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Cockroaches

American Cockroach

American cockroach adults are 1 and 1/2 inches long (38mm), making them the largest of the house-infesting cockroaches. With reddish brown, fully developed wings, the American cockroaches have a yellowish margin on the thorax or body region behind the head. When disturbed, they may run rapidly and adults may fly. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except that they are wingless.

American Roach Habitat:

American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 84 degrees Fahrenheit and do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements, around pipes and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings. Many times, the American cockroach can be found under decks, under mulching materials, inside hollow block construction, or in any cool and damp area. Because of their fondness for sewers, large populations of American cockroaches will be seen in many cities after heavy rains or flooding. They may feed on a wide variety of plant and animal material.

American Cockroach Life Cycle:

Females produce egg cases and carry them protruding from the tip of the abdomen for about two days. Egg cases are then generally placed on a surface in a hidden location. The female may glue the egg case to the side of a structure or interior wall of a basement. These egg cases may sometimes be found lying loosed in mulched flower beds and compost piles. Egg cases are 3/8 inch long, brown, and purse shaped. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6 to 8 weeks. The nymphs require 6 to 12 months to mature. Adult cockroaches can live up to one year, during which females produce an average of 150 young.

American Roach Control:

Due to the large size and slow development of American cockroaches, large infestations of these insects are not common within houses. However, during certain times of the year, these cockroaches may move inside a house from outside sources. For example, in winter these cockroaches may move indoors, seeking warmer temperatures and food. Cockroaches may enter houses via sewer connections, under doors, around utility pipes, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation. Cockroach populations in basements can be reduced by decreasing dampness and applying insecticides in cracks and crevices where there is evidence of cockroach activity (presence of egg cases, dead cockroaches, brown fecal smears).

German Cockroach

Adult German cockroaches are light brown except for the shield behind the head marked with two dark stripes, which run lengthwise on the body. Young roaches are wingless and nearly black with a single light stripe running down the middle of the back, and the adults are about 5/8 inch long. Egg capsules are light tan and usually yield about 36 baby cockroaches!

German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.), are the most common roaches found in houses and restaurants. Most cockroaches have a flattened, oval shape, spiny legs, and long, filamentous antennae. Immature stages are smaller, have undeveloped wings and resemble the adults. They eat food of all kinds and may hitchhike into the house on egg cartons, soft drink cartons, sacks of potatoes or onions, used furniture or appliances, beer cases, etc. Produce departments, pawn shops, nursing homes and other such places are constantly fighting German roaches (as a general rule) and are notorious for being the source of residential infestations.

Once they hitchhike into your home, German roaches generally develop in kitchens and bathrooms. During the day, these roaches may be found hiding clustered behind baseboard moldings, pictures and clocks, in cracks around cabinets, closets or pantries, and in and under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. German roaches do not like motion and usually avoid light, so if you are seeing them in the daytime while you are moving about the room, you probably have a larger population than you realize. These pests also prefer to hide within five feet or less of their food and water source.

German cockroach females, unlike most other roaches, carry the egg capsule protruding from their abdomen until their capsules ready to split open. During the last three or four days prior to dropping her egg case, the female German cockroach does not forage for food or water. The case is then placed in a secluded location, with the nymphs emerging sometimes within the hour or as long as a week. A female may produce four to six cases during her lifetime, each containing 30 to 40 eggs. Eggs hatch in 28 to 30 days, and nymphs develop in 40 to 125 days. Female roaches live about 200 days, with males living not quite as long. The German roach produces more eggs and has more generations per year (three to four) than other roaches, and only a few individuals are needed to develop into troublesome infestations.

Inspect sacks, cartons and boxes, etc., brought into the house, and destroy any roaches. Sanitation is critical in roach control. Clean up spilled foods and liquids, avoid leaving scraps of food on unwashed dishes and counter tops, keep food in tightly sealed containers, rinse cans and bottles before putting them in trash and transfer garbage outdoors into roach-proof receptacles.

Professional roach baits, pesticide dusts, aerosols or residual spray concentrates can be used to eliminate German cockroach infestations. Cypermethrin insecticides are the most popular for killing German cockroaches. Mop Up can also be used when mopping kitchen floors and is used primarily in restaurant roach control. The best professional bait for German roaches is Maxforce Gel. Demon insecticide is the best residual spray and can best be used in conjunction with Baygon aerosols. If you prefer to use professional dusts, Delta Dust and Drione Dust are the best dusts for roach control.

Oriental Cockroach

The Oriental cockroach is dark reddish brown in color, so dark that it is sometimes referred to as the “Black Beetle” in Europe and some parts of the United States. When disturbed, it may run rapidly and adults may fly. Females are wingless, and males have wings. Female Oriental cockroaches can be distinguished from large nymphs by the wing stubs which have definite venation.

The adult roach is about 1 inch long (some being reported as 1 1/4 inch in length) and immature cockroaches resemble adults except that they are wingless. Unlike other pest cockroaches, oriental cockroaches cannot climb up smooth surfaces (they lack sticky pads on their feet). Oriental cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer cooler temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and can overwinter in protected areas outdoors where temperatures average 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings. They feed on a wide variety of plant and animal material. The Oriental cockroach breeds well in unventilated crawl spaces or basements where humidity is high.

Life Cycle: Females produce egg cases and may carry them protruding from the tip of the abdomen for about 30 hours. Egg cases are then generally glued to a surface in a hidden location, usually a warm sheltered spot where food will be available for emerging nymphs. Egg cases are 3/8 inch long, brown, and purse shaped. A full compliment of 16 eggs can be laid in the egg capsule, which consists of two rows of eight eggs each. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6 to 8 weeks and require 6 to 12 months to mature. Adult cockroaches can live up to one year, during which females produce an average of 150 young. This cockroach prefers to feed on starchy foods but (like other roaches) will adapt to survive.

Elimination: Cockroaches may enter houses via sewer connections, under doors, around utility pipes, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation. Applying an exterior barrier treatment around buildings is the best way to stop the inward movement of this pest. Cockroach populations in basements can be reduced by decreasing dampness and applying insecticides in cracks and crevices where there is evidence of cockroach activity (presence of egg cases, dead cockroaches, brown fecal smears). Wettable powder formulations (Demon WP, Cynoff WP) are usually the choice of professionals. These formulations not only give three times more residual than conventional pesticides, they also have no odor.

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