Sniffles and sneezes can become more common in Madison as the crabapple trees and linden trees go into bloom raising the pollen count. The annual hay fever also kicks in when farmers around the outskirts dive into the harvest. Interestingly, there are other factors in play in Madison that could spark some allergic reactions and one of those is cockroaches. Homes in this quaint upper Midwest area are not exempt. Madison roach control is an important part of public health.
Cockroaches can build up numbers out of sight quite quickly. By the time one or two roaches are being seen out in the open, a host has already built up in the voids where they prefer to reside. With these large numbers their:
- Shed body parts
These can play a big role in increasing airborn particulates.
Feeding the growth
Cockroaches can go a few weeks without food, but it is going to hinder their progress. Limit their food and their water and you can knock them down in a few days. Unfortunately the water restriction can be pretty difficult. The good news, however is that it is relatively simple to minimize food sources for roaches. Key steps to taking away their food include:
- Cleaning in the cracks and crevices
- Sweeping up crumbs
- Keeping food sealed in airtight containers
- Cleaning undersides, sides, and tops of cabinets, counters, and appliances with degreasers
- Putting food away immediately after use
- Moving appliances and targeting other places where crumbs and food may fall unnoticed
The more you can limit the food available to roaches, the better the overall control plan will go. Keep in mind that roaches are omnivores and will eat just about anything including certain kinds of paste, but the more you can limit, the better. Greases and oils tend to be the highest culprits since they are very nutrient dense and can be consumed quickly.
Why roaches like to hide
It may seem like the cockroaches are playing some super sneaky spy game with you or that they are overly fearful of humans. While they are bright enough to realize they don’t want to get squashed by the giant human walking around, this has more to do with their genetic wiring than in-the-moment thinking. They have been around since the dinosaurs, so they have evolved to survive. It is hard to believe they are older than the lakes that decorate downtown Madison, but it is true. ;
Roaches have evolved to prefer pressure on all sides of their body. This provides group protection and keeps them out of harms way. It can also help preserve the warmth and humidity they need to be happy. This location preference keeps them out of sight and out of our awareness for long periods of time. They also lean toward nocturnal behavior which makes it even harder to monitor for them.
Have routine inspections and place sticky traps (scented or un-scented glue boards) in common roach pathways such as:
- Under ovens
- Between fridges and cabinets
- Between the wall and appliances
- Near entries to pantries
These resources provide a quick reference point for what is moving about in those areas even if it is during the middle of the night. Good monitoring stations never sleep, they just fill up.
Not all roaches are bad roaches
With good monitoring in place, you can take a roach capture or sighting to the next most important level of identification. There are loads of roach species and many of the are just a bunch of do-gooders in nature. They clean up and consume things that nature needs out of the way. The Australian cockroach is a common example of a roach that is not a bad roach. They stumble in from time to time and freak people out due to their size and less than pageant qualifying appearance, but they end up there by accident. They prefer to be outside and don’t want to be around you any more than you want them in there. They oftentimes just get brought in on a plant. The roaches to watch out for include:
- German roaches
- Oriental roaches
- Brown banded roaches
- American roaches
- Woods roaches
The woods roaches can belong on both lists. In most cases they are fine, but they can build up numbers and get drawn in (especially to lights) in larger numbers than are acceptable.
The next steps in Madison roach control
Once you have identified a problematic roach, the next steps include:
- Adjust temperature & humidity out of their comfort zones
- Continue monitoring and record numbers
- Enhance sanitation & degreasing
- Apply roach bait
- Utilize insect growth regulators
- Crack & crevice treatments
- Void treatments
You are not alone
Roaches can enter any type of structure and it happens more frequently in Madison than people realize. At the first signs of roaches or even suspicions, reach out to get the helpful input of a cockroach expert. Rove Pest Control can provide the background, know-how, and assistance to turn frustrating roach situations into ancient history.