Pest Control experts busy with influx of oriental cockroaches amid drought

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KTVU) - It's another by-product of the drought. Thousands of unwanted houseguests are making their way out of the sewers and into your homes.

Pest control experts say they're seeing the largest influx of oriental cockroaches they've had in the last 30 years.

They're coming up from the drains looking for water.

Meanwhile exterminators say this increase in cockroaches on the move, has meant an increase in business.

Oriental cockroaches are the roommates Dean Huang never wanted at his Sunnyvale apartment.

"In the kitchen and in my bathroom, under the carpet. And when I try to clean my room they just jump out. I was freaking out," says Dean Huang.

They're finding their way out of sewers, pipes and cracks in the pavement.

Thanks to the drought, they're heading into homes in record numbers, according to Steven Herbert of SWAT Pest Control.

He says as their food and habitats dry up, the roaches have no choice but to move.

"When they lose their moisture they're crawling in around cracks and crevices, and they make it in," Herbert says.

He says they're most active when the sun goes down.

"Snap, crackle, pop! I was at a place last night, about 11:30 at night, and there was a commercial project and just all around the storm drains, go to the trash area at night and they're just crawling with them," he says.

So what can you do to stop the oriental cockroach? Herbert uses a sort of foam to seal holes and cracks. It allows air to pass through, but not roaches.

Inside a home, he says sticky traps will work. But his preferred method, "vacuums work wonderful. Really," he says.

Still he admits the cockroaches have a high "ick factor." Which may explain why, Dean Huang used another tactic to get rid of them.

"I was like I have to kill them, and I just step on them," he says.

Herbert says this issue will correct itself eventually, because the drought will cause a large number of the cockroaches to die out.

That means next year the numbers may be significantly down.