Most cockroaches originate from tropical climates. However, they have been transported all over the world and can adapt to live in just about any climate.
Cockroaches enter your home in a variety of different ways including; through cracks, crevices, gable, dryer & roof vents, and sewer & drain pipes. Plus they can be inside items that have been carried into your home.
Problems Associated with Cockroaches:
Cockroaches are a nuisance pest in homes, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices, and virtually any structure that has food preparation or storage areas. They will contaminate food, eating utensils, destroy fabric, paper products, impart stains and unpleasant odors to surfaces they contact.
Can Just One Cockroach be a Problem?
Cockroaches can reproduce extremely quickly. For every one you see there can be 200 more hiding. They can multiply behind or inside your walls. In fact, the few cockroaches that you have seen may have been forced out by overpopulation and can be a sign of a severe infestation.
Do Cockroaches Carry Disease?
Cockroaches (especially the American Cockroach, which comes into contact with human excrement in sewers or with pet droppings) may transmit bacteria that cause food poisoning. German Cockroaches are believed to be capable of transmitting disease-causing organisms such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, hepatitis virus, and coliform bacteria. Some people, especially those with asthma, are sensitive to the allergens produced by these cockroaches.
American cockroach adults are about 1-1/2 inches long. They are a reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. They generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. Usually, they are commonly found in basements, crawl spaces, cracks & crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings.
Cockroaches feed on decaying matter found in dark, moist areas, especially in sewers, steam heat tunnels, boiler rooms, around bathtubs, clothes hampers, and plumbing.
The females deposit their eggs in bean-shaped cases usually by sheltered areas on or near the floor, close to a food source. Each case contains up to 16 white or yellowish-white eggs. Eggs hatch between 5 to 7 weeks, the nymphs are a light brownish color but will turn to a reddish-brown later as an adult.
American cockroaches are one of the least common roaches found in homes, they have wings but seldom fly when disturbed. Adults can live up to three months without food, a month without water, and can easily survive outdoor temperatures below freezing. The pests can contaminate food with certain bacterial diseases that result in food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea.
Adult male brown banded cockroaches are about 1/2 inch long and light brown, with fully developed wings. The adult females are shorter and stouter than the males. The wings do not cover their entire abdomen.
Brown banded cockroaches prefer warm and dry locations, including: refrigerator motor housings, on the upper walls of cabinets, inside food pantries, closets, dressers, and furniture. Also, they can be found behind picture frames, beneath tables & chairs, inside clocks, radios, light switch plates, door frames, and dressers. It is common to find them hiding nearer the ceiling than the floor and away from water sources.
Brown banded cockroaches feed on starchy materials and strangely enough, even non-food materials such as nylon stockings.
Egg capsules are about 1/4 inch long and reddish-brown. Brown banded cockroach females deposit egg cases in clusters on furniture, draperies, wall decorations, shelving and ceilings. The egg capsule contains 14 to 16 eggs; a female produces 10 to 20 cases in her lifetime.
These roaches can foul food, damage wallpaper & books, eat glue from furniture and produce an unpleasant odor. Some homeowners are allergic to roaches. The pests can contaminate food with certain bacterial diseases that result in food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea.
Adult German cockroaches are light tan to medium brown except for the shield behind the head. It is marked with two dark stripes (separated by a lighter stripe), which run lengthwise on the body. Adults are about 1/2 to 5/8-inch long and have wings, but rarely fly. Wings cover the entire abdomen of females and all except the abdominal tip in males.
During the day, German cockroaches may be found hiding, clustered behind baseboard molding, inside cracks around cabinets, closets or pantries, inside & under stoves, refrigerators and dish washers. They have a high need for dark moist areas and usually travel 10 to 12 feet from their harborage for food and water in kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms, etc. If clusters of roaches are seen during the day, the population is large.
The female German Cockroach, unlike most other roaches, carry the egg capsule protruding from their abdomen until the eggs are ready to hatch. A female may produce four to eight cases during her lifetime, each containing 30 to 48 eggs. Eggs hatch in about one month and nymphs develop in 1-1/2 to 4 months.
German Cockroaches can develop into large populations and live throughout the home, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Roaches can foul food, damage wallpaper and books, eat glue from furniture, and produce a particularly unpleasant odor. Some homeowners are allergic to roaches, and the pests can contaminate food with certain bacterial diseases that result in food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea. Cockroaches can also cause childhood asthma.
The Oriental Cockroach is dark brown and is about 1-inch long. They are commonly found outdoors. But they can enter buildings through sewer pipes, floor drains, and air ducts. They tend to live near the ground and in warm, damp areas. The cockroach can almost eat anything, but often times feed on garbage, sewage and decaying organic matter.
The cockroach egg capsules contain 16 eggs. The females will produce an average of eight capsules.
Due to their large size and slow development, large infestations of these insects are not commonly found in homes. However, during certain times of the year, they may move into a house seeking warmer temperatures and food.