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Top 9 Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

Identifying a cockroach infestation in time will save you from trouble. On the other hand, a severe infestation will severely affect your property. If the infestation spirals out of control, you may have to replace or refurbish many things inside your home or apartment.

Following are the top 9 signs of a cockroach infestation that you can’t ignore;

  1. Wandering cockroaches at day time
  2. Baby cockroachs and nymphs
  3. Unique oily and misty smell
  4. Ideal Conditions for roaches to thrive
  5. Cockroach poop & droppings
  6. Cockroach smear marks
  7. Cockroach egg cases
  8. Shreded skins from
  9. Cockroach Noises

It is not easy to spot all of these signs at an early stage of a cockroach infestation, but a few are good eyebrow-raisers.

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Look for these signs to conclude a cockroach infestation

So let’s discuss each sign of a cockroach infestation in more detail and how to assess each of them.

Sign 1: Spotting cockroaches frequently in day time

Cockroaches are nocturnal, and they avoid being out during the day.

If you spot a few cockroaches at day time, it means;

  • There is already an infestation and the roaches are competing for food
  • The cockroaches have already built a nest and they are familer enough being out in day
  • You got some visitors from outside and they are seraching for a spot to make a nest

Spotting roaches at day is an alarm of its own, and it’s time to act fast to take measures to eradicate them. Here is our list of best insecticides and sprays you can use to get rid of infestations.

Luckily, roaches are not some hidden, out-of-this-world creature. If you look closely inside cabinets, behind appliances, under sinks, you will easily be able to spot them. This will confirm an infestation.

Sign 2: Spotting baby cockroaches & nymphs

You will only spot baby cockroaches, also known as nymphs, if there is a cockroach nest. Cockroaches will lay eggs and grow their population after finding a new place to breed.

Spotting baby cockroaches should make you worried, and it will help if you act fast. Setting up a few bait stations using this Cockroach Trapper and Killer will help solve the problem like they never existed.

Taking care of roach problems is often too easy than we think. Just give them what they want; food & water, but poisoned. Trapper and gel baits have this beforehand, and all you need to do is place them at the right spot.

Sign 3: Unique oily and musty odour

Our sense of smell is a great tool we can use to identify a hidden roach infestation. You will notice a unique musty smell if there is a roach infestation.

This smell is due to unique pheromones released by cockroaches to stay in a colony, find food, mate, and reproduce. In addition, a dead cockroach will also release a unique odor due to the release of oleic acid.

If you can’t notice the smell in the first place, try smelling cabinets. If the smell is different in each cabinet, you may have a roach problem.

Sign 4: Ideal Conditions for roaches to thrive

If you have spotted a few cockroaches here and there, and they are notably the giant American Cockroaches, also known as palmetto bugs, then quickly analyze how clean your house is. These large cockroaches often come from outdoors.

If you have a clean home with a dry kitchen, freshly painted walls with no seepage, you take care of all bins which are covered, you keep your pantry & cutlery dry & clean, then you can never have a severe cockroach infestation. And, you most probably have an outside visitor.

Cockroaches thrive in humid, dark, dirty & cluttered environments. If you are not taking care of your kitchen, especially leftover food, which goes into open bins, you have a high probability of having an infestation.

So, observe how clean your home is. And you can easily conclude if you have an infestation or just a few roaches which sneaked in from outside.

Watch this video to see how cockroaches can hide behind appliances.

Sign 5: Cockroach poop & droppings

Cockroach poop and droppings can also tell you about a roach infestation. However, it’s almost impossible to spot cockroach poop without spotting the roaches themselves.

Cockroach poop is very hard to spot if it’s scattered. It’s granular and dark black. However, you will be able to see cockroach poop in noticeable quantity where they nest. And if you reach to nest, you will already spot a colony before you guess about roach infestation looking at its dropping.

So, try looking inside cabinets, under sinks, behind appliances, and you will be able to spot the roaches themselves before finding their dropping.

However, if you have set up some cockroach traps and baits and are looking to find cockroach dropping after a few days, you may be able to find roach droppings accumulated at someplace with no roach around. This can be since the roaches are already gone or dead due to the setup traps.

Sign 6: Cockroach smear marks

Cockroach smear marks are the black or reddish-brown streaks of liquified roach poop. Due to heavy humidity and dampness, the roach poop turns into a liquid with greasy consistency that leaves marks on the surfaces.

Therefore, a surface with multiple cockroach smear marks points towards heavy roach infestation and an underlying roach colony.

Sign 7: Cockroach egg cases

Cockroaches reproduce in the form of fertile eggs. A cockroach lays its eggs in a hard sac, known as ootheca. Each ootheca has around 20-50 eggs, depending upon the species. A single roach can lay around 10-20 sacs in its lifetime.

Finding roach egg cases can undoubtedly help in concluding a roach infestation. You can find roach eggs attached to wooden cabinets, behind appliances, near the kitchen sink, etc. Roaches typically attach their egg cases with a substrate. However, a few species like German roaches will typically carry the egg case until it’s about to hatch. This increases the survival rate incredibly and high risk of infestation.

The egg cases are dark or light brown like a capsule. One end of the egg case has a stitching pattern with multiple extruding saws like edges. It can have a shape similar to red beans.

Sign 8: Shreded skins from cockroachs

Cockroaches, like other insects, have an exoskeleton. They will shed it several times in their life when they grow. Its made of chitin, which decomposes slowly. When a roach shreds its skin, it has a white color, also known as an albino cockroach.

Therefore, if you look for them, you can find shredded skins, wings, and dead roaches. This will help conclude an ongoing infestation.

Palmetto bug shreded wings and molts

Roaches don’t typically shed the wings, but you might find shredded wings of a dead cockroach. Having many skins directly translates to a growing population of cockroaches.

Sign 9: Cockroach noises

Luckily, cockroaches do make noises. They make three types of noise, but the noises are not loud or hissy, like crickets. First, a chirping sound when they are threatened. Second, a cracking sound when they eat. And third, stridulation, when a cockroach rubs its wings, legs, and other body parts. This is mostly when they mate.

It’s tough to listen to cockroach noises, but if it is pin-drop silence, with all electrical appliances turned off, and it’s nighttime, you may hear them.

Below is a table showing how loud can be a cockroach noise.

Sound SourceLoudness in DecibelsHow Loud?
A leaf falling10 dBAlmost Not Audible
Cockroaches Chirping & Cracking15-20 dBDifficult to hear
Cockroaches Stridulation20-30 dBAudible
Rustles of autumnal leaves20 dBAudible
Whispering30 dBVery Quiet
Refrigerator working50 dBLimited sound
Human conversation60 dBAudible
Vacuum cleaner70 dBIrritating
Fighter jet at 300 m100 dBExtremely unpleasant

How many roaches is an infestation?

It’s relatively very hard to know the exact number of roaches inside your house at a given time, so you can’t conclude an infestation on the basis of the total count.

Roaches are nocturnal, so spotting a few roaches in day time can predict a heavy infestation. Generally speaking, finding 2-3 roaches at night in the home means low infestation. Finding 2-3 roaches in the daytime means a moderate infestation. Finding 5-10 roaches in the day means heavy infestation.

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