Found One Cockroach: Should You Be Concerned?

Cockroaches are some of the most disgusting pests you can have in your home. Cockroach infestations are not just filthy; they are also dangerous — because cockroaches can spread diseases. So, if you found only one cockroach in your home; should you be concerned?

Why you should be concerned if you found one cockroach

  • Cockroaches are not likely to be alone. It’s possible that the cockroach is alone. For instance, a single cockroach can come up your drain and stay in your kitchen for sustenance. But you don’t want to be too complacent. Cockroaches are not solitary animals. They live together in nests. If you see a lone cockroach, it’s possible that many others are in the area.
  • Cockroaches don’t enjoy your company. You don’t like cockroaches, but the feeling is mutual because they don’t like you either. Cockroaches just want to be left alone. They don’t want to be around you if given the choice. It’s possible that there are more cockroaches in your home, and they are all in hiding. You just happen to spot only one.
  • Cockroaches like dark and undisturbed places. Cockroaches like it dark and quiet. This is why you often see a cockroach or two in your bathroom at night. It’s the perfect place for them. It’s not just dark and quiet. It’s also full of food and water that can sustain them. If you find one cockroach only, it’s possible that there are more that you cannot see because they are in the darkest and quietest corners of your home.
You should be concerned if you found one cockroach because it may not be alone.
Ootheca of a Pennsylvania wood cockroach. Source: Happy1892 (Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA 4.0)

What to do if you found one cockroach

1. Learn the signs of a cockroach infestation

Seeing even just one cockroach is a strong sign of a cockroach infestation. After all, these pests don’t like you and they want to stay in places where you can’t see them. If you find one, it may mean that there are more in hiding.

Here are the signs of a cockroach infestation you should look out for — live or dead cockroaches, cockroach eggs, cockroach droppings, pungent odors, and smear marks on your walls.

2. Look at the most common cockroach hiding spots

Your bathroom and kitchen are the perfect hiding spots for cockroaches. They have the food and water cockroaches need to survive. But there are other parts of your home where cockroaches can thrive.

Cockroaches like cracks and crevices because they are warm and safe. They also like appliances, cabinets, and furniture. They can squeeze through the smallest of gaps, so you should be thorough in your search.

Cockroaches also like high places like ceilings and low places like floorboards because these make them unreachable. You won’t be able to swat them immediately if you see them and they can hide quickly before you can even try.

3. Get rid of the cockroaches

  • Call pest control professionals. If you believe what you have at home is an actual infestation and not just a lone cockroach, you should call pest control professionals. They are always the most competent when it comes to these things. You can do things on your own with commercial cockroach control products and natural methods, but nothing beats professionals who eliminate pests for a living.
  • Use commercial cockroach control products. Baits and insecticides are the most common products you can buy to get rid of cockroach infestations. Baits are toxic ingredients that kill cockroaches when they are eaten while insecticides are toxic chemicals that actively attack the internal bodily systems of cockroaches to kill them. Make sure to read their instructions for their proper and safe use.
  • Try DIY and natural methods. If you don’t want to handle toxic baits and insecticides, you can try natural ingredients like bay leaves, eucalyptus, garlic, lavender, lemon, or peppermint. Cockroaches hate the smell of these ingredients, so you can scatter them in your home to repel the pests. But take note that DIY and natural methods are not always effective in getting rid of infestations, especially severe ones.

4. Declutter your home

Cockroaches thrive in clutter like cardboard boxes and old magazines and newspapers. You can treat this as an opportunity to finally declutter your home. If you don’t need it, throw it away. If you don’t want to throw it away like if it has some sentimental value to you, store it properly. This way, it won’t be able to house cockroaches.

Because cockroaches like cardboard boxes, make sure to store these sentimental items in glass or metal boxes instead. And then put them in cabinets where they are not easily accessible.

Declutter your home to get rid of cockroaches.

5. Make food and water inaccessible

  • Clean up immediately after eating. Do you know you can have cockroaches even if you have a clean home? It’s not the filth that attracts them. It’s the resources. You should clean up immediately after eating because food crumbs, spills, and leftovers are enough to attract these pests.
  • Put food and water in cabinets, containers, and refrigerators. As much as possible, food and water should not be out in the open. They should be in cabinets, containers, or refrigerators where they can’t easily be accessed by pests looking for resources.
  • Empty your garbage cans regularly. Remember that food and water can also be found in your garbage cans. They are just as attractive to cockroaches as the clean food in your cabinets, containers, and refrigerators. Make sure your garbage cans are regularly emptied, so their lids are always down.

6. Seal all passageways

Cockroaches can squeeze through the tiniest of cracks and holes in your walls, so make sure to seal these to prevent cockroaches from entering your home. But these structural damages are not the only passageways on your property. Even the inherent parts of your property, like your plumbing system, may have gaps in them where cockroaches may pass through. You can consult a professional plumber on how to deal with these.

Also keep the obvious passageways in your home closed, like your doors and windows. It’s also a good idea if you can install screens and weather strips on them to close the natural gaps in their mechanisms.

You should be concerned if you found one cockroach

Yes, you should be concerned if you found even just one cockroach at home. Even though it’s possible that the cockroach is alone, you don’t want to risk it. Cockroaches live together in nests. And they also like to hide away from you, so it’s possible that there are more cockroaches hiding.

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