Pest Library - Cockroaches

Cockroach

Cockroaches can wreak havoc on your home. To win the war against cockroaches, here's what you should know:

 

Entry:

Cockroaches can enter your home in many different ways, from the outside through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer and drain pipes, even in grocery bags. 

Ideal environment:

Your home is an ideal breeding ground. With plenty of food, warmth, water and nesting sites, they can remain active all year round. 

Reproduction:

Cockroaches reproduce quickly. For every one you see there can be 200 more hiding and multiplying behind your walls. 

Evasiveness:

Because cockroaches are nocturnal, if you've seen one, you haven't seen them all. The few cockroaches you see by day were likely forced out by overcrowding; a possible sign of severe infestation. 

Allergies:

The dust created by cast-off cockroach skins, dead bodies and droppings can aggravate allergies, especially in sensitive individuals. 

Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness:

Cockroaches are better at hiding than you are at finding them, and their eggs are naturally protected from insecticides. Without special equipment, materials and know-how, it can be a losing battle.

American Cockroach

Appearance:

The largest structure-infesting species—about 1/2-inch long. Reddish-brown wings with light markings on thorax.

Habit:

Very aggressive. Prefers warm, damp areas. More likely to be seen in daytime and outdoors than other species. Commonly found in food preparation areas.

Diet:

Scavenger; eats almost anything.

Reproduction:

Female needs to mate only once to produce many egg capsules.

Each capsule contains an average of 13 eggs. Nymphs molt 13 times in about 600 days before reaching maturity. Adult can live up to 15 months.

Other:

Has shown a marked attraction to alcoholic beverages, especially beer. Also known as the "water bug."

German Cockroach

Appearance:

About 5/8-inch long. Light to medium brown with two dark longitudinal streaks on the thorax.

Habit:

Nocturnal; primarily infests areas close to food, moisture and warmth. Most common cockroach found in and around apartments, homes, supermarkets and restaurants.

Diet:

Scavenger; eats almost anything.

Reproduction:

Females can produce one egg capsule every 20 to 25 days. Each capsule contains from 18 to 48 eggs. Newborns become adults in as little as 36 days. Adults can live up to one year.

Other:

Extremely heavy infestations are not uncommon. Often found aboard ships. The most widely dispersed of all cockroaches in the United States. Typically, this species is thought of as the “bug” on the kitchen counter or in the cabinet. This cockroach should be of greater concern, due to the fact it has been implicated in the development and aggravation of allergies and asthma. It is known to transmit bacteria and a parasitic protozoan.

Oriental Cockroach

Appearance:

Dark brown and about 1-inch long.

Habit:

Common outdoors; often enters buildings through sewer pipes. Tends to live near the ground and in warm, damp areas.

Diet:

Eats anything, but often found feeding on garbage, sewage and decaying organic matter. Seems to prefer starches, if available.

Reproduction:

Egg capsules contain 16 eggs. Females will produce an average of eight capsules. Nymphs go through seven molts before becoming adults in about a year. Adults can live up to six months.

Other:

Also known as "water bugs" or "black beetles." More sluggish than other species, gives off a distinctly unpleasant odor.

Bownbanded Cockroach

Appearance:

About 5/8-inch long. Wings have two brownish-yellow bands.

Habit:

Nocturnal; can fly. They may be found throughout any structure, but prefer dry, warm areas, high locations and inside furniture.

Diet:

Scavenger; eats almost anything.

Reproduction:

Female carries egg capsule for 24 to 36 hours, then attaches it underneath or on the side of a protected surface. Capsules contain an average of 18 eggs. Nymphs reach maturity in an average of 161 days. Adults live up to 10 months.

Other:

Sometimes confused with the German cockroach. Often hides egg capsules in furniture. Not as dependent on moisture as other species.

Pest Library ©2013 Compelling Communications, Inc.