Got Cockroaches? Here Are the Signs


Yes, cockroaches are a big no-no, signaling a not-so-clean spot. They’re tough and can pop up anywhere, quickly turning a minor problem into a big one.

If you spot droppings that look like black pepper, odd brown egg cases, or more night action, you’ve got roaches.

Seeing one in daylight? That’s bad news—it means there are a lot of them. Finding these clues means it’s time to learn how to kick them out.

Keep reading to learn how to keep them at bay and maintain your home healthy and cockroach-free.

Key Takeaways

  • Spotting live or dead roaches, especially during the day, signals a severe infestation needing immediate attention.
  • Cockroach droppings resembling ground coffee or black pepper and musty odors in your home indicate their presence.
  • Sealing entry points, drying damp areas, and storing food securely are essential to controlling cockroach infestations.
  • Understanding cockroach behavior and lifecycle can aid in early detection and targeted control, helping maintain a cockroach-free home.
  • Professional pest control experts should be called if you regularly find clear indicators, such as seeing egg casings or noticing a musty smell.


Besides bed bugs, cockroaches are typical household pests in Louisiana, causing inconveniences to residents.

Recognizing the signs of a cockroach infestation is crucial for timely intervention. Here are the most telling signs to watch for in your home.

1. Seeing Live or Dead Roaches

Spotting live cockroaches during the day is a sure sign of a significant problem, as these nocturnal insects usually hide away from the light.

Furthermore, finding dead cockroaches is an even more obvious sign, with common hiding spots behind refrigerators, stoves, and pantries.

2. Droppings and Smear Marks

Another telltale sign is cockroach droppings or feces, which can look like ground coffee or black pepper. Smear marks occur in areas with a lot of moisture.

Common areas to spot roach droppings and marks include:

  • Under sinks
  • Behind appliances
  • In the corners of rooms and drawers

3. Unpleasant Odor and a Musty Smell

A musty or foul odor often emerges with a growing cockroach population. It’s essential to distinguish cockroach-related smells from other household odors.

Here’s a checklist for identifying sources of musty odor:

  • Sniff around kitchen cabinets and waste disposal areas.
  • Inspect less frequented corners of basements or storerooms.

4. Egg Cases and Shed Skins

Finding egg cases (oothecae) or shed skins (exoskeletons) signals a breeding population.

Cockroach egg capsules are often discovered in secluded locations, such as closets or under furniture.

Species of CockroachEgg Case AppearanceShed Skin Characteristics
German CockroachesSmall, brownLighter, flat exoskeleton
American CockroachesLarger, darkHarder, more segmented

5. Physical Damage

Chewed items, especially food packaging and organic materials, could indicate cockroach activity.

Check these common sources for physical signs:

  • Pet food areas
  • Pantries with accessible food
  • Stored paper products


When trying to get rid of cockroaches, you must be thorough. Here’s a step-by-step guide to pest-proofing your home:

Seal Cracks and Crevices

Check for gaps around pipes, windows, and doors. Use caulk to close off these potential entry points into the kitchen, bathrooms, and basements—prime cockroach territories.

Dry Out Damp Areas

Since moisture attracts roaches, fixing plumbing leaks and ventilating moist areas is essential.

It might mean running a dehumidifier in the basement or repairing a dripping faucet to deter their presence.

Store Food Securely

Store all pantry foods in tightly sealed containers to limit food sources. It includes pet food, which should be kept in airtight containers and not left out overnight.

Clean Regularly

Consistent cleaning can make a significant impact. Wipe down kitchen surfaces to remove crumbs and spills.

Regularly clean behind stoves, refrigerators, and toasters where black specks that look like coffee grounds or pepper might accumulate.

Key Spots to CleanFrequency
Kitchen countersDaily
PantriesMonthly Deep-Clean

Utilize DIY Baits and Traps

Set out bait stations or traps in areas where roaches have been spotted. Ingredients like boric acid mixed with sweetened condensed milk can also be used as a DIY cockroach control.

Employ Proper Trash Management

Roaches are attracted to garbage. Ensure trash is disposed of regularly and bins have tight-fitting lids.

Incorporate the Use of Pesticides

Pesticides are a common and practical approach to tackling a cockroach infestation. However, choosing the right pesticide is crucial, as cockroaches can carry pathogens.

Moreover, understanding cockroach behavior, particularly their communication through pheromones, can enhance the effectiveness of these treatments.

Here’s a list of commonly used pesticides for cockroach control:

  • Boric Acid
  • Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs)
  • Gel Baits
  • Hydramethylnon
  • Fipronil


Taking proactive hygiene steps and understanding the enemy is central to keeping cockroaches at bay.

As homeowners, you will benefit from combining cleanliness, vigilance, and knowledge of cockroach habits.

Understanding Cockroach Behavior and Lifecycle

Cockroaches are nocturnal and often hide during the day, emerging at night to feed. Knowledge of their lifecycle aids in early detection and control.

By understanding cockroach behavior and their lifecycle, you can target interventions more effectively and maintain a cockroach-free home.

EggEggs are laid in a protective case.
NymphNymphs emerge, resembling adults but smaller without wings.
AdultNymphs develop into winged adults capable of reproduction.


Sometimes, a cockroach problem is just too big for home remedies.

When the signs of roach infestation become evident, it’s time to call in professional pest control companies for free inspection.

Here are a few telltale indicators that local exterminators should be your next call:

  • Multiple Sightings: Regularly finding roaches in your home, especially during the day, suggests a more significant issue.
  • Egg Casings: Spotting oval-shaped egg casings lying around could mean many more roaches are hiding.
  • Droppings: Small, black pepper-like droppings in drawers or on countertops signify roach activity.
  • Unusual Smell: A musty, oily odor lingering in your home can indicate a sizable infestation.

Wherever you’re in Louisiana, seeking expert help should be easy. For immediate intervention for a severe infestation, let Lajaunie’s cockroach control specialists tailor a solution that’s right for your home.

For more information about the areas we service, visit our location page