Identify Pests First To Determine Action
There are good bugs and there are pests. So when you see a large critter crawling across your floor, take a second to observe your prey before you reach for a rolled up newspaper or a can of insecticide. Are you chasing a cockroach, a June bug, or a cricket? It’s good to know because beetles, crickets, water bugs, and leaf-footed bugs look like roaches but they are beneficial insects. The cockroach is a disease-spreading, garbage-eating, sewer-dweller. And if it is a cockroach visiting your home, you’ll need more than a swatter and a sprayer to deal with the problem.
Hopefully, you’re so unfamiliar with cockroaches that you don’t know what they look like. But there are a few surefire ways to tell. First off, cockroach behavior separates them from most other insects. Cockroaches squeeze their bodies into tiny places no thicker than a quarter. You’ll rarely see a June bug or a cricket running along the cracks and crevices of your walls and floors. And cockroaches can scurry at speeds of 2.6-feet per second, turning on a dime. Crickets, water bugs, and leaf-foot bugs do not have these track-and-field talents.
Behavior aside, some of the 2,000 species of beetle in North America do resemble cockroaches. With their hard, shiny, very dark shells, ground beetles, June bugs, and other can be confused with oriental roaches. However, beetles are generally smaller than cockroaches and they have hardened front wings. Roaches have leathery wings or no wings at all.
If you have any doubt, you can take to the Internet to identify your bug invader. If you do see that it’s a cockroach it’s likely its pest nest is nearby. While killing the individual you see might be fun, there are hundreds more heading your way. You need to set cockroach bait to kill the hoards before they invade. Roach killing baits contain nerve or stomach poisons which allow the cockroach to live long enough to return to the nest. When it dies the other roaches rub up against it or eat it (I told you they were disgusting) and they ingest the poison. Soon the poison cascades through the nest and your cockroach problems are gone.
Now consider crickets, June bugs, and other cucaracha doppelgängers. If they are in your house they took a wrong turn in the garden. Gently trap them under a glass and return them to their native habitat. Some, like ground beetles, eat snails and root maggots that can destroy you garden. So make sure you have your pest I.D. before you decided to strike.