Pest Advice Blog

Hot and Humid Atlanta Summers Bring Out the Roaches

Cockroaches have been on the Earth for more than 250 million years and in that time, they have evolved relatively little compared with other insects. They are however incredibly adaptable and have adjusted well to living with humans. They are scavengers who are attracted to food but will eat just about anything including pet food and the glue on envelopes. Like many Atlanta residents, summer is their favorite time of year due to the high humidity levels and warmer temperatures.

As any Atlanta resident knows, the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) is very common in the southern United States, particularly during the hot, humid days of summer. You may have also heard them referred to as a palmetto bug, waterbug, or sewer roach. At about 1-1/2 inch long, the American cockroach is one of the larger cockroach species. Their oval shaped bodies are reddish brown to dark brown and they have fully developed wings. When disturbed, palmetto bugs will run rapidly, but on rarer occasions they may fly – or more accurately glide. They are nocturnal and typically hide during the day.

american roach

Are they dangerous?

The presence of a large cockroach, though physically harmless, should not be underestimated. Roaches can spread disease, contaminate food and damage books, clothing and wallpaper and in large numbers can produce a very unpleasant odor. They have also been associated with allergies and childhood asthma.

Where do they prefer to live? Why are they in my house?

These roaches prefer warm areas of higher moisture. Palmetto bugs can be found throughout the house, particularly on the first floor of buildings. They will enter homes through any opening or tiny crevice that they can squeeze through. Outdoors, they prefer dark, moist, and warm places such as landscaped areas, in flower beds, woodpiles, or under mulch.

Indoors, they are often found near steam pipes, in boiler rooms, around plumbing and water heaters, and in damp basements. These roaches multiply quickly in wet conditions like those found in sewers or storm drains. They can travel up from the sewer, through your drain pipes and into your bathroom, kitchen, basement, and laundry room. Infrequently used drains provide better access because the drain trap is dry. Keeping the drain trap wet by running water several times a week in the sink, tub, shower, or wherever you find these large bugs is helpful.

How can I get rid of them?

An American cockroach infestation can quickly spread during the summer, as they enter through cracks in foundations, around loose-fitting doors or windows, and along water and gas pipes. Population control focuses on getting rid of food, water, and places for them to hide.

Keep it clean.

Sanitary conditions are critical to eliminating these roaches.
• Clean up spilled foods and liquids immediately
• Avoid leaving scraps of food on unwashed dishes and counter tops
• Store food in tightly sealed containers
• Remove trash daily
• Rinse cans and bottles before putting in trash
• Keep clutter from accumulating and vacuum often


• Inspect cartons or boxes for insects before bringing into your home.
• Use weather stripping on outside doors for a tight seal
• Seal all cracks and crevices with caulk particularly those around sinks, behind cabinetry, gaps in walls and floors, and pipe entry points

Reduce moisture.

• Control dampness with dehumidifiers
• Fix any plumbing issues (e.g., leaking faucets and pipes)

Enjoy the rest of your summer by keeping it roach free. Our professionally trained technicians will get rid of this all too common Atlanta pest. Call Truly Nolen today.

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