There’s a new pest in town. Residents of Merced, CA and other communities in the Southwest might not have noticed, but Turkestan cockroaches are slowly replacing the Oriental variety as the most common roach. The creepy crawler was brought to California in the late 1970s on military equipment. Online sales of the insect for feeding pet reptiles is causing its population to grow in other parts of the U.S. as well.
Turkestan Roach Characteristics
Females are about one inch long. Their color ranges from dark brown to black, with cream-colored markings behind the head and around the edges of the body. Males are somewhat smaller. They have the same markings as females, but their bodies are red or rust-colored. Both have wings, but the female’s are striped and too short to allow them to fly. The male’s are yellowish and long enough to be fully functional.
These roaches generally live outdoors but will occasionally venture inside. Males are attracted to light and may fly into your home when given the opportunity. Spotting one or more of these pests flying around interior lights is the most common sign that you need cockroach control indoors. However, you could have an entire Turkestan roach population living outdoors on your property without knowing it. Check beneath lawn debris and around exterior lights.
Prevention and Pest Control Services
Turkestan cockroaches reproduce at a faster rate than many other roaches. If you see signs of an infestation, calling immediately for professional cockroach control will make it easier to banish these bugs from your home. Roaches adapt quickly to chemicals, which explains their reputation for being able to survive a nuclear holocaust. Trying to tackle the problem on your own will only result in wasted money. However, you can reduce the likelihood of these pests invading your home by taking the following steps:
- Fix leaky pipes
- Stay on top of spills and other kitchen messes
- Seal gaps, cracks, and holes in your home’s exterior
- Store food in the refrigerator or airtight containers
Depriving these bugs of food, water, and shelter is the key to avoiding an infestation. After all, preventing their entry is much easier than kicking them out.