How To Manage Black Cockroach Infestation In Your Home

August 18, 2021

Black cockroach is a “giant” roach species that is considered the filthiest. Popularly known as Oriental cockroach, black roaches like inhabiting dark, moist places. That is why they are also called “water bugs”. You will find them in all kinds of damp locations, including drains and sewers. Black cockroaches access homes through spaces under doors and gaps beneath sidings. Their dark, glossy bodies easily distinguish them from other kinds of roaches.

Black Roach Body Appearance

Probably, you are used to brown cockroaches. But are cockroaches black too? As their name indicates, black roaches are black with a shiny look. Males have wings covering almost three-quarters of their abdomens, leaving some abdominal parts exposed. Even though the males have wings, they do not fly. Females are wingless but have massive wing pads covering some aspects of their bodies. They are also larger than their male counterparts. Lengthwise, males can grow up to 25 mm long, while females can reach 32 mm in length. Black cockroaches are oval-shaped and have six legs plus two antennae.

Life Cycle Of Black Roaches

Like other cockroach species, a black roach passes through three metamorphosis stages – egg, nymph, and adult. Adults can live for one to six months and mate several times in their lifetime. Females lay more eggs during summer and spring when the weather is warmer.

Why Do Black Cockroaches Infest Homes?

Outdoors, black cockroaches reside under stones, debris, and leaf litter. Indoors, you will find them in crawl spaces, wall corners, floor drains, and basements. They also tend to move along water pipes to move up buildings. In most cases, they get attracted to homes because of the availability of food, particularly starchy food. Black roaches will, therefore, invade your house as long as there is an entry point and abundant food. They will also come inside searching for moisture if the conditions outside get too dry or too hot.

Common Black Roach Habits

Black roaches eat almost everything they can find, with their favourites being garbage, starchy items, and decaying organic matter. Surprisingly, they can go for a month without food. However, they cannot survive without water for more than two weeks. They heavily rely on water and will gather in plenty close to water sources.

Signs Of A Black Cockroach Infestation

One tell-tale sign of black cockroach infestation is finding cockroaches gathered in moist places, mulch, or under gutters. Another significant sign is spotting tiny feces or dark brown egg capsules indoors. These roaches also give off a musty/mouldy smell that is easy to identify when entering the house. The weird odour is what they use to communicate with each other. Since black cockroaches are primarily nocturnal, identifying them can be challenging. But when you see even a single one during the day, know that your house has been massively infested.

Problems Caused By Black Cockroaches

While black cockroaches rarely bite, they can do so with large infestation and scarce food. Their bites are painless and small but should be avoided. When it comes to carrying and transmitting germs, black roaches are the most notorious. Their need for water makes them visit sewers and other water sources full of bacteria. In addition, they like feeding on garbage and rotting food. They then transfer all that nasty stuff to utensils, meals, and countertops. Black roaches are known to be spreaders of E. coli and causers of dysentery and food poisoning. Allergens that trigger asthma symptoms and allergic reactions also accumulate in the droppings, cast skins, and dead bodies of these insects.

How To Prevent A Black Cockroach Infestation

The ideal way to prevent black roach infestation in your home is by eliminating the conditions attracting them. Here are some of the ways to make your home unconducive for cockroach infestation:

  • Minimise moisture around your home by ensuring that gutters are draining correctly. Also, repair or replace all leaky fixtures.
  • Utilise dehumidifiers in basements, crawl spaces, and other indoor areas with high humidity.
  • Dispose of leaves, debris, and other garbage on your property.
  • Seal all crevices and cracks in your house.
  • Keep your pantry and kitchen free of spills, crumbs, and grease.
  • Practise good home sanitation through regular vacuuming.

Eliminating Black Cockroaches Entirely

If black roaches already infest your home, you need to eliminate them immediately before the infestation goes out of control.

  1. Provide Them What They Want

When you see one black roach, be sure there are hundreds of others in hiding. The best way to get rid of them is by using bait. Place a bait every four feet where cockroaches are prevalent. Each bait station should have water and food to attract roaches. Make sure to spike the attractants with an insecticide that kills cockroaches. Black cockroaches will get attracted, eat up and crawl away, sharing the feast with their counterparts, thus eradicating the entire group. An efficient bait can attract cockroaches for up to six months.

  1. Spray Them Dead

To kill black cockroaches instantaneously, consider spraying them with a home-friendly, easy-to-use spray. An effective spray will terminate them on contact.

  1. Regulate Their Growth

Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) are insecticides used to disrupt and impede the life cycle of insects by preventing reproduction, egg-hatching, and moulting. In this case, it ensures that black cockroach remain young and unproductive. IGR manages to control the population of cockroaches by eliminating the current infestation and preventing future infestations. Available in pest control stores, IGR comes in three forms – tablet, aerosol and concentrated liquid.

What’s The Difference Between A Water Bug And A Cockroach?

To best apply the above methods to prevent and control black roach, it is good to know how to differentiate them from water bugs.

  • A water bug is an aquatic creature, meaning it lives entirely in water, unlike a cockroach.
  • A water bug bite is painful, while that of a cockroach is not. However, both rarely bite unless provoked.
  • Roaches feed on almost everything they encounter, whereas waterbugs are primarily carnivores and eat frogs, fish, and other insects.

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