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Why Roaches Come Out At Night

kitchen at night

You may have heard that cockroaches are nocturnal, but have you ever wondered why? As it turns out, they have specific activity rhythms where they tend to be inactive during the day and start to hunt for food at night. This usually happens around 4 hours after the lights go out. They emerge to feed on whatever they can find in your house including food that's been left out, pet food in a dish, crumbs on the floor, garbage, sludge between the stove and counter, or any other source of fresh or rotting food matter.

Do they come out in the day? Yes. But, if you are seeing cockroaches during the day, it is a good indication that you have a significant infestation. Daytime activity usually means that food sources are limited for the population of cockroaches present, and those roaches are forced to hunt for a meal at less than ideal times.

7 Facts About Cockroaches

If you are encountering cockroaches in your home, you may be wondering how they are getting in, and how to get rid of them. There is no doubt that these are disgusting creatures that are difficult to get rid of. But with a little know-how, it is possible. The following is a list of 7 things every homeowner should be aware of when dealing with cockroaches.

  1. A cockroach can hold its breath for up to 40 minutes. This ability makes it extremely difficult to drown a cockroach.  
  2. Cockroaches are filthy pests. These insects have no problem frequenting filthy places such as sewers and trash heaps. Then they are just as happy to enter your home and crawl around on food preparation surfaces or the food itself. Some of the diseases cockroaches are known to spread include: salmonellosis, cholera, dysentery, leprosy, and campylobacteriosis.
  3. Roaches can run as fast as 3 miles per hour. Even a 1-day-old baby cockroach, which is about the size of a speck of dust, can run almost as fast as a full grown adult cockroach.
  4. Cockroaches multiply quickly. German cockroaches, which are the most common type of cockroaches that are found in houses, breed continually. In a lifetime, a female German cockroach is capable of producing almost 400 eggs.  
  5. Cockroaches can live for up to one week without a head. A headless cockroach is able to breathe just fine but, after about a week, it will die of thirst.  
  6. Roaches are cold-blooded and can live for around a month without food. This means that even the cleanest, crumb-free home could have hundreds, or thousands, of hungry roaches waiting just inside the walls.  
  7. Cockroaches are hard to kill. While the myths of roaches being able to survive a nuclear explosion are a little exaggerated, it is true that they are notoriously difficult to completely eradicate from a structure with do-it-yourself methods.

Signs You Have Cockroaches in Your Home

If you see a tiny, tan or brown cockroach that has two dark lines on its back just below its head, you should know that you have a German cockroach infestation and that it is time to call a professional. It doesn't take long for an infestation of German cockroaches to get out of hand. Some other signs to look for are:

  • While German cockroaches are mostly nocturnal, you're likely to see a roach here and there during the day if you have an infestation. If you see one tiny roach every now and again, you need to understand that there are likely to be hundreds or thousands of roaches in your home that you are not seeing.
  • If you have cockroaches, you should notice tiny black droppings stuck to surfaces or littered on the floor in secluded locations. Use a flashlight to peer into tight spaces. Roaches prefer tight spaces where their backs and their bellies can touch hard surfaces at the same time.
  • If you have roaches in your home or business, you're likely to start smelling them before you see them. This smell is most often described as oily or musty. If you're detecting a smell you would call "nasty," coming from a storage room, you should definitely take a closer look.
  • Female German cockroaches carry their eggs until a day or two before those eggs hatch, so you aren't likely to see eggs laying around. But, you will see egg cases if you have an infestation.

Problems Cause by Cockroaches

When cockroaches get into a home they can cause problems day and night. Here are a few of the problems you can expect:

  • Roaches can possibly be carrying the eggs of parasitic worms which can lead to problems with dermatological symptoms and respiratory issues.
  • Roaches are connected to asthma. There have been studies that indicate that there is an increase in asthma symptoms in homes where there are cockroaches present. When roaches leave their droppings, shed parts, and saliva, these can trigger a reaction. This can be made worse if those bugs invade ventilation systems because, when the air turns on, particles can become airborne.
  • Roaches have been linked to stomach illness. They crawl through sewers and dumpsters and then squeeze into your home to deposit harmful bacteria onto food preparation surfaces, shelves, silverware drawers, and more. Anywhere bacteria can be found, cockroaches are right at home.
  • Roaches are also linked to diseases. According to the World Health Organization, cockroaches are proven to (or suspected of) causing cholera, leprosy, plague, dysentery, typhoid fever and viral diseases such as poliomyelitis.
  • Roaches sometimes bite humans. While not common, roaches can, and do, bite people. The most common place for a cockroach bite is on the eyelids since they like to nibble on eyelashes. If bitten by a roach, the reaction is typically a red, swollen area due to the transfer of harmful bacteria to the bite wound.

Professinoal Roach Removal You Can Count On

If you are dealing with roaches in the day or in the night, or you would like to prevent cockroaches from getting into your home in the first place, the professionals here at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions are standing by to assist you with industry-leading pest control in St. Louis, Columbia, Wentzville, Springfield, Fenton, and many more locations. For more information, or to schedule service, reach out to us today.

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