what sign of cockroach infestation might food workers notice

Cockroaches are small and fast, so they can hide almost anywhere to avoid being seen. They may not be the friendliest of creatures, but they’re also not malicious. That’s why an infestation can be so alarming. It means the cockroaches have found a safe place to live and breed without any interference from humans or their housing structures. An adult cockroach is only about half an inch long from head to tail. But that’s still too big for most hiding spots in a restaurant. So how do those creepy little guys get inside? By finding tiny openings and cracks in the building or getting leftovers that have crumbs on them. Cockroaches are scavengers by nature, which means they’ll eat anything they can find that won’t try to eat them back. They’re also nocturnal, which means their favorite snacks are often left out after business hours with no one around to see it happen . Thankfully, these two habits make them easy to identify if you know what signs of cockroach infestation to look for .

Signs of cockroach infestation

There are a few telltale signs of a roach infestation. The first one is simply seeing a roach in or around the restaurant. If you’re seeing them indoors, you definitely have an infestation. Outdoors, you may have an infestation, but it’s also possible you have just a few stragglers. Signs of cockroach infestation indoors include finding roach droppings in corners, crevices, and on surfaces. These tiny black or brown droppings are like seeds: once they’re inside, they can sprout into full-blown cockroaches. If there are roach droppings inside your building, it’s likely there are roaches nearby, too. You can also identify a roach infestation by the smell. Cockroaches emit an unpleasant odor as they move around the restaurant.

Roach droppings

Cockroach droppings are dark and black or brown in color. They’re mostly composed of fecal matter, which is exactly what they sound like. As they walk around your restaurant, roaches will leave these behind as seeds for breeding more cockroach infestations. The more droppings you see, the more likely it is that you have an infestation. In addition to being gross and unsanitary, these droppings are also a sign of a larger problem: the signs of cockroach infestation are ongoing, and finding a solution is not something that can be done overnight. The more roach droppings you see, the more likely it is that you not only have an infestation but that it’s been going on for some time. Cockroach droppings are, to put it mildly, not appetizing. If a customer comes in, sees them, and decides to go elsewhere, you lose business—potentially a lot of it. They’re also a health hazard. If an employee or customer accidentally ingests them, they could become ill.

Roach eggs

Cockroach eggs are translucent, gelatinous, and the size of a grain of rice. They’re usually found in the same places as droppings. They’re not just seeds for more roaches; they’re also a sign that the eggs have already hatched. If you see roach eggs, assume that the ones that came from them are already roaming around your restaurant. If you spot them, you should act immediately. If you wait, you’ll have a much bigger problem on your hands. Roach eggs grow quickly enough that, depending on the species, you could have a full-grown cockroach in as little as two days. Roach eggs are also unsanitary and a sign of unsanitary conditions. If you find them inside your restaurant, it’s a clear sign that you have an ongoing problem.

Roach excrement and bioloical markers

Cockroaches are messy and leave a lot of biological markers behind. These include saliva, feces, and even CO2. You may also see them on walls and baseboards, as well as around light fixtures. Cockroaches need water, just like humans. If you see them near faucets and water sources, you definitely have an infestation. This is especially true near light fixtures. Cockroaches emit CO2 as they walk around, and they also leave behind their droppings and other biological markers as they go. If you see these signs near light bulbs, either inside or around the building, it’s a sure sign of a roach infestation.

A lingering smell

A lingering smell is perhaps the most obvious sign of cockroach infestation. It’s also one that you might not notice right away. You’ll probably notice it more when customers start complaining about the smell, and you’ll know exactly where it’s coming from. If the smell of roaches is strong and persistent, you’re almost definitely dealing with an infestation. If it’s faint but still noticeable, you might have an infestation, but it may just be a few roaches that haven’t been caught yet. If you smell anything that’s rotting or foul, but you can’t find the source of it, you likely have a roach infestation. That smell is actually a combination of the smell of their excrement and the smell of their CO2 as they move around the building.

Dead roaches and cockroach egg shells

Dead roaches aren’t a sign of a problem itself, but finding a lot of them or finding a lot of their egg shells is a huge red flag. If you find a lot of dead roaches, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infestation. Maybe you just found them because you were cleaning. If you find several dead roaches, especially around the same areas, it’s more likely that you have an infestation. Finding cockroach egg shells is a bit different. If you’re cleaning up after closing and find a lot of shells, you may have just found the last remnants of a roach infestation that happened a few hours ago. If you find them in other places, like under equipment, in corners, or in places where crumbs are likely to gather, you’re almost definitely dealing with a roach infestation.

Brown/black stains on surface areas

Cockroaches like to nest in warm and dark places. If you see brown or black stains on surfaces and corners, it’s likely you have an infestation. The stains are fecal matter from the roaches themselves and any other bugs they collect. If you see this on counters, tables, and walls, it’s a clear sign of a roach infestation, especially if you also found roach droppings nearby. You may also find nests behind shelves or in other little-seen areas. Cleaning up the stains won’t get rid of the roaches. You have to kill the pests themselves and nip the infestation in the bud. Otherwise, there will be more stains, more pests, and more problems.

Final words

Cockroaches are dirty, unsanitary pests that are a huge sign of negligence in a business. They’re also incredibly resilient and incredibly difficult to get rid of once they’ve taken up residence. If you think you have a small infestation, you’d better hope it stays that way. If you see any of these signs of cockroach infestation, you’ll want to act quickly and decisively. A few roaches can quickly turn into an infestation that’s out of control and out of your control. If you’re seeing these signs, it’s time to hire a professional exterminator.