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Cockroaches F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions: Cockroaches

What does the City do for cockroach infestations?

The Urban Biology Division of the Environmental Health Department enforces the Insect and Rodent Control Ordinance

Citizens residing in multi-unit dwellings (apartment buildings, hotels, duplex rental units) should first notify property management if a cockroach infestation is suspected.  Most property managers are eager to exterminate an infestation quickly to prevent spread.  In the event that no action is taken by property management, please call 311 to file a complaint.  Please provide as much information as possible to facilitate rapid resolution of the problem.  The city will work with property management to ensure that the infestation is controlled.

What do I do if I find cockroaches in a hotel, motel or apartment that is in the City of Albuquerque?

  • Notify the manager
  • Ask for their pest management plan
  • Follow all the instructions of their pest management plan

What do I do if I live in a single family home in the City of Albuquerque and have a cockroach infestation?

  • Contact a private pest control company to inspect and treat your home if needed.
    • The City of Albuquerque does not recommend or endorse any particular service
  • If renting, notify the manager or owner, some may be willing to help.
  • Ask if they have a pest management plan or any recommendations.
  • Follow all the instructions of the treatment preparation checklist that your pest control company should provide to you.

I’ve told my landlord about the cockroach problem and they came and sprayed but I’m still having a problem. What do I do now?

  • Notify your landlord that you're still having problems so you can work together to solve the problem as it may take several treatments to rid your home of these pests.
  • Make sure that you have been following the pre-treatment checklist closely.
  • Ask management if they have also been treating the neighboring units for infestation.
  • Talk to management about changing the chemical they are using to avoid any chance of chemical resistance.

My apartment has been treated, but the problem seems to be getting worse. What should I do?

  • Most pesticides used to treat German cockroach infestations cause them to come out of their hiding places. This can give the effect that the infestation is growing because you are seeing more of them. However, flushing them out causes them to contact the pesticide and over time, you should see a reduction in the population.

Will it help if I treat with over-the-counter chemicals in addition to what pest control is doing?

  • It is not recommended to treat insect infestations with store bought chemicals; especially in the case where a professional pest control operator is already applying. Self-treatments may delay the professional from being able to spray due to pesticide regulations.
  • Instead of spraying additional chemicals you should follow the sample German cockroach treatment preparation checklist.

Is it normal to see live cockroaches during the day?

  • Cockroaches are nocturnal; they prefer to be active and feed in the dark. Seeing active cockroaches during the daytime is a good indication of infestation.

Are cockroaches a significant health concern to humans?

  • Cockroaches can mechanically transmit disease causing bacteria as they move from sewers or other hiding places and come in contact with human food.
  • The droppings, shed skins, and secretions can cause allergic reactions and increased respiratory distress, particularly in individuals with asthma.
  • As populations remain untreated, risk of these conditions increases as the population grows.

Do cockroaches bite?

  • Though uncommon, cockroaches have been known to bite humans when cockroach populations are very large.
  • Cockroaches are omnivorous, which means they will feed on a wide variety of materials. When populations outgrow their food resources, they will scavenge wherever they can. Bites from cockroaches are most common on fingernails, eyelashes, feet and hands and can cause irritation.
  • It is recommended to contact a professional pest control company to treat an infestation before the population has reached such high numbers.

Is it possible to take a cockroach infestation with you when you move?

  • Though you may not bring a large part of the population with you, it only takes a few to introduce them into your new home.
    • Cardboard boxes, which many people use when moving, can be a good source of shelter for adult cockroaches and a good place for them to leave their eggs.

When moving from an infested unit it is important to clean all of your items and inspect them for live cockroaches and their egg casings.