Most people do not like cockroaches. They can carry diseases and trigger allergies. They can contaminate food, counters, and dishes. And, worst of all, many people think they look unpleasant!
For most people, it is bad enough that cockroaches walk under doors and crawl under walls to get into homes and apartments. To make things worse, some cockroaches can fly! In fact, many of the common cockroaches that invade homes are fairly good fliers.
The big American cockroach that people call Palmetto Bugs, are pretty good fliers. They often drop from a high place and fly. American cockroaches often migrate from one building to another by flying in large groups.
The large smokeybrown cockroaches are very good fliers. They are attracted to light, so they come to homes and commercial buildings at night. If they find a door with light shining underneath, they walk right inside. They also enter homes through holes they find n the attic vents.
The small Asian cockroach is also an excellent flier. It normally lives outdoors in shaded areas. If it is disturbed, it will fly, even in the daytime. This roach was originally confined to the southeast, but it has been transported in cars, trucks, and RV's to many parts of the United States.
Several other common cockroach species can fly, including the Australian, the Cuban, and the Madeira cockroaches. The brown cockroach has fully developed wings, but it glides rather than flies.
Some cockroaches cannot fly. The males of the brownbanded roach and the Pennsylvania wood roach are both good fliers. Neither female can fly, however. A few species of common cockroaches do not fly at all. The most common roaches that do not fly are the German roach, the oriental roach, and the Florida Woods cockroach.
Keeping flying cockroaches outside begins with eliminating the attractants. Change porch lights to the yellow “bug light” bulbs and turn them off when they are not needed. Move woodpiles away from the house. Rake mulch and dead leaves away from the foundation.
Check the exterior doors to be sure they close tightly and there are no gaps underneath. Repair any damaged screens in crawl space and attic vents. Sticky traps can be useful tools for catching cockroaches in the garage. One or two traps can be placed on each side of the garage doors and they will catch many of the roaches that squeeze past the doors. Remember to change the traps once in a while, especially during the spring and summer. .
Granular roach bait can be effective for controlling cockroaches outside. Many brands of bait are water-resistant, so they can be applied in flowerbeds and ground cover. Re-apply the bait once in a while because new roaches will come to replace the ones that are eliminated.
Liquid insecticide can be an effective barrier to cockroach invasion. An application on the foundation can keep most of the cockroaches from gathering near the house. Sun and rain will break insecticide down fairly quickly, so the barrier will have to be re-applied periodically.
Because cockroach control requires so many follow-ups, many homeowners rely on pest control professionals to keep them free of cockroaches.