How To Get Rid Of Smokybrown Cockroaches In Austin
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How To Get Rid Of Smokybrown Cockroaches In Austin

If you're not familiar with them, smokybrown cockroaches can be mysterious pests to deal with. One of the first issues Austin residents have is understanding that smokybrown cockroaches, Periplaneta fuliginosa, and American cockroaches, Periplaneta americana, are two different cockroach species. There are a few reasons why these two get mixed up. Perhaps the biggest reason is that they're both large cockroaches. An adult American cockroach is between 1 ⅜ to 2 ⅛ inches long and an adult smokybrown cockroach is 1 to 1 ½ inches. Another reason is that they're both considered palmetto bugs. But the term palmetto bug or water bug can refer to several roach species. When you add to these the fact that both American and smokybrown cockroaches are a brownish coloration with fully developed wings that stack on their backs, it is easy to understand why people get them confused. Today, we're going to clear up a few misunderstandings about smokybrown cockroaches in Austin, TX, and give you the information you need to get rid of these large and troublesome cockroaches.

What Makes A Smokybrown Cockroach Different

close up of a smokeybrown cockroach on bread
  • These roaches can get into Austin homes but they prefer to be outside. While they're not the only cockroach species that prefers to be outside, this trait sets them apart from German cockroaches and American cockroaches, two very common cockroach pests in our area. What is their reason for wanting to be outside? One word: Moisture. Smokybrown cockroaches have a difficult time retaining moisture in their bodies.
  • These roaches are sometimes referred to as tree roaches because they can be found living in the holes of trees. But they'll also live on the ground in damp areas, underneath mulch, in sewers, in the crawl spaces underneath homes, and under sidewalks. When they get into a home, they'll gravitate to dampened voids within walls.
  • These roaches are attracted to light and will often get into homes at night because they see light coming from a gap crack or hole. This is somewhat curious because they are nocturnal insects that hide during the day.

Understanding Why Smokybrown Cockroaches Get Inside

The reason you have smokybrown cockroaches is usually related to moisture. If you understand this relationship, you can actually get some control of these roaches by altering conditions that are conducive to habitation. Here are some suggestions:

  • Fix any plumbing leaks in your home. Dampness and humidity can lead to an infestation.
  • Address humidity in your basement, cellar, or crawl spaces. Often, these roaches start to appear inside because they first started habitating within humid, dirty, and still spaces underneath a structure.
  • Patch gaps or holes that are allowing moisture into your walls. One example of this is when rodents damage wood and allow rainwater to find a way inside.
  • Clean your gutters and make repairs to your gutter system. When water spills over the edge, it dampens your perimeter and makes it the perfect environment for smokybrown cockroaches.
  • Thin areas of dense vegetation in your landscaping. Vegetation can trap moisture after watering, or after it rains. Open areas between plants will allow the air to dry your plants and topsoil. It will also allow sunlight to help with the drying process.

There are other factors that can attract smokybrown cockroaches. Here are a few to consider:

  • If you keep firewood, lumber, or stacked wood of any kind near your exterior walls, you can expect to have trouble with smokybrown cockroaches. Move these away from your exterior to reduce roach activity near your home.
  • These roaches will readily invade exterior trash. Make sure your trash is bagged and stored in covered receptacles. It is also important to keep your receptacles free of strong odors that can attract roaches.
  • Roaches feed on animal feces. If you have a dog, be sure to keep up with waste removal from your yard.
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Stopping Smokybrown Cockroaches From Entering

Once you've made your home too dry for cockroaches, and you've made your perimeter too dry, it is time to consider sealing entry points. This will help to prevent these roaches from changing their minds and going back into your home after they've been driven out.

  • Fix damaged or old weatherstripping around exterior doors.
  • Fix damaged door sweeps, or install them if they're missing.
  • If your home has weep holes, get protectors installed.
  • Repair cracks in your foundation walls.
  • Fill in gaps around foundation penetrations such as water mains.

Cockroach Control In Austin

If you have a smokybrown cockroach infestation in your Austin home and you can't get control of the moisture (or some other condition) that is allowing them to live in your home, keep in mind that White Knight Pest Control can eliminate the cockroaches in your home for you. We can also establish a pest control plan to help you keep roaches from entering. Reach out to us today with any questions, or to schedule service.

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