Cockroaches are typically associated with dirty restaurants and grocery stores, but did you know that cockroaches can just as easily live inside your home? They are especially challenging to get rid of once they get into your house and choose to stay. Cockroaches are attracted to many things that they can easily access like toothpaste, dog food, dirty dishes, fallen crumbs, soap, and even glue. The most common types of cockroaches in Oahu include American cockroaches, German cockroaches, and Surinam cockroaches.

What kind of cockroaches live in Oahu?

Surinam cockroaches have oblong, rounded bodies that grow ½-1 inch in length. They are usually dark brown or black. Surinam cockroaches are known for burrowing into the soil and are sometimes inadvertently brought into the home through potted house plants. Outdoors, they feed on the roots of pineapple plants and potatoes among other sources of vegetation. When they infest residential homes, Surinam cockroaches are incredibly difficult to get rid of. It’s important that you call for professional help as soon as you spot a Surinam cockroach in your home.

Pictured Above: Surinam cockroaches in different life stages Photo Credit: University of Nebraska

American cockroaches are one of the largest cockroaches that invade homes and adult American cockroaches are reddish brown or mahogany colored. Sometimes called palmetto bugs or water bugs, American cockroaches are found throughout the United States and Hawaii. Both male and female American cockroaches develop wings when the roaches become adults and they can fly. They are usually found in kitchens, bathrooms, and electrical rooms. American roaches will feed on beer, pet food, fermenting fruits and vegetables, as well as human food. Their presence is a concern for public health because they are capable of carrying and spreading various pathogens.

Pictured Above: American Cockroach

Adult German cockroaches are typically ½-5/8 inch long and are tan or light brown in color. Although they have fully developed wings, but cannot fly. German cockroaches are best identified by their small size and two dark parallel lines or “racing stripes” running from the back of the head to the wings. They’re usually found in kitchens near dishwashers, stoves, and sinks, and in bathrooms of homes. They feed on a wide variety of foods, including almost anything like soap, glue, and toothpaste.

Pictured Above: German Cockroach

Why are there cockroaches in my house?

Cockroach infestations typically begin when they are transported from an infested place into your home in boxes and other items. Once they are in your home, they can hide amongst clutter in your attic or closets where there is little foot traffic. Uncleanly habits such as leaving out food or dirty dishes can encourage an infestation since this type of clutter provides a good food source for the cockroaches. Other pests like Surinam roaches live in the soil, being transported through potted plants. Without addressing a cockroach infestation, they can multiply very quickly.

Are cockroaches dangerous?

A lot of humans are allergic to cockroaches. If you experience sudden onset allergies, it may be triggered by a cockroach infestation. Cockroaches also cause sanitary problems. When they get into food, it quickly becomes contaminated. Even if you aren’t allergic to cockroaches, their presence causes dirty and uncleanly conditions. Cockroaches frequently live in sewers, bringing these conditions with them as they migrate indoors. Pet food bowels are also an easy target for cockroaches, making them a health threat to your dog or cat. Cockroaches can bite humans, but it’s highly unlikely. Although the odds are in your favor, there have been reported cases of cockroaches biting nails, eyelashes, and calloused skin on heels.

How can I prevent a cockroach infestation?

When cockroaches venture into your home, they stay because they have found a food source. By getting rid of their food source, you’ll be less likely to have an infestation. Remember that roaches aren’t picky when it comes to their dinner, so search for potential food sources. Try changing elements of your environment to discourage cockroach activity.

  • Keep all your food in airtight containers.
  • Clean up after eating and food preparation. Even the smallest crumbs in your kitchen are an open invitation for roaches.
  • Don’t leave stagnant water out. Drain sinks and tubs and keep toilets covered.
  • Be vigilant about cleaning. Regularly vacuum hidden corners and wipe down surfaces with cleanser and water or a vinegar and baking soda mixture.
  • Wash your dishes immediately after use.
  • Repair leaky pipes and drainage.
  • Seal openings around the exterior of your home, focusing on where the structure meets the ground.
  • Inspect new potted plants before bringing them home from greenhouses or nurseries.

If you find cockroaches in your home, call Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions as soon as possible. Cockroach infestations can get out of hand quickly and become incredibly difficult to control the longer you wait. Call us or fill out the contact form on this page to get started!

What are Cockroaches? Professional Pest Control Services in Pearl City HI


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