SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – With the city seeing a surge in cockroach infestations, the Sacramento Area Sewer District (SASD) wants residents to know what to do and who to contact if an infestation pops up in their neighborhood.

People around the region this year have spoken to CBS13 about increased roach sightings in the late spring and summer.

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The SASD says it isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary to manage these infestations this year. The agency said it is conducting its usual fogging and baiting practices where an insecticide fog is released and bait is left behind to kill any remaining roaches. There are also ongoing sewer pipe inspections and cleanings in areas that have a history of cockroach activity.

One recently implemented method the sewer district is using to fight infestations is manhole painting, which they say provides a long-term solution by painting the inside walls of a manhole with insecticides to eliminate roaches over time. The SASD said 1,100 manholes were painted with insecticides throughout the district’s service area.

The district has a sewer system that measures around 4,600 miles and provides services to approximately 1.2 million people in the Sacramento region, including the unincorporated areas of the county, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, parts of Folsom and Sacramento, Courtland, and Walnut Grove.

If you see an infestation on your property, the SASD is just one of various contacts you can call to get assistance. The sewer district advises calling them for any infestations around manholes, calling local stormwater utilities for roach sightings around storm drains and calling pest control companies for situations where roaches have entered your home or the area around your property.

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The SASD says cockroaches are drawn to damp and dark places, including crawl spaces, storm drains, floor drains and piping. Water sources and decaying organic matter are big draws to the insect. During the high heat and dry conditions, as the Sacramento area is experiencing, roaches will seek water and shelter and move about until they find an ideal habitat, which can include areas around properties.

Tips for reducing cockroach activity include:

  • remove food, water and shelter sources that could attract them
  • pick up pet food between feedings
  • properly remove and storing trash
  • create rock barriers between mulch, soil and foundations

With manhole painting, the SASD advises waiting three weeks for the insecticide to do its job as effectively as possible before contacting them for a re-inspection. With fogging and baiting, the district says to wait 7-10 days before calling to report any more cockroach sightings.

According to the SASD, floor drains that have been left unused can be an access point for cockroaches. It is advised to flush floor drains weekly and to outfit them with closable lids and rubber stoppers if desired. The outside of plumbing is commonly where cockroaches like to enter properties, so the SASD also advises residents to make sure there aren’t any holes around piping that enter the property.

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The sewer district affirms that its cockroach control methods are safe for the environment and public health.