If You Live Here, Prepare for More Roaches, Experts Warn

The dreaded cockroach is one of the most detested house pests. The sheer sight of one of these creepy crawlers scuttling across your floor may be enough to make you want to pack up and move. Unfortunately, a few spots in the U.S. are slated to see an influx of these pesky bugs at the end of the summer and into the fall, but anticipating their arrival could help you take preventative action. Read on to find out if you should prepare for more roaches in the near future.

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Extreme weather can bring out unwelcome insects.

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Extreme weather isn’t just hard to dress for—it can also bring out bugs you’d rather not see. Jim Fredericks, PhD, chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), explains that “excessive heat and precipitation can result in an increase in disease-transmitting pest populations, such as ticks and mosquitoes, or cause the habitat pests to thrive [and] expand.” When it comes to cockroaches, Fredericks says that the wet weather of this past spring and the mild conditions expected for the remainder of summer in many places are likely to result in more of these crunchy-shelled creatures popping up.

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There are a handful of cities with weather conditions that will cause a cockroach explosion.

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The NPMA recently released its predictions for bug trends for the 10 cities across the U.S. that are most at risk for an increase in mosquitoes, ticks, or cockroaches. According to the organization, Birmingham, Alabama; Tampa, Florida; and New Orleans, Louisiana, are all likely to see an uptick in roaches.

The NPMA notes that Birmingham just had its fourth-wettest June on record, and mild temperatures are predicted for the rest of summer. The combination of these two factors will likely result in ideal conditions for roach populations to thrive. These experts predict that New Orleans’ potential roach influx will occur due to similar factors as the ones present in Birmingham. Meanwhile, the warm and exceptionally dry conditions expected for the remainder of the summer in Tampa could drive roach populations that generally stay outdoors inside looking for water.

If you live in these cities, take steps to prevent roaches.

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Cockroaches in the home are not only unsightly, but also a serious health concern. The NPMA points out that “this pest is known to spread nearly 33 types of bacteria.” To prevent roaches from entering your home, Fredericks advises “keeping counters clear of crumbs and food debris,” wiping up spills, vacuuming often, storing food in airtight containers, and avoiding leaving pet food out. Additionally, he suggests using a “silicone-based caulk to seal gaps and cracks where cabinets and counters are attached to walls, seal up holes and eliminate clutter where cockroaches can hide.”

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And make sure you’re looking for any signs that roaches have made their way inside.

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Even if you do your best to keep them out, some roaches may still find their way in. According to Orkin, a pest control company, one of the biggest signs of a roach infestation is the bug’s feces, which will look like coffee grounds or black pepper. The company says you should also watch out for egg cases, which are generally found behind furniture or in other somewhat hidden spots. Roaches can also give off a “strong oily or musty odor.” If you see any of these signs, call a professional exterminator to handle the problem.

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