Sewer Roaches in Arizona
Sewer roaches, formally known as American Cockroaches, are common to Arizona and the Phoenix area. They get their name from their tendency to dwell in sewer systems and can make their way into Arizona homes through plumbing systems. They are commonly found outdoors, but do make their way inside homes and businesses where they can be tenacious breeders and cause a cockroach infestation in no time.
Identifying Sewer Roaches
Sewer roaches are typically reddish-brown in appearance, with a light yellow band along the outside of its head and heat shield. They do have wings, but rarely take flight, usually only using their wings in order to glide. Juvenile sewer roaches are lighter in color, taking on a greyish-brown hue, with undeveloped wings. Sewer roaches are the largest of the cockroaches commonly found in Arizona, growing to 1-1/2 to 2 inches in length.
Sewer roaches often make their way inside larger, commercial or industrial buildings, or older homes. They prefer to hang out in warm, damp spaces, often near furnaces, boilers, radiators or other heat sources. Since Arizona is either hot or hotter most of the year, sewer roaches can find warmth in many places, not being restricted to heat sources as they may be in colder climates. So in many cases, any space with some moisture and a food source may be suitable habitat for sewer roaches in Arizona.
How Sewer Roaches Differ From Other Roaches
Other types of cockroaches found in Arizona besides the American (Sewer) Cockroach include the German Cockroach, the Oriental Cockroach and the Turkestan Cockroach, all of which are smaller in size than the sewer roach.
Although the sewer variety is the most commonly spotted, any one of these cockroaches can be seen across Arizona. The sewer roach and the German roach are found inside homes more often than the Oriental or Turkestan, but any one of which may make its way indoors.
German cockroaches are much smaller than sewer roaches, typically about 1/2 inch in length, light brown in color, with 2 dark stripes running the length of its heat shield. German cockroaches are the most prolific breeders when it comes to cockroaches in Arizona, and are often the culprit of roach infestations in homes, producing a higher amount of eggs per capsule than other cockroach species.
Oriental cockroaches are also referred to as black beetles or water bugs, of which they are not… they are indeed roaches. They are dark blackish-brown in color with an oily or shiny surface, and have a “layered” appearance to their shell. They grow to about 1 inch in length, and have a very short adulthood, limiting the timeframe they have for reproduction and producing an infestation.
Turkestan cockroaches are typically found outdoors, however, they often make their way indoors when their populations peak in June. They are about 1 inch in length, with males featuring long, yellowish-tan wings. Female Turkestan cockroaches have short, rounded wings and a pear-shaped body. Males are drawn to the lights in the warm Arizona night, and can often be seen scurrying across sidewalks to find food or a mate.
Preventing Sewer Roaches
Despite common beliefs, sewer roaches can infest even the cleanest of homes, and are not strictly attracted to filth or clutter. Sewer roaches can enter a home in a variety of ways, hitchhiking on groceries, fruit, boxes, or furniture. If there is an opening through doors, windows, or where utility lines enter a home, a sewer roach can gain entry. Since sewer roaches can be found in water lines and plumbing, they can often come through plumbing like sinks, tubs, and showers, hence their name.
Keeping your home properly sealed at all potential entry points is essential in preventing sewer roaches from entering your house. They can make their way inside through the smallest of cracks and openings so it’s important to make periodic inspections to ensure there is no way indoors. Making sure any waste is not building up in your plumbing can deter sewer roaches from being enticed towards your home.
Properly disposing of food waste by using a strong, sharp sink garbage disposal and ensuring water is running to flush it out to the sewer lines will help prevent buildup. If you notice drains are backing up or not emptying as quickly as they should, perform DIY techniques to clear out any obstructions or contact a plumber to see if work needs to be done.
Best Ways to Prevent Sewer Roaches
- Keep kitchen counters, sinks, tables, floors, cabinets, and pantries clean and free of clutter
- Clean dishes, crumbs, and spills right away – cockroaches love grease and waste
- Store food in airtight containers where cockroaches cannot access it
- Seal cracks or openings around home foundations and inside cabinets
- Eliminate excess moisture buildup (i.e., a leaky faucet)
- Inspect packages, school backpacks, and laundry bins for signs of cockroaches (and other pests). Don’t be afraid to give items a good shake!
- Keep the landscape plants next to your house trimmed, and don’t use too much mulch, as it can provide an ideal harborage for cockroaches
Getting Rid of Sewer Roaches
There are several DIY treatments for getting rid of sewer roaches in your Arizona home, each with varying degrees of success. Sprays, deterrents, traps, and borax are simple solutions that rarely will reach an entire population. If done right, a combination of these approaches may reduce, and might eliminate, an infestation if caught early enough. However, considering the reproduction rates of sewer roaches and the time it would take for these techniques to kill, trap and eradicate the roaches, it is not likely going to get rid of all generations of roaches in the home.
Some people will use bug bombs, but that will require you to vacate the house while it’s being deployed. There is also considerable cleanup involved. And since roaches typically make their home in kitchens, this cleanup is vital to prevent contaminating food with the chemicals found in bug bombs. One major drawback of bug bombs is that sewer roaches don’t congregate on top of horizontal surfaces, they hide behind, underneath, and in between spaces, so the bug bomb will likely not reach the entire sewer roach infestation.
The surefire way to get rid of sewer roaches in your home is to call a professional sewer roach pest control company, like Bug Guardian.