorms and especially during floods. An example of this phenomenon is well documented in footage posted to Facebook, which shows an uncomfortably large amount of smoky browns emerging from an overflowing storm drain in Louisiana. This footage has gone viral, and has been featured in the media, capturing the fascination and disgust of people all over the world. Smoky brown cockroaches prefer to live outdoors, but they are in the habit of entering homes in order to feed. However, rainstorms and floods make the smoky brown’s typical habitat a bit too wet for the insect’s taste, causing them to invade homes in large numbers to avoid succumbing to rising water levels.

Have cockroaches ever invaded your home en masse during heavy storms?


An Off-Duty Louisiana Health Inspector Visited A Restaurant Where A Cockroach Emerged From His Bowl Of Shrimps A La Creole

It is a good thing that every state employs health officials to inspect restaurant kitchens, especially considering how commonly restaurants are cited for insect-related violations. Anybody who has ever worked in a restaurant kitchen knows how conducive the environment is to insect infestations. The fast-paced work in restaurant kitchens allows little to no time to keep conditions sanitary. After a lunch or evening business rush, pieces of food can wind up in every nook and cranny of a kitchen, requiring hours of cleanup at the end of the day.40061996 - dead cockroaches on wooden table

In New Orleans where many restaurants are located within historically significant, but outdated buildings, insects like cockroaches and flies can easily gain access to kitchens through structurally compromised areas. The city’s subtropical climate allows urban insect pests to proliferate to staggering numbers. According to a 2015 study carried out by the American Housing Survey, New Orleans sees more roach infested homes and buildings than any other American city. Although restaurant patrons in New Orleans likely understand how difficult it can be for staff to keep roaches out of the kitchen, finding a cockroach within a bowl of gumbo would certainly not be accepted. However, there was a time when serving roach-infested food at New Orleans restaurants was dismissed as inevitable. For example, an old local newspaper article from 1917 described an event in which an off-duty health inspector became disgusted upon find a huge roach float to the top of his soup. Surprisingly, the article’s author sympathized with the restaurant’s staff more so than the patron.

According to the 1917 Times of Picayune article, before an off-duty health inspector took a bite out of his shrimps a la Creole at a popular St. Charles Street restaurant, he noticed that the dish also included a cockroach. While many residents were appalled by the story after it went public, the article’s author was dismissive, as he stated that such events were inevitable in a city so filled with cockroaches. Today, it is well known that roaches can spread a variety of disease-causing bacteria, and the insect pests are less prevalent in restaurant kitchens now thanks to insecticides and other pest control methods that did not exist back in 1917. Luckily, roach-contaminated restaurant food is no longer acceptable.

Have you ever worked in a restaurant that had a pest problem?

Sewer-Dwelling Palmetto Bugs Can Emerge From Indoor Drains After Traveling Through Plumbing Pipes

Palmetto bugs are cockroaches that dwell within the southern United States, and they are particularly abundant within southern Louisiana’s wet landscape. Although most experts consider palmetto bugs and smokybrown cockroaches to be two common nicknames for one species, the term “palmetto bug” is sometimes used as a catch-all term for cockroach pests of several species, particularly the Florida woods cockroach and the American cockroach. Palmetto bugs and American cockroaches can be hard for laymen to differentiate, as both of these species are relatively large in size at around 1.5 to 2 inches in body length, and both inhabit high-moisture environments where decay and filth may be abundant. Palmetto bugs are often found within the moist soil in flower beds, beneath decaying plant matter, and underneath rocks. Considering the palmetto bug’s preference for dark, damp environments where filth and decaying matter are easy to come by, it should not be surprising to learn that millions of these roaches inhabit sewers, which is another habitat that the roaches share with American cockroaches. In fact, both palmetto bugs and American cockroaches have been known to traverse through sewer pipes before eventually emerging from indoor drains. These roaches have been found emerging from sinks, bathtubs and floor drains, as well as toilets.Sewer-Dwelling Palmetto Bugs Can Emerge From Indoor Drains After Traveling Through Plumbing Pipes

Palmetto bugs are typically around half an inch shorter in body length than American cockroaches, and palmetto bugs possess a black exterior, while American cockroaches have a reddish-brown appearance. Both of these species also possess the ability to fly, but luckily, they are poor flyers and they rarely go airborne. Since many palmetto bugs maintain a presence within sewers and septic tanks they can spread bacteria to humans and food sources easily, possibly leading to serious diseases, including salmonella. If that is not enough, palmetto bugs have also been known to inflict bites on humans, which can cause skin irritation. While palmetto bugs are occasionally associated with filth, the roaches will establish a presence within any area of a home where high moisture and darkness are available, so these roaches can become a problem in even the most immaculate of living conditions.

Have you ever witnessed a cockroach fly? Get A Free Pest Control Estimate today!





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