5 Signs of a Cockroach Infestation

No one wants to believe cockroaches are in their home, but sometimes the inevitable happens. Long associated as an insect that only injects itself in cluttered homes full of filth, the truth is cockroaches do not discriminate. Here in California, with our seasonable temperatures, cockroaches are in abundance, and they are in search of leftover food crumbs and accessible water sources. In fact, the Golden State is home to five different cockroach species.

If you’ve noticed odd droppings around your home, smell a distinct odor, or are simply checking out a new residence or business location you want to move into, there are several ways you can tell if cockroaches have made their appearance. Here are five ways to tell if you have a cockroach infestation and need to call in an exterminator. 

Cockroach Sightings

The first sign you have roaches in your home is seeing them. While they tend to keep out of sight, watching one scurry away when you flick on a light or run under an appliance is a sure sign there are more.


A second way to tell if you have a cockroach infestation is by seeing their droppings. Cockroaches aren’t fussy about what they eat, and they’re not fussy about bathroom hygiene, either. Cockroach feces are very small, but if you can see it, it resembles coffee grounds or ground pepper. 

Smear Marks

Spotting smear marks along your walls or floorboards is another sign. The markings are actually fecal matter that has been liquified through humidity. It, too, is usually brown but found in high-moisture areas such as the bathroom. Be careful when removing these marks because they contain hazardous and harmful bacteria. 

Shredded Skin

The third sign of a cockroach infestation is finding pieces of dead skin. Cockroaches go through several life-cycle stages and as they grow, they shed the outer layer of their skin, leaving it behind. These skins are light brown, oval-shaped, with a crisp feel.


Do not mistake that egg on the floor for a missed dose of medication! Cockroach eggs look like small brown or black capsules shaped like pills. This is not actually the egg itself, but the egg case called an ootheca which contains up to 40 eggs. It is made of a hard leathery material that protects the eggs until they hatch. They are usually about ⅓ of an inch long with a small ridge that runs the length of the shell. 

Odd Smell

Have you noticed an odd odor recently, a musky sort of scent? Cockroach-infested areas often have a particularly foul smell leased through their pheromones. These pheromones are designed to attract other cockroaches, but this damp, unpleasant odor can mean trouble in your home. As a cockroach infestation grows, the scent will become increasingly intense, spreading from room to room and tainting everything in sight. 

The Dangers of Cockroaches

Sure, they smell, and let’s face it; no one wants any kind of insect crawling around their home. But what is it about cockroaches that makes them so dangerous? These disgusting insects are not just gross; they also carry harmful diseases and bacteria and can cause destruction in your home. 

Cockroaches carry diseases

According to the World Health Organization, cockroaches carry typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and salmonellosis, to name a few. These illnesses are spread through cockroach droppings and saliva. Cockroaches aren’t the cleanest creatures, and when they feast on something, they contaminate surrounding areas, including countertops, utensils, and cooking boards. If food is prepped using any of these items, it too can become contaminated. 

Allergies and Asthma

For those with allergies and upper respiratory issues, cockroaches are one of the leading causes of symptoms. Their saliva, feces, and shedding body parts act like dust mites, invoking symptoms such as sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, stuffy nose, and postnasal drip. Cockroach allergens may also trigger asthma attacks sparking coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. 

Structural Damage

Cockroaches thrive in dark, damp locations making your attic, basement, and crawl spaces prime real estate. Cockroaches aren’t known for causing structural damage to your home. Still, because they eat just about anything, they can damage items within your attic and basement, such as books, paper, drapes, furniture, and leather

When You Need Cockroach Control, Only O’Connor Pest Control Will Do

If you’ve noticed one or any of the above signs, it’s best to call in a local exterminator. The professionals at O’Connor Pest Control offer affordable and professional cockroach control to homes and businesses in California. With over 60 years of combined experience, we believe in taking pest control seriously. Don’t live another day in fear.  Give us a call at 800-284-7985 or Contact us now and schedule your free estimate.