How to Tell if You Have a Cockroach Infestation


How to Tell If You Have a Cockroach Infestation

Do you think you have a roach infestation but haven’t seen any actual roaches? Because cockroaches are primarily nocturnal insects, it is more likely you will see signs of a cockroach problem before you see a roach itself. 

Roaches only leave their hiding spots to search for food. This usually happens late at night when they have a lesser chance of being caught. Cockroaches love all sorts of food including garbage, pantry snacks, and even somethings we would not think of like paper and packaging. 

If you believe you have a roach problem in your home it is best to call a pest professional as soon as possible. 


Signs of Cockroaches

Since we know that cockroaches are primarily nocturnal we know that we will not see roaches themselves very often. Even if we do not see them, they can still be spreading dirt and bacteria all over your home. Here are a few easy signs to look out for when trying to identify a cockroach infestation.


Here are the Most Common Signs of Cockroaches:

  • Roach Droppings / Roach Poop
  • Cockroach Eggs
  • Smear Marks
  • Roach Skins
  • Property Damage
  • Unpleasant Smell
  • Live Cockroaches

Cockroach Droppings / Poop

Like every other animal, roaches poop too. Cockroach droppings or poop look similar to coffee grounds, black pepper or spotted mold. Inspect areas under and around your garbage, refrigerator and sink. If you find or suspect cockroach droppings it is important to wear a glove and mask when inspecting and cleaning. Because roaches anything and everything, their droppings are filled with lots of bacteria and harmful pathogens.  Some cases they are confused with mice droppings.


Cockroach Eggs

Some cockroaches lay up to 40 eggs at one time in what is known as an egg capsule. Capsules look different for different types of cockroaches. In general, they tend to be long rounded tan or brown capsules. Some capsules like the German Cockroaches’ egg sack has many ridges and others are quite smooth. This photo by the University of Nebraska Department of Entomology shows a few of the different types of egg capsules. 

Smear Marks

Smear marks are caused by a roaches body rubbing or smudging areas in high moisture. You may see these marks on walls or floor boards where roaches crawl or rest. 

Roach Skin

Like many other insects, when cockroaches grow, they shed their skin. A cockroach may shed its skin 5-8 times on its way to adulthood. These left pieces of exoskeleton vary in size and shape. Some pieces may look like a little white roach ghost while other pieces may tan segments or legs.

Property Damage

As we know, roaches will eat just about anything and everything. Because of this, you may notice nibbles on chip bags, leather goods, and even book pages. This can be tough to identify if you do not know what you are looking for.


Unpleasant Smells

Roaches leave unpleasant scents behind for a variety of reasons. Many cockroaches spend their time exploring garbage and sewage. Roaches can help spread those already gross smells around your home. As well, the roaches themselves release pheromones that create a musty sort of scent. The larger the cockroach infestation the stronger the smell will be.

Live Cockroaches

Because roaches are nocturnal, it is unlikely you will see them during the day; however, a quick midnight trip to the fridge or bathroom may reveal many unwanted guests. Different roaches like to spend their time in different areas. For example, the German Cockroach prefers to live in warm humid places such as a bathroom. In comparison, the American Cockroach spends more time outside in areas like the garage and basement. 



We hope you find this article in helping you identify if you have a cockroaches living in your home. For help inspecting and removing roaches, contact FullScope Pest Control at 832-898-0910.


Not all cockroaches are created equal, and knowing which one you are dealing with in your home or business is important.

Check Out Our Post:

The Difference Between American and German Cockroaches


We hope you find this information informative and if you are in our service area and we can be of assistance in eliminating or identify german cockroaches in your home, please do not hesitate to reach out to speak with your neighborhood expert.



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