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Eliminating Cockroaches from Homes and Businesses

Cockroaches are notorious for being able to survive a "nuclear attack", meaning they are not only persistent but seemingly immortal, as well. Considering their anatomy, breeding habits, and diet, they are designed for durability by nature. Both rural and urban environments are susceptible to cockroach infestations. Humans are often annoyed by cockroaches, as they invade and infest structures with astonishing reproductive feats. Cockroaches are most active at night, so daytime observation can sometimes be a sign of a heavy infestation. Protected areas such as cracks and crevices are perfect hiding and resting places for cockroaches. To effectively remediate cockroaches, the experts at Creature Control thoroughly implement meticulous strategies.

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Cockroaches in Colorado

Nearly 4,500 species of cockroaches are found worldwide. Some species are large and fat, others are tiny (three millimeters in length), and some can fly. About 50 cockroach species can be found in the United States; five are located in Colorado.

German Cockroach: It is a smaller species, .5” when fully grown. It is light brown with a pair of parallel brown bars between the head and front of the wings. Food preparation or storage buildings are typically attractive to this type of cockroach. They prefer warm habitats with moisture, such as kitchen or bathroom sinks, appliances, and furnaces.

American Cockroach: This species is actually the largest pest found in Colorado, getting up to two inches in length. Yellow surrounds the head and the shield behind it, while the body is mahogany in color. Warm, moist areas in industrial or commercial buildings are the residence of choice for this species, specifically sewers, boiler rooms, or heat tunnels.

Brown-Banded Cockroach: Similar in size and color to the German cockroach, this species also has two light bands across the wings and abdomen but lacks the brown bars on the shield. It prefers a drier climate and is usually found in ceilings, light fixtures, furniture, and appliances such as televisions.

Oriental Cockroach: Much darker than the German and American cockroaches, the Oriental cockroach is a shiny black, reddish color. They have wings that do not reach the end of the abdomen. This common cockroach has a strong odor, making it repulsive to most humans. It prefers cool, dark, damp areas and is often called a “water bug.” Sewer drains, damp crawl spaces, basements, and cellars are its habitat of choice.

Wood Cockroach: Usually found in woodpiles, dead trees, or under tree bark, this species prefers the outdoors. It seldomly enters homes but does so accidentally, as it is attracted to lights. However, it does not survive or multiply indoors. These cockroaches have a white band that runs around the head and a shield behind it.

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Cockroaches in Single Family Homes and Multi-Home Units

Cockroach infestations can be severe and cause a plethora of damage throughout infrastructures. German cockroaches, in particular, breed constantly. Female cockroaches can produce up to one million eggs in her short 100-day lifespan. In optimal conditions, populations can grow exponentially, remarkably quickly. Signs of cockroach infestations include cockroach feces, spotting live cockroaches during the day, oily or musty smell near a large nest, or dead cockroaches found sporadically throughout the building.

Cockroaches live under refrigerators, stoves, cabinets, baseboards, floors, and walls. They are sometimes seen in light fixtures, electronic equipment, and switch panels. They are located within such constricting locations that they eventually open up into wall voids that allow access to other house areas. These nocturnal pests forage for water and food such as carbohydrates, sugary snacks, grease, meat, cheese, beer, leather, glue, starch within book bindings, coffee grounds, or decaying organic matter. Anything compostable is edible to cockroaches, which is why most infestations start in the kitchen.

In apartment complexes, cockroaches can be especially evasive. Many units can be affected, as the cockroach nests will easily travel within walls, along plumbing pipes and electrical equipment connecting different levels. A combined effort from management, tenants, and pest control professionals is absolutely necessary for complete cockroach elimination. Single-unit treatment is usually not effective; Creature Control’s staff will work with managers and tenants to ensure the cockroaches are completely removed.

Cockroach Infestation in Restaurants

In restaurants, cockroach control cannot be achieved with simple pesticide treatments. A disciplined and strict standard of cleanliness by management should be implemented. The kitchen staff should understand the conditions cockroaches thrive in. Regular treatments by Creature Control’s professionals and firm requirements will get the issue under control. Otherwise, the cyclical battle will continue.

Cockroach Prevention and Sanitation

If cockroaches have been detected within a home or business, the first step in remediating them is to sanitize and protect the area. Install weather stripping and caulking into un-infested areas. Caulk cracks and crevices in dark, moist areas to discourage activity. Look for cockroach eggs on foreign objects brought into the space including clothing, food containers, furniture, and appliances. Since water is essential for cockroaches to live, eliminate as much standing water and humidity in the building as possible. Sanitize affected areas by removing food particles accumulated in areas assessable to cockroaches such as pet food containers, litter boxes, trash bins, underneath appliances, and furniture. All faulty plumbing should also be repaired so unnecessary sources of water can be contained. Unnecessary newspapers, boxes, rags, clothes, etc., should be put away and not left out since these are excellent hiding places for cockroaches.

Professional Cockroach Extermination

For large infestations or those that exceed into multi-units, call a professional pest control agency for the tools and experience necessary to handle the task. The key to successfully remove cockroaches is to control the entire population. That’s why the technicians at Creature Control utilizes several complementary techniques. We may use baits and traps to determine the level of roach activity and locate nesting sites. Harborage areas are treated with insecticides to knock out adult populations, and pesticide dusts can be applied to cracks and crevices. Dusting applications are more long-lasting than insecticides, allowing residual control of any stray roaches or nymphs who might mature after the initial treatment. We also physically remove large roach nests with vacuums. Vacuuming can remove a significant number of cockroaches and egg cases from the environment and can be quite effective when combined with other methods.

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What's That Noise? What's that noise?
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Scratching during the day may indicate the presence of a bat, but this is uncommon.

More common sources of scratching or clawing during the day is a squirrel or a yellowjacket hive in the drywall, if it is summer.

A scratching sound coming from the attic is a good indication of the presence of a bat. The scratching may be constant or intermittent and may occur at day or night, though with a bat, this scratching will usually be heard at night. This is the sounds of the claws on the bat's wings as it moves around.

It may also indicate the presence of mice, however. An inspection is necessary to more directly pinpoint the source of the sound.

Gnawing sounds during the day are almost always due to the presence of a rodent, such a mouse, squirrel, chipmunk, or sometimes a rat. Rodents are characterized by their large incisor teeth, which continually grow and must be worn down by constant gnawing. Rodents will gnaw on wires, insulation and anything else they can find in an attic. Many house fires due to electrical problems are caused by damaged wires due to squirrel gnawing.

If you are hearing gnawing or chewing sounds at night, it may indicate the presence of a raccoon. Usually this will be accompanied by other noises, such as heavy walking. If you do not hear this, it may be a flying squirrel or some other rodent.

A "rolling" sound is usually due to the presence of a red squirrel bringing in nuts or other debris and rolling it around up in the attic, as squirrels will use attics to hoard food. If you hear this sound during the day, it is certainly a red squirrel, since red squirrels are the only mammals that commonly get into attics that are active during the day (flying squirrels get into attics as well but they are nocturnal). The "rolling" sound associated with a squirrel is sometimes described as the sound of marbles rolling.

If it is not a squirrel, there's a possibility a rolling sound could be made by birds moving around in a tight space.

Rolling sounds at night can be caused by flying squirrels, which are nocturnal. It is made by the squirrel bringing nuts or other debris into the attic or wall.

Raccoons may also make a rolling sound, though this is less common.

Scampering or scurrying during the day is almost always attributable to a squirrel, as most other scurrying animals (such as mice) are nocturnal.

A scurrying or scampering sound at night is usually due to mice moving through the walls, ceiling, or along the floor.

Nocturnal flying squirrels may make this noise as well; peak periods of activity for flying squirrels are just before dawn and shortly after sunset. Their scurrying is light and fast.

Raccoons may also make this sort of noise, but with a raccoon it will be more of a "walking" sound, a bit heavier than a squirrel, and not as fast.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

If you can clearly hear the sound of flapping during the day, it is definitely a bird.

If you hear flapping at night, it is either a trapped bird or a bat. Nuisance birds are generally not active at night, so if you hear flapping it may be a bird that has become trapped. The flapping of a bat's wings is very soft, almost like a dull whirring. If you hear a very faint, soft whirring, it may mean a bat is flying around nearby in the dark.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall. It is not as common at night, but certainly can happen then as well if the hive is big enough.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by the presence of a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

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