What’s That Roach? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Roach close-up

Did you know that there are four different species of cockroach common in Michigan? Each of these four cockroaches look and act just a little differently. They’re active at slightly different times, want slightly different things, and live in slightly different places. Despite their differences, however, one thing they all have in common is being a pain for homeowners.

We know what you’re thinking: who cares? A roach is a roach, right? No matter what species it is, it’s not like you’ll want a cockroach in your home! While you’re certainly right about that, there’s still a good reason to be able to tell different roaches apart. If you know which roach you have, you’ll have a better idea on how to get rid of them. We want to help, which is why we put together this quick reference for which kind of roach you might have. Next time you see a gross bug creeping around, take a look at it and consult this infographic:

So: once you’ve identified your roach, what’s your next step? First, you can take some steps to prevent that specific roach. Once you know what it is, you’ll know what it wants and probably how it got in. Plug up their access point and deprive them of their needs, and you’ll go a long way toward solving your problem.

You could also always tell the experts at Griffin about which roach pests are plaguing you. Once we know which roach you have, then we’ll know exactly how to go about taking care of it. You’ll have helped us do our job, and we’ll be able to protect you all the more effectively! Don’t let your roach problem trouble you anymore. Instead, just give us a call today. No matter which roach you have, we’ll make sure they’re gone and can’t get in again.

The Pests in Your Basement this Fall

Seal openings in your home to keep pests out.

Fall is prime pest season. All kinds of pests know winter is coming, and they’re scrambling to sneak into a warm place. Basements are a pest’s favorite hiding place. They’re dark, damp, temperature-controlled, and secluded. You’ll deal with more pests in fall than you do during other seasons. You’ll find more pests in your basement than you will in the rest of your home. You… probably see where this is going.

It’s unavoidable: all kinds of pests are going to try to get into your basement this fall. They’ll sneak, squeeze, and scramble in from any tiny opening they get as if their lives depend on it. Just because you can’t stop them from trying doesn’t mean you have to let them succeed, however. If you take action now, even the most audacious autumn pests won’t be able to bug you this fall. Here’s what you’re up against, and how to come out on top.


Silverfish are small, wingless insects with silver-grey, segmented bodies and bristled tails. They require highly humid environments to survive, so they’re a common basement-dweller all year long. During fall, they’re particularly attracted to your basement as a source of warmth. Silverfish prefer environments that are 70 to 80℉. They feed on starchy materials like wood, paper, glue, and linen. The silverfish in your basement probably huddle beneath a food source in a particularly damp, warm area.

If silverfish can’t access moisture, they’ll dry out and die. Try to figure out where the high humidity in your basement comes from. Look for drafts coming from windows, door frames, hatches, or vents. Make sure your sump pump works properly and doesn’t leak. While you’re at it, look for plumbing leaks and other sources of stray humidity, too. Controlling humidity won’t just help with silverfish; it’ll help repeal all kinds of other pests, too. Pests like…

cockroaches in your basement this fall


Like silverfish, roaches are very attracted to humidity. They’ll often seek out kitchens, bathrooms, or basements in order to access the moisture they need to survive. The most problematic roach in Michigan–the German cockroach–also highly prefers warm temperatures. Like rodents (we’ll get to them), they’re very good at following the warmth back to its source. Once inside, roaches tend to hide near food sources during the day and come out to forage at night.

Unlike silverfish, roaches don’t stick to one area in your basement. Instead, they’ll migrate throughout your home. Since they’ll go anywhere, you’ll have to check everywhere. Look for plumbing leaks under sinks, against basement walls, and near utility lines. Roaches love hiding near leaks and food, so depriving them of cover helps, too. Elevate boxes and other storage materials and keep them in dedicated, organized spaces. The clearer and cleaner the floor, the fewer places roaches will have to hide.


Michigan’s many spider species have similar habits: they follow the food. The best way for spiders to feed in fall is by following their prey into overwintering locations. Whether you have orb-weaving or hunting spiders, chances are they’re in your home chasing prey. Michigan’s spiders can’t survive winter without taking drastic steps, so infiltrating your home kills two birds with one stone. Spiders are highly proficient climbers, so they can find access points from any angle or elevation.

Spiders generally build their nests near bug “highways” in your home, where they’re most likely to catch prey. In fact, by tracking down webs you can track down these “bug highways” and do something about them. Look for access points such as small cracks and crevices near the cobwebs in your home. Patching these gaps denies pests a way in and spiders a food source at the same time. Keeping your basement clean and cobweb-free will help disrupt spider hunting, too.

mice and rats in your basement this fall


Rats and mice are the fall pest to watch for. Rodents are extremely attuned to changes in temperature and air pressure. As soon as they feel summer temperatures changing, they start preparing for winter. They have to: rodents and mice need to spend winter in warm places in order to survive. As such, rats and mice spend pretty much all fall looking for ways into warm structures. Unfortunately, they’re… very good at it.

Rodents can actually track warm drafts or food smells around a home’s perimeter until they find small openings. Rodents primarily find openings near utility lines, window and door frames, and vents. Check around these areas and seal them off with caulk or steel wool as necessary. Replace old weatherstripping and worn vent covers. Finally, vacuum, mop, and sweep your home diligently all fall and winter. It’s difficult to keep rodents from smelling your food, but you can keep them from getting it.

Even in the midst of pest season, it’s important to remember: keeping your basement pest-free* is never impossible. It might seem like there’s “always another way in,” but there’s not. If you keep following pest control tips like these, you can make your basement a pest-free* zone.

If you ever need help removing your current pests or keeping future ones out, give Griffin a call. We’ll help make sure you can enjoy your fall to the fullest–without worrying about pests in your basement.

Cockroaches cause allergies

In a survey of allergists from across the United, 97% of respondents said they believe a pest-free* home is an important step in preventing asthma and allergy symptoms.

The survey, conducted jointly by the National Pest Management Association and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, revealed that aside from dust mites, cockroaches are the most problematic household pest for patients suffering from asthma or allergies. Rounding out the top three allergy-inflaming pests are rodents and stinging insects.

First reported back in the 1940s, cockroach allergies are most common urban areas. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates 23% to 60% of urban residents with asthma are sensitive to the cockroach allergen.

Cockroaches are one of the oldest and most adaptable pests Griffin Pest Services is called up to eliminate from homes. In Michigan customers are likely to encounter one of five species – German, Oriental, American, Brown-banded and Wood cockroach.

These disease carrying pests can be found both inside (German, Brown-banded) and outside (American, Oriental, Wood) structures and thrive when they have access to food, water and a dark, out-of-the-way harborage location.

A cockroach’s food tastes can be described accurately in one word – all-encompassing. Cockroaches eat just about anything including decaying matter such as food, garbage, feces and the like. They also enjoy strength in numbers; did you know a female German cockroach can produce over 30,000 little cockroaches in one year.

The allergens these filthy pests leave behind in homes linger in the air or settle in house dust. They become airborne when the air is stirred up by movement like children playing or running through the house.

Diagnosing to determine if a person with persistent asthma is allergic to cockroach can only be made by a skin test. A doctor will scratch or prick the skin with cockroach extract and if redness, an itchy rash or swelling appear then it is likely the person is allergic to cockroaches.

Griffin Pest Solutions has years of experience effectively eliminating cockroaches from homes and businesses. Based on our work in the trenches, we offer you the following Eight Simple Steps to Keeping Cockroaches out of your kitchen cupboards, laundry room, basement or pantry:

1. Cockroaches can sneak in with paper products, packaging and used appliances. Inspect bags or boxes of groceries brought into the home; remove clutter to make cleaning easier and to get rid of hiding places for cockroaches.
2. Regularly vacuum or sweep areas that might attract cockroaches.
3. Seal cracks and openings around or inside cabinets, caulk cracks along floors, add screens to floor drains, and paint cracks in cabinets to seal them.
4. Store food in sealed containers. Never leave food, crumbs or trash uncovered anywhere.
5. Clean up any food debris or spills right away; do not leave uneaten pet food to sit out overnight.
6. Dry up wet areas and repair leaky faucets or drains that create moisture.
7. Use trash cans with tight fitting lids. Avoid placing trash under the sink. Empty trash cans often. Put garbage in closed plastic bags.
8. If you live in an apartment or condominium, ask your neighbors to do what you are doing to their living areas to help keep cockroaches out.
If you have questions or concerns about pest allergens in your home and Griffin’s new Asthma and Allergy service, call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@https://www.griffinpest.com/ for more information and a free estimate.

Mice – Prime Drivers of Asthma in Inner Cities

rat with cheese on a white backgroundAlthough it was long believed that cockroaches were the main driver of greater than average asthma occurrences in inner cities, it has recently been found that mouse allergens were the principal driver of severe asthma and other related outcomes. This has come to light after a recent study was conducted involving Baltimore children residing in urban areas.

The facts of the study

According to a study done by Elizabeth C. Matsui, MD,MHS and her colleagues of the John Hopkins Hospital, in the event of asthma affected children living in Baltimore being exposed to both critters, cockroach sensitization was associated with only broncho dilator reversibility and acute care visits. In contrast, mouse sensitization was connected with obstruction of the airways, inflammation of the airway, visits to the hospital for acute care, and broncho dilator reversibility. Matsui and her team have published the results in the October edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology magazine. The study states that the mouse allergen had no links with the cockroach allergen.

Matsui and her colleagues have cautioned, however, that this result may not be the same in all cities. Previous studies have shown that children are susceptible to mouse allergen more in New York, Chicago, and Boston. US cities with more cockroach allergens were New York and Chicago. Dust mites topped the list in Tucson and Seattle.

The team stated in the report that this study brings into prominence the importance of examining the applicable allergens for asthma related health at a community level. This is important because not all urban communities will possess identical allergen profiles as reported in various studies.

A different view

Dennis R. Ownby, MD, Georgia Regents University, Augusta has said that the study is provocative and urban communities are not the only ones who are susceptible to mice allergens. According to a national survey, allergy initiating mouse urine was detected in almost 82% of inner urban residences, with concentrations exceeding safe levels in about 35% of them.

A small study proved that a reduction of concentrations of mouse allergen also lessened the symptoms associated with asthma. Ownby also said that total eradication of mice can be very difficult. Mouse allergen deserves a better investigation for its role as one of the primary causes of asthma in urban residences. This should be done with the hope that better techniques of lessening allergen exposure to mice will be associated with reduced morbidity of asthma.

The researchers were united in the conclusion that their findings could assist interventions at the community level for localities with a greater than average asthma burden. In case of Baltimore, the metropolis would get the maximum benefit from targeting infestation of mice and also get extra benefit from targeting cockroaches as well.

Mouse Allergen and Asthma Cohort Study

The probable Mouse Allergen and Asthma Cohort Study included about 144 Baltimore City residents between 5 and 17 years of age. All of them had persistent asthma and clinical data available for the past 12 months. The demographic studied were mostly African-American, poorly educated and low income families. Many of them had asthma exacerbation in the past year. Simple skin prick examinations churned up positive results for mice in about 51% of the cases. Data for cockroaches and dust mites were 60% and 56% respectively.

For those sensitized, 41% were open to mouse allergen and the same percent were open to cockroach allergen. This figure rests on dust samples settled on the bedroom floor. After proper adjustment for serum total Immunoglobin-E (IgE) level, sex and age, exposure and sensitization to mouse allergen was involved with a higher incidence of acute care visits for greater levels of pulomonary inflammation and asthma. This was measured by a fraction of nitric oxide that is exhaled (P<0.01).

Sensitization and exposure to both the allergens were associated with more negative outcomes compared to either of them alone