What’s a cockroach?
GERMAN, ORIENTAL, BROWN-BANDED AND AMERICAN
Cockroaches spread 33 strains of bacteria
Appearance: There are actually four main kinds of indoor cockroaches that are categorized as pests. They are the German cockroach, the Brown-banded cockroach, the American cockroach and the Oriental cockroach. Each has its own unique appearance.
Eating Habits: Cockroaches have many food sources. They’ll eat, cheese, beer, leather, bakery products, starch in book bindings, glue, hair, flakes of dried skin, dead animals, plant materials and even soiled clothing !
Health Concerns: Cockroaches carry disease organisms on the loins and bristles on its body, as well as the sticky pads on its feet. Roaches defecate on food and transmit staphylococcus, streptococcus and E. Coli.
The German cockroach is the most common household roach pest. They are usually found in kitchens, and bathrooms, but can be in any portion of a heated structure, but especially near food preparation areas. A nocturnal insect, German cockroaches remain hidden in dark secluded harborages during the daylight hours. If you see some during the day, it is a sure sign that a tremendous population exists. Cockroaches are scavengers with a wide choice of food. They thrive on the same food humans eat and pollute human food in process of feeding. Cockroaches carry disease organisms on the loins and bristles on its body, as well as the sticky pads on its feet. Roaches defecate on food and transmit staphylococcus, streptococcus and E. Coli. Unlike most other roaches, they are very small-with a body length of only ½ inch. They are a light brown or tan color, with the female being darker than the male.
Life Cycle: The female produces 4-8 egg capsules in her lifetime. Each capsule contains about 30-40 eggs. She carries the capsule until just before the eggs are ready to hatch. This usually takes 28-30 days. Nymphs go through 6-7 instars before becoming adults. The German cockroach population can grow at least 3-4 generations each year, and can complete the life cycle in as few as six weeks, but the average is 14-15 weeks. Adults will live up to ten months.
Oriental cockroaches are usually black to dark brown, and are fairly large but smaller than the American cockroach at about 1¼ inches in body length. They can become numerous in damp, secluded areas such as crawl spaces, basements, and drains, and are occasionally called “water bugs” by mistake. The oriental cockroach is often found in a bathtub because it lacks sticky pads on its feet and cannot climb the smooth sides. Oriental cockroaches are also found outside near water sources or in the garage, being quite adept at living outdoors. These roaches are quite common in the sewers, and may come into houses through the drains. If the crawl space under a house is damp, it becomes an excellent breeding location for these roaches. The Oriental cockroach has a bad odor that people associate with cockroaches. They will eat any human or pet food, garbage, or other organic materials.
Life Cycle: The female produces about eight egg capsules in a lifetime with each containing 16 eggs. She deposits this capsule within 30 hours after its produced. The nymphs emerge and go through 7-10 molts before becoming adults. There is usually only about one generation per year, which can take well over 500 days to complete. The adults will live about a year.
The American Cockroach is usually the one seen when people brag about some “huge” roach they spotted. It can reach a body length of around two inches, and occasionally more. It has a reddish-brown color. The American cockroach lives in city sewer systems, ship holds, basements, and commercial food preparation areas. It is sometimes called the Palmetto Bug in Florida.
Life Cycle: The female lays an egg case, containing about 15 eggs, near a food source. They also need to be left in a warm, damp environment. One egg case can be produced every week. The eggs hatch in 32-58 days, and then go through up to thirteen instars. The life cycle is an average of 600 days, with most adults living well over a year. Some have lived for almost four years !
This is the smallest of the domestic roaches with a body length of only 3/8ths to 1/2 inch. It has distinctive markings-pale brown bands alternating with darker brown bands, which gives it the name. It usually lives in solitary settings or very small groups. Like other cockroaches, it is most active at night. The brown-banded cockroach will live in just about any part of the house except the kitchen, only visiting there to get food and water, but they have changed habits and will now be found in closer proximity to the food sources.
Life Cycle: Females form egg cases of about 18 eggs in each generation, and attach the egg case to a sheltered place. The eggs will take 50-90 days to hatch. The nymphs go through 6-8 instars. Depending upon temperature, it will take 95-275 days before they reach full adult stage.
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