Although they are often called waterbugs because of their love of cool, damp areas, these hard-shelled insects that infest homes are Oriental cockroaches. These cockroaches gather in large numbers and feed on any available food or organic matter like hair or even books inside or on your property. It’s important to learn how to get rid of waterbugs so you can ensure that you’re keeping your home or business safe, clean, and pest-free.
To protect your home or business from waterbugs, you need to learn about the behavior of this pest, take steps for prevention, and find effective treatment options should an infestation occur.
What are Waterbugs?
Waterbugs are insects that congregate in damp, dark areas. Waterbugs will eat almost anything and can survive for up to two weeks without water, or a month without food. These insects are very unpleasant to look at, and they can transmit serious diseases like dysentery and gastroenteritis to human beings through contact with their droppings and bodies.
How Do I Identify Waterbugs?
Pest control experts explain fully-grown waterbugs are about 1 inch in length, with six legs and a pair of antennae. The males of the species also have wings. Waterbugs are reddish-brown and appear shiny. They produce foul-smelling secretions from several points on their body, which is why areas, where waterbugs are congregating, will often smell musty.
How Do I Get Waterbugs?
Waterbugs prefer to live in areas that are dark and damp, with plenty of available food throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, or Maryland homes and businesses. They will often crawl through gaps or cracks in siding, and make their way into damp basements or crawl spaces. Waterbugs can also enter your home or business through vents or accessible air ducts, or even in contaminated packages of food or pieces of furniture.
What Are the Effects of Waterbugs in and around My Home or Business?
Once they’re inside your home or business, waterbugs will feed on whatever food or organic matter is available. Exterminators explain as long as they have water, they can live a month without food.
If they’re coming in from outside, there’s no telling where they were living and feeding before. Waterbugs track filth into your home or business, and it contaminates any food that they come in contact with. The bacteria they carry can also cause serious diseases and triggering allergies and asthma. Even if you find them on your property outside, it’s essential to eliminate water bugs immediately to ensure that they don’t spread these illnesses further.
How Long Do Waterbugs Live?
Exterminators explain waterbugs live for a maximum of 1.5 years. In that time, a female will lay around 8 egg capsules, with up to 16 eggs inside. They tend to hatch in the largest numbers around the spring and early summer, and the population tapers off by early fall.
How Do I Prevent Waterbugs?
The easiest way to control a water bug infestation is to exercise diligent waterbug prevention, to ensure there’s no way to enter your home. Pest control experts recommend making structural repairs to close up gaps in external siding and cover all vents, ducts, and pipes securely. Don’t store large items like woodpiles or garbage cans right against your exterior wall.
Indoors, you can keep water bugs away by cleaning up damp and dark areas (such as around bathtubs or clothes hampers), and making sure that all food is secure and inaccessible to these pests.