STOCKTON, Calif. — Miguel Gullien bought his home in Midtown Stockton four years go and has never had a pest problem.
However to his surprise, this summer brought a swarm of cockroaches to the dry regions of the Central Valley that even the cleanest of homeowners could not prepare for.
“Everything was great until just this year,” Guillen said. “This year, there is an abundance of roaches all over the house, big ones too.”
Gullien said he sprayed his entire house after seeing just one roach in his basement, but he did not expect what had been hiding in the infrastructure of his home.
“I sprayed around the house, and the next day, I found them everywhere flipped over on their backs,” Gullien said. “Four years in this house, haven't had any issues, then this year alone, it's just boom, everywhere.”
Large species of roaches have been entering the homes of Stockton residents like Gullien as the hot, dry climate of San Joaquin County wreaks havoc on these pests, forcing them to search for cool air and moisture, according to Lynn Kimsey, an entomologist at UC Davis.
“This is crazy we put in brand new flooring, but they're coming in,” Gullien said. “They look like they have wings. I've never seen anything like it, and they’re huge.”
Ron Ghiglier, owner of Ron’s All Seasons Pest Control in Stockton, has been in the business for over 30 years and has seen his fair share of cockroach season.
“We're still seeing them in the winter time, more than usual,” Ghiglier said. “We're not getting the freezing temperatures that we would normally get long enough for them to go kind of semi-dormant.”
Ghiglier said places like Stockton, where temperatures have begun to heat up much higher and much sooner, is dealing with an aggressive roach problem.
"In the Central Valley, we have the Delta waterways and a lot of adjacent creeks and storm water, and as those start to dry up, their habitat starts to dry up and they go where they need to go,” Ghiglier said. “I would say, starting at the end of March, I started to see an increase, maybe 30% more roaches than last year.”
These pests are most commonly found in industrial areas, but make their way into residential areas once it begins to warm up.
“They'll come from irrigation ditches, storm drains, sewer drains, things like that,” Ghiglier said.
As roaches begin to migrate into homes to find food and moisture, Ghiglier shares some tips to help Stockton residents prevent getting roaches.
According to Ghiglier, it is important for homeowners to inspect and treat possible hidden sources of water that would attract different species of roaches, such as sprinkler valves, trash cans and any outdoor compost.
“Seal up the windows, seal up the doors and use glue boards,” Ghiglier said. “Glue boards are a non-toxic way to catch them and throw them away.”
The inevitable roach season has already begun, but taking the correct steps can help with unwanted participation. Those who are having an issues with roaches can also reach out to local pest control for more tips and extermination services.