Do Cockroaches Bite?

A cockroach on an apple with a bite out of it in Michigan.

There are cockroaches in Michigan. If you’ve spotted one in your home or your workplace – or anywhere – you probably have one pressing question above all others: Do cockroaches bite?

Yes, cockroaches in Michigan do bite!

And it’s gross and horrible like you’d expect. But they don’t bite often or in the way you’d expect.

The fact is cockroaches rarely bite humans. You’re much more likely to be stung by a bee or bit by a spider than a cockroach. That doesn’t make getting cockroaches out of your home or office any less urgent. It just means you won’t have red cockroach bite marks on your skin in addition to the constant fear of a small brown oval scuttling across your kitchen floor. We present the sometimes disturbing answers to your questions about nature’s perfect survivor – the cockroach.

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroaches are omnivores in the truest sense of the word. They eat nearly anything from fruits to rancid meat to book bindings and wallpaper. They are scavengers and opportunists who will raid any food supply they can get their grubby mandibles on.

With so little discretion for what they ingest, cockroaches rarely bother with potentially dangerous food sources such as humans. Why risk biting you when they can simply dive through your garbage? The fact that they can survive a month or more without food also means there’s no need for them to panic if they go a day or two without dinner leftovers.

Why Do Cockroaches Bite?

Most documented cockroach bite cases (and there aren’t that many) involve a large infestation of cockroaches with little to eat. Early accounts of this come from sailors on long sea voyages where they had to wear gloves and protective gear to fend off hungry roaches trying to get at their fingernails and eyelashes.

Other occurrences of cockroaches biting humans usually happen at night while the person is asleep. Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures that prefer quiet. If no other food sources are available, they may scavenge over your hands and face for traces of whatever you last ate. Even in these cases, the roaches are likely more interested in the food particles under your fingernails than your flesh. More terrifying than being bitten is the possibility of waking up to roaches using your face as a drive-thru window.

What Does A Cockroach Bite Look Like?

Cockroach bites don’t look much different than other insect bites. They appear as raised red dots along your skin. They are slightly bigger than bed bug bites and may itch in the same way. A tell-tale difference is that bed bug bites appear in clusters; cockroach bites will usually appear independently.

Cockroaches don’t transmit disease through their bites, but you do want to keep them clean. Like any animal or insect bite, if a cockroach bite becomes infected, it could become a health risk.

Do Cockroaches Carry Disease?

Roaches don’t carry specific diseases like a tick might carry Lyme disease. Instead, they are a health risk due to their behavior. Roaches often eat feces or rancid food found in sewers and dumpsters. They pick up harmful bacteria and germs and then spread them wherever they go.

If cockroaches contaminate your food with germs they’ve picked up, it could result in diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and other maladies. All the more incentive to keep a clean kitchen with food safely stored from prying insects.

Do Cockroaches Fly?

A cockroach flying mid air.

The bad news is cockroaches do fly. The good news is that they usually don’t like to. It seems that, despite having large prominent wings, most cockroaches are clumsy fliers and prefer to crawl. Makes sense when you realize that on land cockroaches are quite fast. They can run over 3 miles/hour. That’s equivalent to 100 miles/hour for a human when you account for size!

Some species of cockroach are more adept at flying than others. In warmer weather (over 85º) flying cockroaches will use their wings to glide as a means of conserving energy. They might glide down to your countertop if you left a midnight snack out for them.

What Do Baby Cockroaches Look Like?

Some cockroaches can get quite large and you may wonder if you’ve seen a baby or a full-grown adult.

A baby cockroach nymph

Baby cockroaches, also called nymphs, look like their adult counterparts. The three main differences between an adult and a nymph cockroach are:

  • Baby roaches are smaller in size (measuring about ¼ inch)
  • Roach nymphs are darker in color than adult cockroaches
  • Baby cockroaches don’t have wings yet. 

As cockroach nymphs grow, they go through several stages of molting. During each stage, they shed their exoskeleton in favor of a new, larger, one. Roach babies start out dark in color and become more reddish brown with each molt. They will eventually grow wings by adulthood.

Other Cockroach Facts

  • Cockroaches can live without their head for up to a week.
  • Female cockroaches lay their eggs in ootheca or egg sacs which can hold around 40 eggs.
  • Cockroaches have been around since the dinosaurs.
  • Cockroaches die on their backs because their thin legs can no longer support their heavy body mass.
  • Some cultures boil cockroaches and use the tea for medicinal purposes.

You Don’t Want Cockroaches in Your Michigan Home

Roaches may be fascinating but that doesn’t mean you want them in your home or business. If you’ve spotted a roach, it usually means there are others nearby. While they may not bite, they can cause health problems. Contact Griffin Pest Solutions for fast help when cockroaches show up hungry at your door.

How Did I Get Indian Meal Moths?

Indian Meal Moth close-up

Indian meal moths are among the most common stored food pest in Michigan. They infest and lay eggs inside dry stored food like cereal and bread. When the moth’s eggs hatch, their larvae eat stored food continuously until they grow large enough to pupate. After pupating, adult moths reproduce and lay eggs, and the cycle begins again.

Unfortunately, anyone who keeps food in their home can attract Indian meal moths. In fact, you might even bring them in with you! Here are the most common ways Indian meal moth infestations happen, and how you can prevent them.

How Did Indian Meal Moths Get In My Home?

Adult Indian meal moths don’t eat, but they seek out dry foodstuff anyway. When they find a good food source, they lay rows of eggs onto or into it. When larvae hatch, they begin eating the food immediately. In the process of eating, larvae burrow into the food. Depending on where they hatched, larvae may also burrow through packaging to get to food. Once burrowed inside, larvae become difficult to see. Therein lies the problem.

Indian meal moths usually infiltrate homes inadvertently, as larvae. You bring them in when you inadvertently buy the food they’re feeding on and bring it inside. Indian meal moths can infest a wide variety of different stored and dried goods. They could feed on cereal, pasta, bread, pet food, nuts, seeds, flour, dried fruit, sugar, or even spices. After the larvae pupate, they grow into the full-grown adults you might encounter in your pantry.

When Can I Get Indian Meal Moths?

Unfortunately, there isn’t really an “off-season” for Indian meal moths. Normally, meal moths can’t grow or reproduce as quickly during cold seasons. When the moths find their way indoors, however, they may reproduce all year. Moth development and pupation speed depends partially on environmental temperature. The warmer the environment, the faster the meal moths’ life cycle completes. Adult moths seek out warm places to lay their eggs, to make sure they hatch as quickly as possible.

Indian meal moths are a particularly common and troubling pest for grocery stores. As Indian meal moths continue to reproduce, they also spread. Adults constantly seek out new food sources where they can lay eggs. In all likelihood, you picked up your moths from your local grocery store. Indian meal moths don’t necessarily inhabit pantry food exclusively. They could also hide in your pet food or bird seed. All it takes is one infested food item to kickstart a full-scale invasion. Food is like an Indian meal moth’s trojan horse.

How Can I Tell If I Have Indian Meal Moths?

How Can I Tell If I Have Indian Meal Moths?

It can be hard to tell if you have a moth infestation at first. Indian meal moth larvae tend to burrow into the food they’re eating, making them invisible from the outside. Usually, people realize they have an infestation one of two ways. Either they see the adult moths themselves… or they find an unpleasant surprise in their food. You want to avoid both of those realizations. To do that, you’ll have to take a close look at the food in your pantry.

As larvae eat, they also spin a fine silk-like substance. This silk-like substance tends to collect their waste, shed skin, and eggshells over time. It may look like a fine spider web or clear thread over the surface of your food. You may also be able to identify small signs of burrowing or chewing on pest-vulnerable food. When larvae are ready to pupate, they leave food and spin silk cocoons on walls and ceilings nearby. Finding these cocoons will tell you there’s an infestation in progress. You could also look for packaging damage.

How Can I Prevent Indian Meal Moths?

The best way to prevent Indian meal moths is to pay close attention to the food you buy. Take care to look at dry goods carefully before you bring them home with you. Remember: larvae can chew through packaging, so even goods in boxes or plastic bags aren’t necessarily safe. If you notice anything that looks like damage on food packaging, don’t buy that food! Make sure all boxes or bags you buy are airtight and sealed.

Double-check your pantry goods one last time as you’re putting them away. If you notice anything suspicious, don’t leave the food in your pantry. Instead, take it outside and throw it out immediately. If you’re worried you already have Indian meal moths, you should take an inventory of your pantries. Take all the food out of your pantry and transfer it into hard plastic containers. Wash out the inside of your pantry thoroughly with soap and hot water. If you find any larvae, throw out the infested food right away.


Indian meal moth infestations are easy to get and frustratingly difficult to get rid of. You might feel sure you’ve removed all the food that the moths could possibly infest… only to see a moth flying around a week later. Even worse, the longer your infestation goes on, the more expensive it becomes. Food isn’t cheap!

If you need to make absolutely sure your moths are gone, professional treatment is the way to go. Next time you have an Indian meal moth problem, give Griffin Pest Solutions a call right away. We’ll make sure your moths can’t waste any more of your time, food, or money.

The Pests That Sneak Into Your Kitchen

the pests that sneak into kitchen

Most pests at least have the common courtesy to hide in your basement most of the time. Not kitchen pests, though. Oh no. Kitchen pests are a special kind of upsetting. They come after YOUR FOOD. You could end up biting into your favorite snack only to find something… considerably less appetizing inside.

Yeah. That’s just untenable. The last thing you want to is to be paranoid about the food you eat every day. To avoid that situation, you have to do everything you can to keep pests out of your kitchen. We’re here to help. These are the four most common kitchen pests in Michigan, and how to keep them out of your food.

Indian Meal Moth

There are several species of pantry moths that will wreak havoc on your stored food. The most common and problematic of these pests is the Indian meal moth. Indian meal moths lay eggs in dry, stored food like cereal, bread, and sugar. When these eggs hatch, Indian meal moth larvae feed on your food continuously. In the process they produce waste and excrete a fine, web-like silk. Indian meal moths inflict a surprising amount of damage to your food, and they inflict it surprisingly quickly.

Indian meal moths generally get into your home when you accidentally bring them in on food packaging. Adults are brown or tan and tend to blend in with brown paper bags or packages. Larvae can chew through cardboard and some plastic, and often sneak into boxes. Check your groceries carefully before you bring them inside. Don’t buy food items with damaged packaging. Clean your pantry regularly to prevent crumb build-up and clutter.

fruit flies

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are attracted to organic foodstuffs that’s ripe, fermenting, or moist in any other way. The food that attracts fruit flies constantly produces a thin film of moisture that coats its surface. Fruit flies lay their tiny eggs inside this thin layer of moisture. A single fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs, and the flies complete their life cycle very quickly. Unfortunately, that means fruit fly infestations grow rapidly. Virtually any amount of food moisture will foster fruit fly eggs.

To keep fruit flies out of your home, you have to deprive them of nesting environments. Pay close attention to where you’re keeping your food. Never leave fruits or vegetables sitting out in the open for extended periods of time. Store fruit and vegetables in their appropriate fridge cabinets, and keep them in bags. Clean surfaces thoroughly after preparing meals and eating. Fruit flies are also attracted to garbage, so make sure you take your garbage out regularly.


The most common cockroach in Michigan is the German cockroach. Roaches are attracted to dark, moist areas where they can feed in peace. Generally, you’ll find them under your sink or in and around your garbage. They may also congregate around spills or puddles you didn’t find fast enough, especially in your pantry. Roaches contaminate any food they come into contact with. They’re also capable of spreading potentially dangerous pathogens like E. Coli.

Roaches are attracted to moisture, especially in dark and messy places. As always, garbage duty should be your first consideration. Make sure you store your garbage in a tidy, sealable plastic bag. Thoroughly rinse and dry food containers before you throw them away. You should also clean out the space beneath your sink frequently and check for leaks or puddling. Cockroaches don’t need much moisture, and they’re very attracted to humidity. Keeping your kitchen clean will help keep them away.

rodent in kitchen


Yes, every home’s eternal nemesis is also a particularly common kitchen pest. Rats and mice find hidden or secluded routes through your home into your kitchen. They follow utility pipes, squeeze through holes in cabinets, or just run beneath furniture. Once they reach your food, they chew holes through packaging to munch on whatever they can. In the process, they often contaminate a lot of food at once. Rodents can also carry and transmit diseases.

Rodents will pretty much always be able to smell your food, but you can stop them from getting it. Keep your stored food in airtight, hard plastic containers. Clean out your cabinets and pantry frequently to prevent crumbs. Wipe down kitchen counters and dining tables after every meal. As always, take your garbage out frequently, and make sure you don’t leave any behind. Patch up holes leading into your food areas, especially around pipes and other utility lines.

If you find a pest in your kitchen, it’s important to act fast. The longer you wait, the more extensive kitchen infestations tend to become. There’s also the psychological factor: no one deserves to be afraid of their own food!

Next time you notice a pest in your kitchen, give Griffin a call right away. We’ll be able to identify the full extent of your infestation and wipe it out just as quickly. You’ll be able to go back to using your kitchen without preparing meals for any unwanted guests.

The Indian Meal Moth in Michigan

Close-up of an Indian Meal Moth

At first, the Indian meal moth probably doesn’t seem like that scary a pest, all things considered. It doesn’t look big or dangerous, it’s not destroying your home, and it’s not biting you while you sleep! If that’s how you feel, then consider yourself lucky. If you’re not afraid of Indian meal moths, then you’ve probably never encountered one… in your food.

Food-infesting pests are a special kind of scary. You might accidentally eat them. It’s gross. Indian meal moths are one of the most notorious food-infesting pests in Michigan. Every year, they infest thousands of Michigan cupboards and pantries. You don’t yours to be one of those pantries, trust us. Here’s everything you need to know to make sure it won’t be.

What is an Indian Meal Moth?

Indian meal moths are a common stored food pest insect in Michigan. The name “Indian meal moth” references the fact that it frequently feeds on cornmeal (or “Indian meal”). Adult Indian meal moths are around ⅝ to ¾” long, reddish-brown or copper-colored torsos. Their wingspan is about ½” long. The wings are also copper-colored, but they have a distinctive light tan or grey-colored top section. When Indian meal moths aren’t flying, they fold their wings together along their bodies.

Indian meal moths actually spend a good deal of their lives in their larval or caterpillar form. These larvae are a very light, clear white, yellow, pink, or greenish shade, with a brown head. They start very small and grow consistently longer. Mature larvae grow to around ½ to ⅝” inches long. They often crawl along sheer walls and produce a silk which they spin into cocoons. An Indian meal moth’s entire life cycle completes in about six weeks.

What do Indian meal moths want?

What Do Indian Meal Moths Want?

Contrary to popular belief, adult Indian meal moths lack mouthparts and can’t actually eat anything. Instead, they only live long enough to reproduce and lay their hundreds of eggs. Adult meal moths lay their eggs on (or in) any number of food sources. That way when these offspring hatch, they’ll have food to eat right away. Indian meal moth larvae actually do all the eating–and damage–that you’ll want to watch out for.

Indian meal moth larvae feed on all kinds of stored dry pantry foods. They’ll eat cereal, pasta, bread, sugar, flour, cornmeal, pancake mix, oatmeal, nuts and seeds, cornmeal, and more. Larvae eat constantly until they’ve stored enough energy for adult metamorphosis. Often, they’ll eat their way inside the food they’re feeding on. When they’ve feed enough, larvae spin themselves into cocoons made of a fine silk. Pupation and metamorphosis takes around 30 days. When it’s finished, an adult moth emerges and the cycle begins again.

Where Do Indian Meal Moths Come From?

There are two common ways Indian meal moths infiltrate homes. Either they get in through regular access points, or homeowners inadvertently bring them in themselves. Like all moths, Indian meal moths are attracted to light at night. They may fly toward home lights and, in their confusion, accidentally enter homes through cracks in window and door frames. Moths often enter homes by flying through damaged window screens during the summer time.

More frequently (and upsettingly), however, Indian meal moths get inside your home by stowing away in your food. Meal moth larvae can be very difficult to see, particularly when they’re young. They often eat their way inside the food they inhabit, so they’re not visible from the outside. Many meal moths work their way inside food boxes, as well. Homeowners buy this food and bring it inside. From there, the meal moths can spread to other food sources in their pantries.

How can I prevent Indian meal moths?

How Can I Prevent Indian Meal Moths?

The best way to prevent Indian meal moths is to pay close attention to the food in your pantry. Store all your dry goods in airtight, hard plastic containers. Take cereal out of its cardboard boxes and transfer the bag into hard plastic. Keep pasta boxes inside hard plastic containers. Make sure you fasten the lids of these containers tightly whenever you’re not using them. Clean out your pantry itself frequently, as well, to prevent crumb buildup.

If you’re worried you have pantry moths, take all the food out of your pantry. Thoroughly scrub down the shelves and walls of the pantry. Look for cocoons, silk, or other signs of moths. Then, examine the food itself for silk or signs of damage. Pull apart bread or other foods larvae or eggs could hide in. Throw out all the food that Indian meal moths could have infested. Both at home and when you’re shopping, watch out for food with broken packaging.

If you’re worried you might have an Indian meal moth infestation, don’t panic! Just clear your pantry and give Griffin a call right away. No matter how big or entrenched your infestation may be, we will root it out and eliminate it permanently. Call us, and we’ll make sure you can get back to enjoying your food bug-free.

Keeping Pests Out of a Restaurant

Dead cockroach on a restaurant linen

A pest infestation is pretty much every restaurant owner’s worst nightmare, and it’s not hard to understand why. Running a restaurant is an unbelievable amount of work. It combines all the trials and tribulations of running a business, and adds food preparation and customer service besides. Imagine losing all that blood, sweat, and tears because of a bug!

Unfortunately, pest infestations are one nightmare that’s all-too-real. All kinds of pests are especially attracted to restaurants. They’ll do whatever it takes to get at the food and shelter waiting for them inside. Keeping them out is just one more important job a restaurant has to do. Luckily, it’s not as hard as you’d think–and certainly not as hard as many other aspects of restaurant management. By keeping these four tips in mind, you’ll go a long way toward keeping your restaurant pest-free*:

Watch the Garbage

manage your restaurant's garbage carefullyGarbage management is probably the single most important way restaurants can prevent pest infestations. Restaurants have more garbage to worry about than just about anywhere else. Not only do you have your kitchen’s garbage, but you have to manage your customer’s, as well. When food spoils, the smell and liquids it produces attract pests like nothing else. Flies, moths, roaches, and even rodents all flock to the smells of rotting food.

Making sure pests can’t smell rotting or spoiled food is your top priority. Pay careful attention to where all your garbage ends up. All solid garbage (food, containers, etc.) should go into sealable, airtight plastic bags. Throw these bags out at least once a day, and ideally twice. Be especially careful with liquid waste, such as grease. Never pour grease into drains or let it collect in the garbage. Rinse out all garbage bins and dumpsters at least once a month.

Clean the Drains

Clean your restaurant's drains regularlyIt’s all-too-easy to depend on your drains, especially in the hectic restaurant world. You just pour the whatever-it-is down the drain and move on to your next task. The whatever-it-is is gone, and you can keep working! It’s perfect, right? Unfortunately, that’s not really how it works. The stuff you pour down the drain often stays in the drain, where it can rot, congeal, or build up. Before long, you could have a nasty clog–or worse.

All the gunk that builds up in your drain does just cause clogs, either. It can also provide a suitable and consistent source of food for pests. Drain flies and all kinds of other frustrating pests are attracted to drain gunk of all kinds. Some types of drain fly even lay eggs inside or near drains, which makes them a long-term problem. You should have your drains professionally cleaned once a season, or whenever you notice a problem.

Mind the Gaps

Make sure your restaurant's entrances seal properlyUnfortunately, this is another situation where restaurants are at a disadvantage. Think about how many doors and windows your restaurant has. There’s the front entrance for sure, a back entrance, probably a supply entrance, any emergency exits, and more. Pests can use these entrances, too. Then there are the restaurant-specific access points to worry about. Pests can come down ventilation just as easily as smoke and food smells can escape.

Try to figure out where pests could get in. Start by examining thresholds. Make sure all your doors seal properly and snugly. Replace any damaged sealant or weatherstripping immediately. Look for cracks and gaps near window and door frames, and feel for drafts. Remember: some bugs only need the tiniest gap to get in, so you have to be thorough. Check the perimeter from the outside and the inside. Use caulk to fill in gaps. Make sure all your vent systems have appropriate grating and screens.

Clean Spills

Keep an eye out for hidden spills or leaks in your restaurantThis probably seems obvious to you, but spills can be tricky. We’re not just talking about the ones out on the dining floor. We’re talking about the spills that can go overlooked. The tiny leaks in the employee bathroom. The condensation pooling in the corner of the freezer or outside by the HVAC. The grease ring around the floor drain in the kitchen. Pests don’t need much moisture to survive, and they’ll use whatever you give them.

Liquid spills are a particularly big deal for pests, because many bugs lay eggs in liquid. If you think a fly infestation is tough to deal with now, try a multi-generation infestation. To prevent a nightmare like that, you have to become a spill-eliminating machine. Figure out where moisture tends to build up and dry it out as frequently and completely as possible. Keep an especially close eye on customer’s sugary drinks.


Running any business is tough work, but running a restaurant is a whole new level. If you’ve made it this far, there’s no way a few pests are going to be your downfall. As long as you and your team follow these tips and work together, you’ll keep the pests at bay.

If ever things are getting out of hand and you need a little help, you can always call Griffin. We’re always ready to help you reclaim your business as effectively and discretely as possible. Keep fighting the good fight!

Fending Off Fruit Flies: A How-To Guide

Fending off Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are a perfect storm of small, fast, persistent, and hardy. They love to creep into your kitchen and make their home on overripe fruit, unwashed dishes, and similar sweet places. Nobody wants bugs in their banana bread!

That’s why we put together this list of five easy fruit fly prevention practices. Following these easy steps will help make sure those annoying bugs don’t make your home their home.‍

Keep rotten fruit out of your home

This is the most obvious answer to the question, “How can I prevent fruit flies?” Fruit flies, unsurprisingly, love rotting fruit. It’s what they most enjoy eating and it’s the reason they have the name they do. Any fruit that is past ripe should be cleaned up, bagged up, and taken out.

Make sure your drains and garbage disposal are free of food waste

Fruit flies love food waste, and drains and garbage disposals are popular places for food build-up to occur. Remove their potential food source by maintaining their cleanliness. Slow drains are usually a sign that there’s a clog or build-up.

In many cases, that clog or build-up is made up of the sort of organic materials fruit flies love. Pouring boiling water down problem drains can help loosen up these clogs, but if they’re still problematic afterwards, it’s best to call a professional and have them cleaned.

Clean out your recycling and garbage bins

When you drink a canned beverage and then throw it in the recycling, it’s never completely empty. There are always a few drops left. If your recycling bin isn’t lined with a bag, those few drops can build up. When they do, they’ll attract fruit flies.

Using trash bags in your recycling bin is one way to help prevent this. You should also regularly wipe and clean out all bins so that there isn’t a chance for icky sticky sweetness to collect. Cleaning your bins will be a big step toward keeping fruit flies away from your home or business.

Rinse dishes and cups as soon as you’re done using them

Do you see a theme with all our suggestions? Staying on top of cleaning food waste is the number one defense against fruit flies.

That extends from drains to bins to your dishes themselves. Never leave half-empty cups sitting around, and rinse your dishes before setting them in the sink to keep pests away.

Replace any old sponges or mops

Fruit flies are kind of gross. They’ll live in whatever filth they can find, as long as there’s a little sugar or moisture nearby. We recommend replacing the sponges you use for washing dishes in your kitchen at least bi-monthly, because these sponges are another place where their preferred food waste can hide.

Even if you try your best, sometimes things don’t go your way. If fruit flies have moved in despite your best efforts, you can call on the experts at Griffin Pest to get them taken care of quickly and permanently.