Cockroaches rank as some of the most prevalent pests within homes, proving troublesome to eliminate. Their ability to thrive in virtually any setting makes them a persistent issue for those owning homes.

According to experts, even one cockroach sighting can indicate an infestation. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, so if you see one during the day, it’s likely that there are many more hiding in your home.

Hard Rule: If you see one or more cockroaches for three consecutive days, it’s time to call an exterminator. 


When to call an exterminator

If you have a cockroach problem, it’s important to know when to call an exterminator. Here are some factors to consider:

Number of cockroaches

If you see one or two cockroaches in your home, it may not necessarily mean you have an infestation. However, if you start seeing them more frequently, it’s time to take action.

Frequency of sightings

If you are seeing cockroaches on a regular basis, it’s likely that you have an infestation. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, so if you see them during the day, it’s a sign that there are too many of them to hide.

If you see them in different parts of your home, it’s also a sign that they have spread throughout your house.

Visible damage

Cockroaches can cause damage to your home. They can chew through paper, cardboard, and even fabric. They can also leave behind droppings and shed skin, which can trigger allergies and asthma.

If you see visible damage or signs of cockroach activity, it’s time to call an exterminator.

In summary, if you see more than five cockroaches in one day, see them frequently, or notice visible damage, it’s time to call an exterminator.

A professional exterminator can help you get rid of cockroaches and prevent them from coming back.

Understanding cockroaches

Types of cockroaches

There are several types of cockroaches, but the most common ones found in homes and buildings are the American and German cockroaches.

American cockroaches are larger and can measure up to 2 inches in length, while German cockroaches are smaller and can measure up to 0.5 inches in length.

Other types of cockroaches include Oriental, Brown-banded, and Smokybrown cockroaches.

Cockroach behavior

Cockroaches are nocturnal insects and prefer to hide in dark and warm places during the day. They are attracted to food, water, and warmth, which is why they are often found in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

Cockroaches can survive for long periods without food and water and can even live for a week without their heads.

Cockroach infestation signs

Cockroach infestations can be difficult to detect, especially during the early stages. However, there are some signs that can indicate the presence of cockroaches, including:

  • Live or dead cockroaches
  • Cockroach droppings, which look like small black or brown specks
  • Egg cases, which are brown and oval-shaped
  • Foul odor, which is caused by the presence of cockroach feces and secretions

It is important to note that even if you have only seen one cockroach, it is possible that there are more hiding in your home.

Cockroaches reproduce quickly and can lay hundreds of eggs in a short period, which is why it is important to take action as soon as possible to prevent a full-blown infestation.

Choosing an exterminator

When it comes to choosing an exterminator for a cockroach infestation, it’s important to do your research and find a qualified and trustworthy professional. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an exterminator.

Professional qualifications

Look for an exterminator who is licensed and certified by the state to handle pest control. This ensures that they have the necessary training and expertise to safely and effectively eliminate cockroaches from your home.

Additionally, check if the exterminator is a member of a professional organization, such as the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), which can indicate their commitment to quality and professionalism.

Services offered

Make sure the exterminator offers the services you need to eliminate your cockroach problem.

Some exterminators specialize in specific types of pests or use certain methods for elimination, so it’s important to find one that can meet your specific needs.

Ask about their treatment plan and what steps they will take to prevent future infestations.


Get a clear understanding of the costs involved in the extermination process. Exterminators may charge a flat fee or base their pricing on the size of your home or severity of the infestation.

Ask for a written estimate that outlines all costs, including any additional charges for follow-up visits or guarantees.


Find out if the exterminator offers any guarantees for their services. Some may offer a warranty or guarantee that they will eliminate the cockroaches from your home and prevent future infestations.

Make sure you understand the terms of the guarantee and what steps you need to take to ensure it remains valid.

Preventing future infestations

To prevent future cockroach infestations, it’s important to take proactive measures.

This section will discuss some home maintenance, sanitation practices, and regular inspections that can help keep cockroaches out of your home.

Home maintenance

One of the most important steps in preventing cockroach infestations is to seal up any cracks or holes in your home’s foundation or walls. Cockroaches can enter through even the tiniest openings, so it’s important to be thorough.

Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows, and repair any damaged screens.

It’s also important to keep your home dry and well-ventilated. Cockroaches are attracted to moist environments, so fix any leaks and use a dehumidifier if necessary.

Additionally, keep clutter to a minimum and store items in sealed containers to prevent cockroaches from finding hiding spots.

Sanitation practices

Good sanitation practices can go a long way in preventing cockroach infestations. Cockroaches are attracted to food and water sources, so it’s important to keep your home clean and tidy.

Clean up spills and crumbs immediately, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Regularly take out the trash, and keep garbage cans sealed.

In addition to keeping your home clean, it’s important to be mindful of what you bring into your home. Cockroaches can hitch a ride on bags, boxes, and other items, so inspect them before bringing them inside.

Regular inspections

Regular inspections can help you catch a cockroach infestation before it becomes a major problem.

Inspect your home regularly, paying particular attention to areas where cockroaches are likely to hide, such as behind appliances and in cabinets. Look for signs of cockroach activity, such as droppings, egg cases, and shed skins.

If you do spot any signs of a cockroach infestation, it’s important to take action immediately. Don’t wait until the problem becomes worse.

Call a professional exterminator to help you get rid of the cockroaches and prevent future infestations.


An infestation of cockroaches occurs when there is a large number of these pests present in a home or building.

The exact number of cockroaches required to constitute an infestation can vary depending on the size of the property and the severity of the problem.

However, it is generally agreed that any visible presence of cockroaches is a cause for concern and should be addressed promptly.

There is no specific number of cockroaches that constitutes a threshold for calling an exterminator.

However, if you see even one cockroach, it is recommended that you take action immediately to prevent the problem from getting worse. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to eradicate the infestation.

You should call an exterminator for cockroaches as soon as you notice any signs of an infestation. This includes seeing live cockroaches, finding their droppings, or noticing a musty odor that is characteristic of their presence.

It is important to act quickly to prevent the problem from spreading and to avoid the health risks associated with cockroach infestations.

The signs that you need to call an exterminator for cockroaches include seeing live cockroaches, finding their droppings, noticing a musty odor, and seeing egg cases or shed skins.

You may also notice damage to food packaging or other materials in your home, as cockroaches will eat almost anything.

If you see even one cockroach, it is likely that you have a problem that requires the attention of an exterminator. Other signs that you may have a cockroach problem include finding their droppings or seeing egg cases or shed skins.

A musty odor is also a common sign of a cockroach infestation.

There is no typical threshold for calling an exterminator for cockroaches.

It is recommended that you take action as soon as you notice any signs of an infestation, as the longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to eradicate the problem.

Acting quickly can help prevent the problem from spreading and minimize the health risks associated with cockroach infestations.

Scott Williams
Author: Scott Williams - Scott is a pest control expert and has worked in the industry for over 20 years, most recently in NYC, where he runs a pest control business. Scott loves to write articles, share his knowledge on exterminator services, and advise on safe DIY method.