For apartment dwellers, pests may seem like an inevitable problem that they may have to deal with at one point or another of their tenancy – rodents, ants, and termites are all common, invading homes in search of water, shelter, and food. Another invader you may come across in is the cockroach, but just how common are they in apartments?
How common are roaches in apartments? Roaches are undoubtedly one of the most common pests in apartments. These pests can easily spread from one unit to another within an apartment complex especially if there are cracks and crevices that they can travel through and available food, water, and shelter that they can rely on.
Types of roaches you are likely to come across in apartments include German roaches, American roaches, Oriental roaches, and brown-banded roaches. Even though they might be prevalent, you might not spot roach presence as they are pretty good at staying hidden. Some of their common hiding spots include electronics, pipes, furniture, appliances, and cabinets.
Roaches are prevalent in apartments due to their adaptable nature and ability to breed quickly. Read on to find out the different types of roaches that may invade apartments, some of their likely hiding spots, and how to get rid of them.
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Types of roaches you are likely to come across in apartments
Knowing the types of roaches that may invade your home can come in handy when it comes to determining how to deal with them. This guide details the four most common types of roaches in apartments.
- Appearance – Adult German roaches have an average length of 0.43-0.63 inches and are tan in color with two dark stripes that run down the thorax. Juveniles are smaller and darker with a tan stripe that runs down their backs.
- Mode entry – It is not uncommon to inadvertently bring home German roaches in grocery bags and furniture. They can also travel through shared plumbing systems in apartment buildings and infest multiple units in the process.
- Preferred locations – You are likely to find German roaches in your bathroom, kitchen, or any other area where you store or prepare food. They are especially attracted to humid areas and can easily squeeze into small cracks and crevices due to their small size.
- Appearance – Oriental roaches are slightly larger than German roaches, with an average length of 0.71-1.14 inches. They are black or dark brown and have a shiny appearance
- Mode entry – Oriental roaches find their way into apartments through gaps that may be present around doors, windows, and vents. Some of them can also come in through drains or sewer pipes that run through walls
- Preferred locations – Oriental roaches are likely to be found in damp, dark, cool locations such as trash bins and basements. You might also come across these roaches under sink cabinets especially if there are leaking pipes present.
- Appearance – American roaches attain an average length of 1.4-1.6 inches and typically have a reddish-brown appearance with a yellowish band that outlines their thorax.
- Mode entry – These roaches are most likely to enter homes through the piping from sewers, although they have also been known to crawl through gaps around doors, windows, or vents.
- Preferred locations – American roaches can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and boiler rooms.
- Appearance – Brown-banded roaches typically attain average lengths of 0.4-0.5 inches and can be distinguished by their tan or light brown bands that run across their wings.
- Mode entry – Brown-banded roaches, like German roaches, find their way into homes through grocery bags, furniture, electronics, and food containers. They can move from one apartment unit to another through shared piping and ductwork.
- Preferred locations – These roaches are most likely to be found around electrical appliances, although it is not uncommon to find them beneath clutter as well.
Common hiding spots of roaches in apartments
Roaches are experts at staying out of your sight. Some areas you may want to inspect include:
- Trims and moldings – Because roaches are both nocturnal and thigmotropic, trims and moldings are ideal hiding spaces for them as they are tight and dark.
- Electronics – Electronics such as TVs, stereos, and clocks in apartments could harbor roaches as they have small crevices that these critters can squeeze into.
- Pipes – Roaches thrive around plumbing pipes because they are dark and moist, conditions that suit their needs.
- Cracks and crevices – Apartments generally tend to have nooks and crannies that roaches can easily hide in. This includes even the smallest cracks in walls that are often overlooked during repairs.
- Furniture – Pieces of furniture may have cracks and crevices that are dark and easy for roaches to slip into, hide, and lay their eggs.
- Appliances – Appliances such as ovens and refrigerators can provide great hiding spots for roaches as they provide them with dark areas to live in. Smaller appliances like microwaves can also provide havens for roaches.
- Cabinets – Kitchen cabinets are popular hiding spots for roaches because they tend to be dark, and if not properly cleaned, they may still contain food crumbs that these pests can feed on.
How to get rid of roaches in your apartment
Effective ways to get rid of roaches include:
- Baits – Bait stations and dispensable gels are some of the most popular types of baits used for roach elimination in apartments. Bait stations are especially effective when set up in areas of your home where roach activity is especially high such as in kitchen cabinets and under appliances. Dispensable gels, on the other hand, are more suited for use in cracks and crevices.
- Pesticide dusts – Pesticide dusts are highly toxic substances that can be used to kill roaches in apartments. They should be used sparingly – for effective application, use a pesticide powder duster to apply thin dust films underneath appliances, into cracks, and in void spaces within cabinets.
- Call in an exterminator – Sometimes you may successfully eliminate roaches from your unit, but infestations keep recurring because the apartment building is not treated. In such cases, you will want to talk to your landlord or property manager to request the services of a professional extermination company to get rid of the roaches.
Roaches are prevalent in apartments as they can easily access food, water, and shelter. When you notice their presence in your unit, it is important to deal with them immediately to keep them from spreading to other apartments. For serious roach infestations, it is probably best to alert your landlord/property manager to call in exterminators to get rid of these pests.