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While not as problematic in the Pacific Northwest as other kinds of native pests, cockroaches have increasing become a problem in homes, restaurants, grocery warehouses, and other locations where infested items have been introduced into a home or facility.  Cockroach populations have also increased as people have moved into the Northwest from other warmer climates where cockroaches are more prevalent.

German cockroaches (Blantella germanica) are the most German Cockroachcommon species found in the Northwest.  The 1/2-5/8 inch sized adults are easily identified by their two lighter colored longitudinal stripes on their body behind their head. They have an extremely high reproduction rate, which makes control extremely difficult or impossible for a typical resident.  The filth they leave behind in their fecal matter carries a host of disease and allergen issues.

Due to the mild climate of the Northwest, German (and other cockroach species) do not typically survive very well outdoors as compared with other parts of the U.S.  They do survive very well in warm, humid interiors such as in kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms.  As a general rule, they will shy away from light and stay in dark cracks and crevices, coming out into the open more readily at night.  Introduction of cockroaches into a home can occur from transporting groceries from an infested store, from infested second-hand furniture or appliances, or from interior migration from neighboring apartment units.

Other cockroach species that have been observed in Oregon include brown-banded cockroaches (Supella longipalpa), which are slightly smaller than German cockroaches, and the large American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), which can occasionally come in with infested produce or other items shipped from the southern U.S.

Corrective measures: There are a host of over-the-counter products, from sprays to baits, that are available to the homeowner for cockroach control.  Many of these remedies fail because of the pervasive nature of cockroaches—especially German cockroaches—to hide behind cabinets, under appliances such as refrigerators, and embed themselves in the insulation of hot water heaters and kitchen ranges.  Sanitation is key to cockroach control.  This includes keep kitchens spotless, cleaning up food from counters, walls, floors, etc., and limiting access by insects to food garbage inside.

Complete control of infestations generally requires professional assistance, especially in multiple housing units.  Leupitz Pest Control has had decades of experience using the latest technologies available to eliminate cockroach problems from dwellings.  Feel free to call us for additional help with these issues.