Many people take physical sightings of one cockroach very lightly. They think it’s just a passerby.
Some even squish it or brush it off away from their home, thinking that “aha, I’ve got a roach-free home.”
But do you know that if you’ve found one cockroach in your house, then it can be the tip of the iceberg?
With the tip of the iceberg, we mean it can be a sign of hundreds of roaches hiding and breeding inside your home that you can’t see.
So, yeah, you should be worried if you’ve seen a cockroach strolling inside your home.
And in this post, we’ll give you an action plan to go deep into the matter, spot, and kill the hidden roaches.
If yes, then let’s dive in.
Does One Cockroach In Your House Mean Infestation?
Before we get into the fine details, let’s make it clear if a physical sighting of one roach means infestation.
The answer is more yes than no. Confusing?
Let us explain.
First, roaches are not solo insects like centipedes and millipedes.
They live together in colonies, or nests, where they go back to once they’re through with their daily scavenging.
So, if you’ve seen one roach inside your home, then the chances are relatively high that there’s a living and thriving nest in one of the nooks of your home that you’ve no clue.
A solitary roach can also be a passerby. But in this case, it depends on where you spot it.
If you spot a roach on your backyard deck or patio, then chances are the roach is loitering around. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a nesting place nearby.
If you see a solo roach in the outdoor section of your home, then chances are there are roaches in your yard. And your yard is the primary place from where roaches invade your home.
Another place that roaches enter your home is from your pipe drains in the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room.
But that’s when you see a roach in a house.
What if you live in an apartment and you’ve seen a roach?
Well, in an apartment, the chances of a roach infestation are higher if you see one roach. It’s because there must be roach infestation in the nearby units.
And if you’re living on the 2nd of 3rd floor, then that’s for sure that many roaches have entered your home from your bathroom or sink drains.
Also, keep in mind where did you see that solitary roach. If you see it in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, laundry room, or garage, then that’s a sure signal of roach infestation.
It’s because these places are dark, damp, and have enough waste for the roaches to feed on and thrive.
Roaches also enter your home when it rains. Heavy rains flood their nests, and to escape it, they enter your house looking for a drier place to live.
And one common misconception people have is that if their homes are clean, there’s no chance of roach infestation.
Wish things were so straightforward with roaches!
Roaches can be present even in the cleanest of clean homes. All they need is half an inch of crack to live and some food or organic waste to eat.
So, one cockroach always means more are hiding, most of the time.
What to do if you find a cockroach in your house?
Here are the steps –
- Find out the hidden roaches.
- And kill them.
Sounds simple, but there’s more to it. Let’s get into each of the steps in detail so that you’ve got a solid game plan to make your roach-free.
How To Find Out More Roaches Hiding Inside Your Home
Now you know that finding one roach is a clear indication of more roaches present in your home.
Your next move is to find out where the rest of the roaches are? From where the solitary roach showed up? It is essential to know, especially when you’re living in an apartment.
There are two ways to do it.
The first way is to look out for the signs of roach infestation. And the second way is to lure the rest of the roaches out of hiding.
Here’s how you should execute each of the steps like a pro.
Signs Of Roach Infestation
Roaches are tough bugs to kill, and they’re really resilient. They’ve survived the ice age, the extinction periods, and they’ve been crawling this planet way before humans did.
But given their love of filth and their indiscriminate ways of leaving their traces behind, a little bit of observation can make you aware of their presence.
Here’s how to look for roaches’ presence in your home.
Look For Dead Cockroaches, Cockroach Wings, And Roach Poop.
Dead roaches, their wings, and poop are three tell-tale signs of roach infestation. It means that the entire lifecycle of roaches, from birth to death, is taking place inside your home.
But these roach traces are found mainly in and around places where roaches have made their nests or colonies.
The places that we mentioned above are the likeliest of places where you’ll find dead roaches, their wings, and poop.
Roach poop looks like a cylindrical coffee grain and is brownish-black.
The adult poop size of adult roaches is a little bit bigger than the small roaches.
Sightings of roach poop and dead cockroaches are prominent signs of roach infestation.
Zero-In On The Places Where Roaches Hide
The fact is that you can’t look for dead roaches, their wings, and their fecal droppings everywhere in your home.
Most of the time, Roaches go back to their hiding places once they’re done with their daily scavenging.
And roaches are nocturnal. You might not come across them during the daytime.
As they’re dormant during the daytime, it’s the right time to catch them red-handed.
But for that, you need to know the places where roaches hide.
Roaches’ hiding places are relatively straightforward. If you know them, they’re quite easy to find.
Here are the most common places where roaches hide inside your home –
- Inside your kitchen cabinets.
- Behind the clutter or mess in your basement and garage
- In the plumbing areas of the kitchen sink and bathroom sink.
- In the cracks and crevices in the walls or furniture where there’s dampness. So, if you’ve got a cabinet or shelves in places like a laundry room, bathroom, or basement, then there must be roaches hiding in the tight gaps there.
- In the drains of the bathroom, bathroom sink, and kitchen sink. Especially when you haven’t used them for a while, it’s because the drains clog. A clogged drain is a perfect place for the roaches to nest in the drains.
Outside your home, roaches hide and nest in your yard. If there are roaches in your yard, then you’ll surely see them coming out during the evening.
Also, roaches live and nest in the catch basins, if you’ve any, in your yard. Catch basins always have many filth and organic waste from your home, making it a perfect place for the roaches to live and breed.
If you look at these places, it’s guaranteed that you’ll come across roaches.
Lure The Roaches Out Of Hiding
Another way is to outsmart the roaches, and you can do it by luring them out of hiding.
Instead of you going to the roaches, let the roaches come to you.
Here’s what you’ll need to lure a cockroach out of hiding.
- Sticky Roach Glue Traps.
- Onion and Boric Powder
- Borax and sugar.
You can use any one of the above three.
Keep sticky roach glue traps near the places where roaches can hide.
Or you can also keep a mixture of boric powder and onion and borax and sugar near the roaches’ hiding places.
To know more, check out our post on how to get a cockroach out of hiding.
How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Your Home
Do you want to get rid of roaches on your own? If yes, then here are the six steps to get rid of roaches.
- Get rid of the garbage and food waste from the trash bins in your bathroom and kitchen.
- Deep clean your home.
- Seal cracks on the walls to prevent roaches from entering your home.
- Use roach gel baits so that the bait attracts the roaches. Cockroaches will eat it and die.
- Use roach insecticide or aerosol sprays on the roach or roaches’ hiding places to kill them.
- Use insect growth de-regulators to destroy roach eggs and nests.
Another way to get rid of roaches is by hiring a pest controller.
Hiring a pest controller is the best option because an experienced roach exterminator is an expert in unearthing where roaches come from inside your home.
Most of the time, roaches come from the nests they’ve built inside your home. Or they sneak in through the drains in your bathroom or kitchen.
But if you’re living in a house with a yard, then the primary source of roach infestation can be a nest in your yard.
Finding the source of roach infestation and destroying it is a key to get rid of roaches from your home. It’d be best for your health and home if you leave it in the hands of an experienced and licensed pest controller.
How To Prevent Roach Infestation In Your Home
Roaches can live anywhere. If you spot a roach inside your home, it doesn’t mean that your home is full of garbage.
Roaches get attracted to damp and dark places with ample amounts of the food supply.
So, to prevent roaches infestation in your home, keep your kitchen, basement, bathroom, and garage free from any organic or food waste.
Also, fix water leakages both inside and outside your home. Water leakages increase the dampness of your home, making your home more habitable for the roaches.
To know more, you can check our posts on getting rid of roaches in bathroom and garage.
The key to prevent roach infestation in your home is to keep your home free from waste and dampness.
Yes, you should be worried if you see one roach in your home.
Roaches are solitary bugs. So, if there’s one in your home, then the chances are relatively high that there are many of them hiding and breeding inside your home.
To remove your worry, you need to be proactive and look for the roaches in their hiding places. We’ve revealed how to do it.
We’ve also revealed what easy-to-overlook but critical signs of roach infestation are.
Plus, you also learned why hiring a pest controller is the best way to eliminate roaches inside your home.
To remove roaches from your home permanently, finding the source of a roach infestation is essential. Only an experienced pest controller can do it.
If you’ve spotted a roach in your home, or you’ve been observing a few of them frequently, contact a roach exterminator now.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.