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Cockroach infestation signs. Discovering a roach infestation requires immediate action to ensure a fast solution to the problem and to minimize the health risks associated with this insect.

Cockroaches are usually attracted to food available in your property. They will eat anything from foods, paper, packaging, plastics and fabrics to animal matter (e.g. hamster and rabbit droppings).

It is often easier to spot signs of a problem in your home or business rather than an actual live cockroach. As nocturnal creatures, cockroaches usually hide out of sight during the day and become more active in their search for food at night.

Cockroaches leave a dust of black droppings less than 1mm wide and of varying lengths.

Signs of a cockroach problem

How can you tell if you have roaches? There are some simple ways you can identify a possible cockroach infestation, which could require professional treatment.

Cockroach droppings

Cockroaches leave a dust of black droppings less than 1mm wide and of varying lengths.

Shed skin

Look for this evidence in locations you suspect they are sheltering. Cockroaches shed ‘cast nymphal ‘skins 5-8 times as they mature to adults.

new cockroach molting is still white.

Smear marks

Check for marks on horizontal surfaces and at wall-floor junctions where cockroaches are active. If water is abundant cockroaches will produce brown and irregular shaped smear marks.

Egg capsules

Cockroaches lay their eggs in a capsule containing multiple eggs. The capsule is unique for each species of cockroach. Most species of cockroach drop the capsule right away, but the German cockroach carries it until right before hatching, when it releases around 30 tiny nymphs.

The cockroach has a capsule made of about 18 segments, the brown banded cockroach about 8 segments and the oriental, American, Australian, smoky brown cockroaches have no apparent segmentation, but have round or oval raised areas right below the keel.

Female cockroach laying an ootheca egg case


Look for unusual signs of damage, not just on food packaging. Cockroaches will attack organic goods including leather and books.

Unusual odor

An established cockroach infestation produces a lingering and unpleasant musty smell that taints items they contact.

Live cockroaches in your bathrooms and kitchens

German cockroaches need warmth and humidity and may be found around bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchen areas. They are also good climbers, scaling smooth surfaces like glass & polished metal with ease; due to sticky pads on their feet. You might see them when turning on the light in the kitchen at night.

Cockroaches in your basement

Oriental cockroaches can cope with cooler, damp conditions and could be found in basements or drains. If conditions are tolerable they can survive outside in areas such as landfills. Although not as agile as German cockroaches, they can climb a surface such as rough brickwork.

Where do cockroaches live?

  • Bathrooms
    • Back cabinet joints: cockroaches love to snack on soap residue, toilet paper, and tissues, so they often hide here
    • Plumbing behind sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets: cockroaches prefer sheltered dark spaces with access to water
  • Kitchens
    • Cupboards and cabinets: the darkness draws the cockroaches in, especially when the cabinet has pipes inside
    • Appliances: these provide warmth (from the motor) and hidden crevices in which to hide
  • Laundry Rooms
    • Washer/Dryer motor: heat put off by the motor attracts cockroaches
    • Cabinets: pay close attention to cabinets that might contain any source of moisture
  • Basements
    • Bases and corner joints of walls: these areas often have small holes through which cockroaches can enter
    • Cracks or gaps in baseboards: cockroaches will hide in these small areas
    • Stored paper or cardboard: cockroaches will eat and hide in these materials
  • Drains
    • Damaged drain covers: cockroaches can fit through incredibly small spaces, so even a insignificant defect can become a big problem
    • Pipe ducts: these can easily get cracked, leaving just enough room for roaches to enter