german cockroaches in kitchen cupboard

Catch of the Week: House Infestation

December 15, 2020

A Des Moines homeowner reached out to Preferred Pest Control with a major problem - they had not one, but two major pest infestations on their hands! When our team arrived at the home, German cockroaches had already taken over the kitchen cupboards, and dense clusters of bed bugs were covering the bed mattress. Our technicians spent two hours vacuuming up the pests alone, and another two hours treating the home.

This home truly had a nightmare of an infestation on their hands and our team was happy to have gotten there when we did. Both cockroaches and bed bugs can reproduce and spread very quickly. If you notice either of these pests in your home, we encourage you to reach out to professionals immediately, before the problem worsens. To help, our pest experts want to share what signs to look for in your home to identify a cockroach or bed bug infestation, as well as what you can expect from these pests if you do come across them on your property.

What do they look like?

The easiest way to spot an infestation in your home is by physically seeing the pest. There are various signs you can look for in addition, but first we want local homeowners to be able to identify cockroaches and bed bugs with confidence.

German Cockroach Appearance

The German Cockroach is one of the most common roaches found in the state of Iowa. It’s brown in color and can grow to 5/8 inch in length. If you can get close enough, you’ll notice they have two black stripes just behind their head making them easy to identify and distinguishable from other species.

Bed Bug Appearance

Bed bugs are tiny critters that can be hard to spot individually. However, these pests often cluster covering larger areas. Bed bugs are typically reddish-brown in color. They have an oval shape and are about 1/4 inch in length.

What attracts them?

As a homeowner, it’s easier to avoid an infestation if you know what factors attract these pests. A lot of the time, simple cleanliness will go a long way. In other instances, patching up small cracks and crevices around your home and its foundation is needed.

Causes of a German Cockroach Infestation

While they are known to thrive in tropical environments, German Cockroaches are a primarily indoor species that seeks out moisture. Homeowners often find these critters in either the kitchen or bathroom due to the easy access to water. German cockroaches are most active in the evenings, hunting and feeding on almost anything they can find. These pests have been known to consume anything from food crumbs to toothpaste and soap. To avoid an infestation, ensure your home is clean and food is stored properly. You can also eliminate all potential entry points in your home by ensuring cracks and crevices in your door frames, window seals, and your home’s foundation are sealed.

Causes of a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs feed on blood. In fact, it is their only food source. This makes homeowners with pets more susceptible to these pests as dogs and cats can be an easy target for them. The most common places to find bed bugs are in various cracks and crevices around a home. Favorite spots tend to be: in mattress seams and sheets, furniture, electrical outlets, picture frames, and other dark and warm areas. Bed bugs are notorious for riding into homes on luggage and personal belongings. Traveling is the number one cause for infestations so when you stay in a hotel room or condominium, be sure to keep your luggage off of the ground.

What are the signs of an infestation?

As mentioned, physically seeing a bed bug or German cockroach is the easiest way to spot an infestation. However, there are other signs you can look out for in your home. Some are more difficult to find than others, but you can use these to catch an infestation in its early stages and find help before it gets out of hand.

Signs of a German Cockroach Infestation

There are various signs that you have a German cockroach infestation. The most common signs include dark droppings that resemble pepper or coffee grounds, egg capsules and a musty odor. If you happen to come across any dead roaches, there is a high likelihood its friends are nearby.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Finding cast skins is one of the more common ways of spotting a bed bug infestation. As these pests mature, they will grow out of their skin, shedding it and leaving it behind. Unfortunately, defecation is also a common sign of a bed bug infestation. After these pests eat a blood meal, they tend to return to their chosen shelter and defecate brown or black stains on a porous surface. Bites that appear as tiny red welts are another giveaway that you have bed bugs in your home.

How Preferred Pest Control Can Help

For more information regarding German cockroaches and bed bugs, including their reproductive, dieting and nesting habits, visit our pest library. If you discover either in your home, please reach out to our professionals at Preferred Pest Control. Our trained staff and safe pest practices will not only get rid of your pest problem, but ensure it doesn’t return. You can schedule an appointment with Preferred Pest Control online, or contact us today at (515) 415-5550.

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