Cockroach Droppings: Identify a Cockroach Infestation in Your Home
Cockroach infestations can sneak up on the unexpecting homeowner, but if you look out for signs like cockroach droppings and eggs, they can be dealt with.
Did you know that there are at least 4,500 species of cockroaches worldwide? Or that these omnivores have been around for at least 300 million years?
So, it’s no wonder that these horrifying tiny creatures are so pervasive and tenacious.
However, there’s more to cockroaches than just their hair-raising appearance. They also harbor at least six parasites and a multitude of bacteria and viruses.
What’s more, cockroach droppings are full of pathogens, endotoxins, and allergens. Their feces also stink, and the scent they emit attracts even more pests.
As such, it’s paramount that you know how to identify roach excrement. This way, you can act fast and get in touch with a Mississippi roach exterminator right away. The longer you let these omnivores stay, the more at risk you are of having a full-blown infestation.
On that note, let’s take a look at what roach droppings and eggs look like, as well as where you can usually find them.
What Are Identifiable Characteristics of German Cockroach Droppings?
When it comes to cockroach droppings, a rule of thumb is that the bigger the species, the bigger the feces. German roaches belong to the smaller species, as their bodies are only about half an inch long. As such, their feces are smaller than the larger American or Oriental cockroaches.
With that said, German cockroach droppings usually look like ground black pepper flakes. They may also resemble coffee grounds. Once dry, they may appear as smudged or smeared brown or black specks.
How About the Droppings of Other Roach Species?
The German and American cockroaches are the most common roach species in Mississippi. Compared to German roaches, American cockroaches can be three to four times bigger. Adult American roaches can grow up to two inches in length.
This bigger size also explains their larger excrements. If they’re well-fed, American roaches can excrete feces as huge as a grain of rice. The droppings are cylindrical in shape and can be brown or black.
The smoky-brown cockroaches also belong to the large cockroach group. You can also find them in MS, and their droppings look like those of American roaches.
Where Do Roaches Usually Leave their Droppings?
Roaches defecate almost everywhere, and they do so at an incredible rate. For starters, they eat anything, not just your food, but also garbage and even the feces of other roaches. The more these omnivores consume, the quicker they pass their fecal waste.
As such, cockroach droppings are often concentrated within their feeding sites. They can even defecate in the food that they consume.
That’s why the kitchen is the most common area where you’ll find these droppings. Food storage areas, such as cabinets, closets, and pantries, are often roach “toilets.” Drawers and shelves where you stock dry food can also house these excrements.
The top, back, and underside of your fridge can also be “hotspots” for these droppings. Check your stove or oven, too, as well as the areas around them.
What Should I Do if I See Roach Droppings?
If you see roach droppings at home, take out the vacuum cleaner right away. Be sure to don a face mask and wear disposable gloves when you do clean the feces. Wash and disinfect the area, too, as well as your hands immediately after.
These are vital clean-up steps as roach feces can contain 950 to over 30,000 EU/mg of endotoxins. Endotoxins are bacterial toxins that can cause diseases and trigger asthma and allergies. They can also irritate the skin, eyes, and nasal passages.
What’s more, roach droppings can cause a significant drop in your indoor air quality. One way this can occur is when their feces disintegrate and mix with your indoor air.
In fact, a study found that between 78% and 98% of urban US homes have roach allergens. Many were from roach droppings, while others were from shed skin. Don’t forget that roaches carry so many pathogens, which they can then bring into your home.
So, after the clean-up, schedule a roach inspection and extermination as soon as you can. Every day counts, especially if you already have an established intrusion at home.
What Do Cockroach Eggs Look Like?
Cockroaches produce eggs enclosed in a container or case called “ootheca.” Each ootheca contains several eggs that can then hatch into nymphs or baby roaches. Cockroach oothecae look similar in that they resemble dark-colored, purse-shaped capsules.
Upon closer inspection, though, you’ll notice that these egg cases have distinct patterns.
The Oothecae of German Cockroaches
German cockroach oothecae start out white and darken into yellow, brown, or dark brown. You’re more than likely to see the dark version of the egg cases, though. That’s because German roaches carry the case in their posterior side until the eggs hatch.
German cockroach egg cases also feature a pattern of vertical ridges. Compared to the ootheca of American roaches, those from German roaches are longer. However, they’re slimmer and narrower.
Each ootheca can contain 40 to 50 eggs that can hatch into nymphs. What’s more, a German roach can lay between six and eight oothecae throughout its lifetime.
In many cases, the eggs hatch while the mother roach is still carrying the ootheca. New-born nymphs have a transparent or white body. However, this will continue to darken with every molting phase.
German cockroach nymphs usually go through six molting phases. The baby roaches become adults by their 60th day of existence. From here, they can mate and produce their own oothecae and nymphs.
The Oothecae of American Cockroaches
The American cockroach oothecae are of a darker shade of brown than German roach egg cases. They don’t have ridges, either, but instead, they are smooth pouch-like capsules. The capsule itself looks bloated, like it’s full of air and about to burst.
Another difference is that female American roaches don’t carry their egg sacs around. Instead, they deposit their oothecae near their food sources. In some cases, the mother roach glues the case onto a surface using a substance it secretes from its mouth.
Female American cockroaches produce nine to 10 oothecae in a lifetime. However, each egg sac only carries up to about 16 nymphs.
However, American roaches make up for this by living longer than the German roach. There are varying estimates, but the consensus is that they can live for at least one year. The females, for instance, have an average life span of 400 days.
When the ootheca hatches, it releases nymphs that also have a white exoskeleton. However, it quickly darkens into grayish-brown. After this, the nymphs molt around six to 14 times.
The body of the American roach turns a shade darker with every molt until it turns reddish-brown. By the time the nymphs shed for the third or fourth time, they start to sprout wings.
The Oothecae of Smoky-Brown Cockroaches
The smoky-brown cockroach both carries and deposits its ootheca. The adult female roach holds on to the egg case for about a day and then proceeds to hide it somewhere. The egg case, in turn, is dark brown or reddish-brown and also has tiny ridges.
Each tiny smoky-brown roach ootheca can house as many as 45 eggs. An adult female can also lay dozens of eggs cases throughout its life. However, it’s not as reproductive as German roaches, as it has a shorter life span, only two to six months on average.
Moreover, smoky brown cockroach eggs take an average of 320 days to become an adult. This, plus its limited adult life span, makes it a little less procreative than German roaches.
I Saw One Cockroach, Should I Be Worried?
Seeing a single roach doesn’t mean you already have a full-blown infestation. However, you should still feel concerned as it may turn out to be an adult female American cockroach.
This species can multiply through parthenogenesis, an asexual method of reproduction. That means that they don’t need a male mate to produce offspring.
German female cockroaches, by contrast, require at least one mate to reproduce. However, all it takes is one adult roach to produce 180 to 400 roach eggs throughout its lifespan. That makes German cockroaches the most reproductive of all roach species.
Doing the math, one German cockroach and her offspring can give birth to 30,000 roaches in total. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate that single roach you encounter at home.
Don’t Let a Single Roach Turn Into an Invasion
Contact a pest control service as soon as you notice cockroach droppings or egg cases. Do the same even if you encounter a lone roach. The sooner you do, the sooner you can kick all those bugs out of your home.
If you suspect a roach infestation in your Mississippi home, Synergy² can help. Get in touch with us now so that we can start getting rid of all your “unwanted” house guests!
If you want to know more about cockroach control, or need pest control services in your Jackson, MS home or business please visit our site at https://synergy2ms.com. Feel free to read more about us and decide if Synergy² is the right company for you. We have over 270 Five-Star Google reviews for pest control service in the Jackson metro area (Jackson/Madison/Brandon/Ridgeland). Check out our newest location reviews for pest control service in Jackson, MS here!