Most of us relate cockroaches to southern states or major metro areas, but we have our fair share of those survival experts as well. More importantly, it isn’t just Milwaukee or Madison that have the populations. Rib Lake and Tomahawk and everything in between have roaches as well. Roaches have been around since the dinosaurs and aren’t going away quickly. Most important though is that by following a Wisconsin cockroach control plan, you can ensure you don’t have to deal with them.
Know your enemy
Like most enemies, they have a good side, we just don’t relate to it well (or care to see it). Cockroaches can breed quickly and are less than picky omnivores. This makes them spectacular cleaners in nature. When there is food around that is being ignored by everyone else, that is when nature calls them in for duty. They can quickly adapt to the situation and expand the population to meet the demands.
Beyond just knowing the very basics, it helps to know them on a species to species level. You don’t need to memorize all 4,500, but knowing the handful of common ones will help:
- American – Prefer hot and humid, basements, sewers and cracks around the foundation. They will eat anything, but love fermented foods
- Australian – They prefer to be outside. If you find one, just carry it outside.
- Brown Banded – They need it warm and likely come in on furniture or food. Take away their food and/or hiding places and they won’t hang around long.
- German – These are also likely to come in on furniture or food, but also appliances. They love warm areas and love to eat. They are most commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, but will go where food is provided.
- Oriental – They are dark colored which fits their preference for dark and damp. They love sewers, drains, and pipes. If they can find leaky pipes, they are happy campers.
- Woods – As their name implies, they love woods, but also, the males love light. They are considered an accidental invader since they are usually brought in on firewood, or wander in out of mulch or wood piles near the home. Like the Australian Roach, just help them outside.
The true battles
There are very few roaches that end up in homes and businesses frequently enough in Wisconsin to worry about. There are even fewer that want to be there. Most commonly, we deal with the German cockroach. The difficult thing about this roach is it loves to eat things that most of us barely notice. That small amount of grease splatter that falls in between the stove/range and the cabinets is a delicacy to them. It is delicious and nutritious and served in roach comfort. That small space is near impossible for us to get to without tearing the kitchen apart, but that is what roaches love – small spaces and pressure on all sides of their body.
Tools for control
Roaches know how to adapt. They can figure out how to survive just about anywhere – except for Antarctica, they couldn’t care less about that place. Everywhere else, if you want to get rid of them, you have to have a few different angles of attack. It is best to combine as many fronts against them as possible including:
- Education – learn about them
- Monitor – glue boards, inspections, and looking for signs such as oothecae or droppings
- Sanitation – Remove their food source. They love to eat and hate to starve.
- Habitat adjustment – this ties back to education and knowing your enemy. If you have woods roaches, focus more on wood piles and bark than grease splatter. If you have oriental roaches, get some light going and dry things out. Think living quarters, humidity, temperature, and food.
- Bait – putting roach bait in sections of plastic straw or in wax paper tacos can help deliver the bait where it should go. Remember that if food is around, they will likely eat the food rather than go after the bait.
- Insect Growth regulators – these help limit the number of roaches that can reach sexual maturity.
- Insecticides – These can be applied as fogs, dusts, liquids, or granules. The form should match the desired location and what will be most effective.
Follow up – Roaches may go away for a bit, but when the eggs hatch out of the ootheca, they can replenish quickly.
The fastest and most efficient control efforts are home or business owner sanitation and environmental changes combined with professional monitoring, applications, guidance and follow up. Wherever you are at in the process, don’t hesitate to get the Rove roach experts out to help.