By Bruce Cathcart

Few things can ruin a good night’s sleep faster than the sound of a cockroach skittering up your bed sheets in the dark, then across your spouse’s naked torso before leaping onto your face.  If the little scratchy sounds their feet make doesn’t wake you, I promise that your spouse’s screaming will!  The adrenaline rush that you experience as you leap out of bed and scramble to turn on the lights pretty much guarantees that you won’t be going back to sleep anytime soon… and if you do not locate, identify and dispatch the cockroach immediately you will not likely be returning to your bed anytime soon either.  Such was the experience that my wife and I endured on our first night sleeping in our new home almost 35 years ago.  It was one of those “I’ll never forget” nights… and not in a good way! 

According to Wikipedia there are 4600 species of cockroaches of which only 30 species are happy to share your home with you.  Are you kidding me?  One cockroach let alone 30 species of cockroaches is too many to share my home!  So what can you do to make sure you do not have the same up close and personal experience that I had on your first night in your new home, or any night in your home for that matter?  Let’s take a look at the sales data for homes in the Coachella Valley for the month of February first and then I’ll get to some good tips on how to deal with cockroaches in your desert home.

According to the Desert Area MLS as of 3/1/17 there were 969 pending transactions of residential properties here in the Coachella Valley in the month of February.  That’s up from the 900 pendings in the previous month (January) and exceeding last year when we had 958 pending sales.  In January there were 636 solds and in February we had 710 solds which represents another significant increase over last year when we sold only 529 homes in February 2016.  We are off to a great start in 2017 and this represents our third year in a row that we have started off with higher volume of both pendings and solds.  Over the past couple of years we have watched several metropolitan areas recover in terms of home values and in many cases exceed their previous high home prices of 2007.  This is particularly true of our “over the hill neighbors” in San Diego, Orange and L.A Counties. I estimate that the majority of the homes here in the Coachella Valley are still 20% below the market values that we experienced in 2006-7.  But overall, this positive data documents that the Coachella Valley real estate market continues to improve.  Our inventory of homes for sale was up very slightly this month with 4929 homes available on February 28, 2017 compared to 4,916 homes available on January 31, 2017.  The current inventory is keeping pace with the current sales and that indicates that we are in a very stable market at this time.


Here in the desert the two most common cockroaches are the German and the American Cockroach.  The American cockroaches are the larger of the two and are sometimes incorrectly called a “date beetle” simply because they look like mature dates and also because it doesn’t sound nearly as menacing as the word cockroach.  The German Cockroaches are the smaller ones and are more prolific and more difficult to get rid of. They are both extremely crafty at getting into our homes through tiny cracks and crevices, vents, sewers and drain pipes.  They prefer moist, dark places and are usually found in or near refrigerators, oven/stoves, under sinks, bathrooms and laundry areas.  They usually like to come out at night and the rule is if you see one there are plenty more!

The way to win the war on cockroaches is to enlist professional help… at least to start.  For about $150.00 our local exterminators will come to your home and do what is necessary to eradicate the existing colony.  I recommend that if you are buying a new home and suspect cockroaches might be there that you have this done before you move in.  After that I have found that it is impossible to 100% seal your home from these invaders so the best plan is a monthly maintenance program of spraying around the outside of your home as well as the locations described above inside your home.  Your local pest control professional can provide this service or you can do it yourself as most stores these days sell the proper treatments.  This has worked for me so far as it has been long time since our last uninvited guest joined us in the bedroom!

Join me each month this year as we keep a close eye on our Coachella Valley real estate market.  If you have a real estate question or concerns please email me at the address below. 

Bruce Cathcart is the Broker/Co-Owner of La Quinta Palms Realty, “Your Friendly Professionals” and can be reached by email at or visit his website at