Roaches are generally not seen very often. The reason for this is that they are nocturnal and prefer to be hidden away and out of sight during daylight hours. Often, they will venture out only in darkness to search of food. When they are discovered by homeowners, it is typically on the rare occasion when someone flicks on a light in the middle of the night, catching them off guard. Therefore, when you happen to see roaches roaming around in exposed areas during the day, this could be a very bad sign. This may indicate that there is an infestation in your home so large that the cockroaches have become overcrowded, forcing some out into the open to look for more space.
Once you see one, it should not be too difficult to spot another. Some signs to look for are dead bodies scattered around the floor or the presence of droppings that resemble pepper of coffee grounds. If there are several carcasses or a substantial amount of feces, it is safe to assume that you are dealing with a lot of cockroaches. Further, if you find any brown oval-shaped objects, these may be cockroach egg cases, holding future generations ready to hatch and expand the population yet further. Each egg casing contains tens of eggs inside.
After finding a roach and exploring a little further, if you are still uncertain of what size of a problem you are dealing with, check in locations typically frequented by cockroaches. These include behind major appliances such as the stove or refrigerator and in cupboards, pantries, and other places food is kept. You can apply roach glue strips to suspected areas of infestation. Watch and wait to see how many roaches end up trapped on the tape. Areas with the most insects are the locations where treatment will be most effective.
Options for treatments include gel bait, often sold within tubes. The gel can be left in any cracks or crevices around the areas you have identified as high-traffic zones. Boric acid is also very effective at eliminating roaches, but readily travels from the area it was applied and could come into contact with family or pets. While it is likely not dangerous, it might still be wise to avoid them eating or breathing it in. Bait stations are another option that attracts roaches that then die upon ingesting their contents and spread the poison further when their remains are devoured by others. All of these approaches are effective, and better in combination; however, they may expose other animals or people to whatever substance is used. Bait stations may also look unattractive.
Professional extermination services will offer treatment that is safer and very effective and will not leave you with scattered traps all over your floor. Further, professionals can identify where the bugs are getting into your home and take measures to prevent it from reoccurring. Once you find roaches, it is wise to call a professional service to help eliminate and avoid similar problems in the future.