Tampa's Total Cockroach Prevention Guide

an American cockroach in a kitchen

The Tampa Bay area of Florida is known for many things: beaches, nightlife, tourist attractions, and more, a place locals and tourists alike love. Unfortunately, Tampa is also the perfect environment for another kind of visitor, the much-dreaded household cockroach. Cockroaches thrive in heat and humidity, making Tampa a perfect place for them to call home. The team at EcoTech Pest Control Services wants you to be prepared if you encounter cockroaches around Tampa and the Bay area. 

What To Know About Cockroaches

Cockroaches are a formidable pest; they have some unique and resilient qualities including being able to survive very cold temperatures and the ability to live for a week without a head. A cockroach’s head is not vital to function, as they breathe through tiny holes in each segment of their bodies, so losing a cockroach’s head does not stop the ability to breathe. Eventually, they will die without water; however, the survival skills do not stop there. Cockroaches can survive 30 minutes submerged in water, last up to a month with no food, and can hold their breath for 40 minutes. Cockroaches are also fast; they can run up to three miles an hour, making them a versatile and sturdy foe for the human population.  
We often get asked if cockroaches bite humans. Cockroaches usually will not bite humans or pets; their teeth are not sharp enough to penetrate the skin. A cockroach bite is not going to do any harm, as the risk comes from the disease and allergens they carry. Cockroaches carry disease, having been linked to outbreaks of salmonellosis, typhoid fever, and cholera. Cockroaches spread disease and germs very quickly and can trigger other health conditions like asthma and allergies. 
Cockroaches are also prolific. Needless to say, if you see one household cockroach, it is likely there are more. Tampa has a long-standing battle with these persistent and unpleasant critters. Also referred to as the palmetto bug, cockroaches are always unwelcome guests and are tricky to get rid of once they settle in. Cockroaches look for ways inside because they are looking for food, water, and shelter, all of which they can find easily once they get inside.  

What Do Cockroaches Look Like?

These hearty pests range in size, anywhere from one to two inches. There are many different types of cockroaches, however, they all have some similarities:

  • Cockroaches are usually oval-shaped and flat.  
  • Cockroaches tend to be a reddish-brown color.  
  • Cockroaches have three main body sections: head, thorax, and abdomen.  
  • Cockroaches have six legs.  
  • Cockroach heads are hard to see, as they are hidden underneath the rest of the body.  

Some common types of cockroaches that people encounter in and around Tampa are:

  • American cockroach: This cockroach is large and can get up to about two inches in size. These are the largest type of cockroach that infests homes in the United States. They like warm humid areas.
  • Smoky brown cockroach: Named after its brown color, this cockroach has a shiny head, and will eat anything, even pet feces and rotting food.
  • German cockroach: One of the most common across the country, the German cockroach likes warmth. It can adapt to just about any situation, even getting inside picture frames and dresser drawers.   

In Tampa and most of Florida, cockroaches are going to be around at some point or another, since they are attracted to several common household things, including: 

  • Dirt
  • Garbage and trash
  • Moisture and dampness
  • Cardboard
  • Pet food
  • Leftover food scraps
  • Crumbs 

What To Do To Prevent Cockroaches 

As with every other common household pest, prevention is key to keeping cockroaches at bay. A few simple steps can make a huge difference in preventing and avoiding cockroaches. EcoTech Pest Control Services suggests trying the following tips for avoiding cockroaches: 

  • Declutter and keep areas free of extra cardboard.  
  • Keep wet towels and clothing off the floor.  
  • Use a fan, filter, or another method to control moisture in homes and buildings.  
  • Keep trash secure and keep the can itself clean.  
  • Keep all food, including pet food, in secure, airtight containers, and off the ground if possible.  
  • Even outside, keep trash cans closed and clean.  
  • Clean kitchens and food prep areas every day, and do not leave dirty dishes out overnight.   

Cockroaches can get inside homes and buildings in a variety of ways. They will come in through holes and cracks, but they also crawl in through pipes, drains, sewers, and any possible way they can find. They will hitch a ride on delivery boxes, grocery bags, luggage, etc. Areas like drains, under appliances, near leaky pipes, or around faucets are common areas to find cockroaches. Keep a very close eye on these areas and do regular checks to make sure there are no ways for them to get in or areas they are already hiding. Roaches will come in and invade even a clean home, so it is always advisable to keep an eye out for them. Seal up all holes and cracks, including along pipes, floors, and walls inside and out to discourage entry and keep cockroaches away. 

Call The Professionals At EcoTech Pest Control Services

The best way to both prevent and treat a cockroach problem is to seek out professional help. EcoTech Pest Control Services has been the Tampa Bay and surrounding area’s local pest control expert since 2013. Cockroaches can be scary; we know what to do to get rid of and keep cockroaches away for good. We use environmentally friendly pest management, and work to find the perfect solution for each individual pest situation. Commercial or residential, EcoTech Pest Control Services has the experience and expertise to keep pests like cockroaches away.