It’s roach season in Texas. This is how to deal with a cockroach infestation

Nobody likes to see a roach running across the kitchen counter after turning on the lights.

However, roach season is upon us, and chances are you’ve dealt with a roach or two in a few crevices in your home this spring. They gravitate towards damp places, which could explain their unwanted presence in the kitchen and bathroom.

Here’s everything you need to know about these creepy crawlies, including how to handle an infestation:

When are cockroaches active?

When temperatures start to rise, cockroaches tend to be more active, said Molly Keck, an entomologist with the Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension Service.

“Depending on the species, roaches can be active year-round because we have species that like to live in our house with us,” Keck said. “If our houses are set to a constant temperature, there is no reason for them to decay.”

However, outdoor roaches in particular tend to be more active in the spring due to increased humidity and heat.

“That is also the case for all insects because spring is in nature when things are going to be most active,” he said.

Roaches also tend to be most active at night, when they forage for food and mate, according to pest control company Orkin.

Are they bigger in Texas?

Not everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes roaches. However, Texas is home to the largest common cockroach, the American cockroach. These can grow to be over two inches long and can fly short distances, according to

Other common species found in the state are the German cockroach, the smoky brown cockroach and the Oriental cockroach, Keck said.

German cockroaches are some of the smallest roaches in the state and are known for the dark stripes that run down their backs. They are an urban species, which means they live mostly indoors and are more difficult to eliminate than other roaches, Keck added.

“The German roaches are inside and they are still growing inside,” he said. “So their populations can be really large and that can make them harder to control.”

Are cockroaches a sign of dirt?

Not necessarily, Keck said.

While roaches can move bacteria depending on where they crawl, they don’t spread disease. But roaches in your home are probably a sign that you need to address some sanitation and moisture issues, Keck said.

As for any medical problem, roach droppings, dander and exoskeletons can trigger allergies in some people, especially young children with asthma, Keck said.

How to get rid of cockroaches?

Sanitation and exclusion are the best ways to control pests, Keck said. In other words, he cleans his house deep and seals it up to keep the roaches out.

Cockroaches come indoors for two reasons: food and shelter. Eliminate any open sources of food, including cleaning up crumbs after eating and sealing all food containers. Other sanitary practices include taking out the trash each night and not leaving dirty dishes in the sink.

Additionally, Keck recommends that families eat in one area of ​​the home to limit the spread of roaches. She advises pet owners to seal any dog ​​or cat food after feeding them.

When it comes to exclusion, Keck recommends caulking or sealing anywhere light enters. If he can slip a quarter through a crack, that’s enough for a roach to crawl through.

And while pesticides and baits are effective at killing roaches, they’re not necessarily preventative measures to keep them away.

“The cleanup has to happen,” Keck said. “You can’t control them with pesticides alone.”

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