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Cockroaches have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. They’ve certainly earned their reputation as indestructible pests, so if you flick on the kitchen light to see a small, dark shape scurry under the fridge, it’s likely to inspire a feeling of dread – but their longevity on our planet doesn't mean you’re stuck with roaches in your home forever. Here’s what you should know about roaches in Massachusetts, and how to get rid of them.

What Kind of Roach Is It?

How to Get Rid of Roaches in Massachusetts

We’re willing to bet that if you have cockroaches in your home, you don’t particularly care what kind of roaches they are, you just want them out. That’s understandable, but in order to get rid of roaches, it’s important to properly identify them.

There are four species of cockroach commonly found in Massachusetts homes. These are the German, Oriental, American, and wood roach.

  • German cockroaches are oval-shaped, 1/2”-5/8” in length, ranging from light to dark brown in color with two dark stripes behind the head. Despite its two sets of wings, the German roach rarely flies.

  • Oriental cockroaches are about 1” in length, dark brown- or black-bodied and glossy in appearance, often causing them to be confused with a beetle. This cockroach is unable to fly and moves much more slowly than other species.

  • The American cockroach is the largest species found in homes, coming in at an intimidating 2” in length. They are reddish-brown in color with a yellowish figure-8-shaped marking behind the head. These roaches have wings but are also adept at scaling walls and ceilings.

  • Wood roaches measure in at about 3/4”-1.25”, with flat brown bodies and long antennae. Unlike other types of roach, the wood roach prefers to live outdoors. While they may look similar to the German cockroach, they are not as skittish and, if found indoors, are likely to have wandered in by accident.

Are Roaches in Massachusetts Dangerous?

COCKROACH WHITE BACKGROUNDAlthough cockroaches are naturally wary of humans and even daylight, they aren’t completely harmless. Roaches carry viral and bacterial pathogens that can cause food poisoning, dysentery, and gastroenteritis, among other unpleasantries. These pathogens are commonly spread to humans through contact with contaminated food items, food preparation surfaces, utensils, or dishes.

The saliva, feces, and shedding body parts left behind by cockroaches can also trigger allergies and asthma.

How to Get Rid of Roaches

Cockroaches haven’t survived millions of years by being easy to eradicate – a roach infestation can be one of the most challenging pest problems to face. Follow these guidelines to prevent a roach problem:

  • Store food in airtight containers

  • Clean floors and surfaces in kitchen and dining areas regularly

  • Repair plumbing leaks and reduce standing water

  • Seal cracks and crevices around your foundation and openings around utility lines; make sure doors and windows close securely

These DIY cockroach prevention methods are relatively simple; unfortunately, if they’ve already made themselves comfortable, getting rid of roaches is significantly more difficult.

While it’s tempting to run to the hardware store for over-the-counter treatment options at the first sight of a cockroach, this is a problem best left to the experts. Remember, cockroach infestations can occur suddenly, worsen quickly, and cause a variety of health concerns. Hiring a professional pest control company to get rid of roaches ensures the infestation is handled correctly and safely from the beginning.

If you think you have a roach problem, call Burgess Pest. Our team is just as unstoppable as cockroaches are said to be - and then some.


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