How to Know if You Have Roaches

Cockroaches eating crumbs on a tile kitchen floor.

After you’ve eaten dinner, you go back into your kitchen for a glass of water. But on the kitchen cabinet, you spy something unusual and disturbing: a cockroach. Contrary to popular belief, roaches don’t only infest dirty homes—roaches are experts at navigating pipes and squeezing through cracks, and aren’t at all picky when it comes to their food. In other words, yes, roaches can infect your clean home.

But does spying one roach mean that you have multiple roaches? What are the signs of a roach infestation? McCall Service has the answers you’re looking for.

Signs That You Have Roaches

Like any guest that stays in your home for a while, roaches will leave behind signs of their presence. Other than spying roaches themselves, these signs are the best way for you to tell if you have roaches.


Roaches multiply very quickly. In the reproductive process, female roaches will create a protective shell for eggs. This shell, called an ootheca, eventually falls away. Their size and color depends on the species of cockroach, but most ootheca are 10mm in length or shorter and darker in color.


Chances are good that you’ll smell a roach infestation before you see one, as roaches are nocturnal and avoid light if possible. The trademark musty, oily roach smell comes from pheromones secreted to attract mates.


Roaches are small but not completely silent. Keep an ear tuned to your walls for chirping, hissing, and scratching. Remember, roaches are nocturnal, so such noises are most likely to happen at night.


Roach droppings look like tiny dirt particles or black pepper. When they venture out at night, they’ll leave these lovely signs behind.

Is One Roach a Sign of Infestation?

Since roaches can and do infest clean homes, nearly everyone is susceptible to a roach infestation. But what happens if you see just one roach? Is seeing a single roach a sign of an infestation? The short answer: not necessarily.

The longer answer: Some species of roaches, like the large American cockroach, live outside and occasionally make their way indoors in search of food or after a heavy rain. If you see just one big roach in your home and don’t experience any of the above signs of a roach infestation, you can breathe easier.

However, since roaches tend to live in groups, one roach implies the existence of other roaches nearby. This is especially true for the smaller German cockroaches, who are invasive invaders of the indoors. That’s why it’s so crucial to keep an eye out for other signs of a roach infestation.

Get Cockroach Control Near You Today

Finding a cockroach in your home can be a terrifying experience. While there are traps and baits you can purchase and set up yourself, there’s nothing that quite beats a pest control technician near you who’s trained to get rid of roaches and prevent them from coming back. Here at McCall Service, we provide roach control and other pest control services in Florida at affordable prices. Call McCall: we do it all.

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