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Cockroach Elimination from your Home

These disgusting creatures, doubtlessly, will outlive humans following a cataclysm due to their resistance to extreme conditions and tolerance to a wide variety of otherwise inedible food. Although tropical climates are the original homes of these creatures, their adaptability has allowed them to live in virtually any climate with a warm home, water, and some nearby food, just like your home in the Albany area this winter.

If you’ve ever had a roach infestation in your home, you know you’ll do anything needed to get rid of roaches. Demystify risks associated with a cockroach infestation, and learn to reduce and prevent roach populations in your home this season. Professional help to eradicate roaches may be necessary in most cases.

Cockroach Demystification

Common Cockroach Species in the Albany Area

The cockroach originated in tropical or subtropical regions, but these are the most common types you might find in or around your Albany home, even during the cold months. These species have adapted to life in suburban areas, even during the winter months. They shelter in cracks and gaps in large numbers during the winter months.

  • American Cockroach | Periplaneta americana

    These pests are found throughout the world, very from reddish-brown to darker brown in color, and can grow over three inches long, though they generally average 1-3 inches in length. This particular variety is found virtually everywhere throughout the US and is the most well-known of all the types due to its conspicuous size. Its eggs are contained in a casing called ootheca that can hold around 16 eggs.

  • German Cockroach | Blattella germanica

    German roaches are found throughout the world, vary in color from light yellowish-brown to a light brown, and grow 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. Females carry the ootheca, or egg case, on her abdomen full time until they are nearly ready to hatch. Oothecae are about 1/3 inch long, have a light color, are purse- or bean-shaped, and contain as many as 40 eggs or more.

Behaviors and Lifestyle

Myth or Fact

    Rumors circulate about cockroaches, but in general, they are relatively harmless. Roaches do not bite and will not generally crawl all over people. However, reports of cockroaches on people during sleep have occurred when roach populations are extremely high but is unlikely to occur in residential homes, especially not in Albany.

Population and Growth

    If temperate humidity, mild temperature, and food and water availability in high quantities are under ideal conditions, roach populations can explode exponentially. (See control methods below). When cockroach populations grow too heavy for a particular area, roaches will migrate using their wings. Otherwise, they prefer to skitter on the ground.

    Cockroaches generally have three stages of life: egg, nymph, and adult. Depending on the species and living conditions, roaches may live up to two years. The nymph stage includes six substages during growth, and shed their exoskeleton, or molt, between each of these substages. Adult morphology includes a pair of flat, well-developed wings.


    Part of the reason for the cockroach’s evolutionary success is due to its ability to live long periods without food or water. Cockroach species can live months without food and up to a month, or three weeks, without water. Cockroaches can live for long periods without their heads, periods ranging from ten days to three weeks or longer. No wonder they survive in almost any environment!

Food Sources

  • Common Foods Cockroaches prefer sugary and starchy foods. Their more common food sources include spilled milk or milk products, meats of every kind, bread and other grain products, plain sugar, and even light or sugary chocolate.
  • Less common food sources include starch- or sugar-based glues used in modern residential construction of homes and business locations, book bindings, cardboard, ceiling boards, and the inner lining of shoe soles.

  • They also will eat the exoskeleton they shed during development and growth, (a process called molting), disabled or dead cockroaches, blood, human waste, sputum, and fingernails or toenails softened by disease or youth.


Cockroaches can cause damage to your home, spread diseases, contaminate food with worms or excrement they have recently crawled through, and cause allergic reactions. Cockroaches are not considered primary vectors of diseases, but here are a few of the diseases they are suspected or known to carry:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dysentery
  • Cholera
  • Leprosy
  • Plagues (black, bubonic, etc.)
  • Typhoid
  • Viral diseases, including poliomyelitis (polio)

Control Cockroaches at Home

Signs of Roaches

  • Feces | Roach fecal matter looks like black pepper that sticks to the surfaces where it lays. They generally conceal it in cracks or crevices that are hard to see or find by accident.
  • Egg cases | When ready, female roaches deposit the fertilized and developing eggs in their protective ootheca shell and stick it to a hidden location, usually near a food source. After the eggs hatch from it, the ootheca shell hardens and flakes away.
  • Molts | During each of the nymph substages, cockroaches leave their exoskeleton behind to allow for additional growth. They leave these behind in hidden locations, and sometimes they return to the molts to consume them.
  • Smell | Most roaches excrete a nauseating smell, a musty odor that permeates their living area. This may cause an allergic reaction, so be careful when following the scent. The stronger the scent, the more cockroaches present to excrete it.

Common Areas

Watch for signs of cockroaches in these common areas. Cracks and crevices in these areas are all commonly invaded, so look carefully with a flashlight in each location. Due to their wide variety of edible food sources, these creatures can be found almost anywhere. Look in these places for their signs:

  • Throughout the kitchen, under and around appliances like toasters, microwaves, stoves or oven units
  • Around and under skirting or wall molding
  • Inside sinks and in sink cabinets
  • Under and around refrigerators
  • Under loose carpeting, tiles, or other floor coverings, including rugs
  • All food preparation and serving areas
  • Air ducts and air return vents
  • Any water pipe access areas or cabinets
  • Food or utility cupboards and cabinets
  • On, under, and into the underside of tables and chairs
  • Drawers, shelves, and pantriesli>
  • Behind dressers, bookshelves, wardrobes, etc.

Home Use Products

Numerous over-the-counter products exist for cockroach control. However, many of these sprays have been rendered useless because many cockroach species developed resistance to consumer-grade insecticides. Here are a few effective methods that might prove useful for you:

  • Bait Stations | Gel Bait

    Over-the-counter cockroach killer kits exist to kill roaches, and many of these include effective bait stations and gel baits used to attract and eliminate a cockroach population. However, these methods can become expensive over time if the roaches grow resistant to the bait, or if the population is too large for a single kit of bait.

  • Boric acid

    This product is useful to kill roaches and is a common ingredient in a number of household products. Purchase this acid from your local hardware store and apply it to areas with roach activity. This product is not harmful to human adults, but it can cause health hazards to children, pets, or the elderly.

  • Cleanliness

    Rumors that cockroaches are attracted to filthy environments aren’t entirely true, but a regular sanitation regimen is essential to prevent a cockroach infestation.

    • Keep indoor and outdoor garbages sealed. Place outdoor dumpsters or bins at least 20 feet from your home
    • Regularly clean the kitchen, don’t leave any food particles lying on any surface, regularly clean the sink inside and out, and never leave dirty dishes lying around or sitting in the sink
    • Since roaches are nocturnal, consider purchasing an automatic vacuum system that can run at night to discourage cockroach activity
    • Seal all dry goods in airtight containers and store them on a high shelf or other hard-to-reach location

Get Rid of Cockroaches Permanently with Fox Pest Control

If you’ve become tired of fighting a cockroach epidemic in your Albany home, don’t struggle alone anymore. Fox Pest Control technicians are ready to help you control and overwhelm cockroach populations in your home or business. Restore your peace of mind with our commercial-grade, family- and pet-friendly products. Call today for a free quote, because pests … it’s what we do.

Posted on December 14, 2019.

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