Cockroach Control

roachCockroaches are among the most important pests of households and commercial establishments. Not only is their mere presence a nuisance, but they are known to be capable of carrying many common disease pathogens as well as causing allergic reactions in many people. They are also among the most difficult pests to eliminate once they infest and home or building. Cockroaches multiply and adapt very quickly. For example, the German cockroach female lives about 200 days. Each egg case that she lays includes thirty to fifty eggs. In her lifetime, she will produce between four to six egg cases. German cockroaches are clearly able to thrive.

Cockroaches need four things to survive and thrive: Like all living organisms this cockroach needs to eat, to have sufficient moisture, and to have a place to hide when it is not actively foraging for that food and water. Completely remove even one of these life needs and the cockroach cannot survive.

The German Cockroach is the primary pest problem among cockroaches in the United States and is found widely in restaurants, bars, and other food handling establishments, as well as homes. It breeds the most quickly, produces the most offspring, and is small enough to be transported around in boxes and bags without being detected, thus infesting otherwise clean establishments. The German Cockroach is a serious public health menace that has been linked to occurrences of asthma in children and incriminated as a vector of many kinds of pathogenic bacteria that it may carry on its outer body.

Another small cockroach that can be found in large numbers in homes or commercial buildings in some parts of the U.S. is the Brown Banded Cockroach. It is not as adaptable as the German Roach and breeds more slowly. The two final roaches that are of major importance are the American Roach and the Oriental Roach. The American Cockroach is the largest of the four primary roach pests. Second largest is the Oriental Roach, also known as the Waterbug. Both of these roaches commonly travel through and live in storm sewers, basements, crawlspaces, and other lower areas where moisture may be present. They may occur in ground cover vegetation around homes, under structures, or in concrete meter boxes. They commonly live outdoors and can infest a structure simply by wandering in on their own.

  • Cockroaches infestations are common in apartment, condominium and office buildings where there are shared walls.
  • Of the approximately 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world, about 70 occur in the United States.
  • The four main species are the American, German, Asian, and Oriental cockroaches. These vary in size from about 1/2″ (German), up to 2″ (American). In America, the species that is most common in homes would most likely be the German variety.
  • One of the oldest insects — fossil remains date back 200 million years.
  • Crawl around on six legs, have wings and two antennae.
  • Like dark, damp places with a plentiful food supply; hide during the day in warm, dark places, such as under sinks, behind dishwashers, stoves and refrigerators, and inside cupboards.
  • Feed on a variety of foods, especially starchy and sugary materials, including book bindings, photographic film, linens, leather goods and numerous food items; usually forage at night.
  • Can survive a month or more without food, but less than two weeks without water.
  • Have an acrid odor that may permeate items with which they come in contact.
  • Can transmit bacteria and organisms responsible for diseases in humans including food poisoning, cholera, dysentery, salmonellosis and strep.
  • A study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a report in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate that exposure to cockroach allergens is a major health concern for asthmatic children.
  • Under optimum conditions, cockroaches can produce two million offspring in one year, with an average breeding season resulting in 350,000 offspring.
  • Found around the world. Two species are prevalent in the United States, the American cockroach and the German cockroach.
  • The American cockroach has reddish-brown wings and light markings on its thorax and reaches lengths of up to 1.5 inches.
  • The German cockroach is between one-half and five-eighths inches long and is light brown with two dark stripes down its back.

American Cockroaches

Description

The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting cockroaches.

American cockroaches are found in food processing areas and food storage areas, as well as other types of buildings. They are active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, but they can survive lower temperatures with the right conditions. They are reddish brown and up to two inches in length with a yellowish figure 8 pattern on the back of the head.

Habitat

American cockroaches are often found in sewers and basements, particularly around pipes and drains.

Threats

Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Germs that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse water, or just sunlight and air. Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic reactions in inner city children. They were even shown to cause asthma in children. These allergens build up in deposits of droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies of roaches.
Prevention

Good sanitation and habitat reduction, along with vacuuming, surveillance, a baiting program, and some sealing of cracks can usually quickly reduce or eliminate a cockroach population.

Brownbanded Cockroaches

Description

Brown banded cockroaches get their name from the two lighter bands they have across their dark brownish bodies. In addition to the distinctive banding, males have full wings, which reach beyond the tip of their rather pointed abdomens, but females have underdeveloped wings, much shorter than their broad, rounded abdomens. The lighter band markings are much more distinct in nymphs than in adults of either sex.

These pests are brown, with pronounced banding across wings and typically up to ½ inches in length.

Habits

Male brownbanded cockroaches have been observed to fly indoors. Among cockroach species, brownbanded cockroaches have the most distinctions between sexes. Females have larger abdomen and shorter wings than males. Brownbanded cockroaches often hide their egg cases in or under furniture.

Habitat

Within a room, these roaches tend to prefer warmer, drier, and higher locations than do any of the other urban pest roaches. They are often found in upper cabinets or in rooms other than kitchens (food preparation areas) or bathrooms.

Threats

Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Germs that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse water, or just sunlight and air. Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic reactions in inner city children. They were even shown to cause asthma in children. These allergens build up in deposits of droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies of roaches.
Prevention

Good sanitation and habitat reduction, along with vacuuming, surveillance, a baiting program, and some sealing of cracks can usually quickly reduce or eliminate a cockroach population.

German Cockroaches

Description

The German cockroach is by far the most important and usually the most common of the cockroaches. They are light brown to tan, with two dark, almost parallel stripes located on their backs, just behind their heads.

Habits

German cockroaches can be found throughout structures but show a preference for warm and humid places. They are usually found in kitchens and secondarily in bathrooms, but infestations often occur in rooms where people eat and drink.

Habitat

German cockroaches prefer to live in cracks and crevices near food sources and spend 75% of their time in such harborages. German cockroaches prefer to live close to sources of food and water, hence their affinity for residential and commercial kitchen environments.

Threats

Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Germs that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse water, or just sunlight and air. Medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic reactions, especially in children. They were even shown t cause asthma in children. These allergens build up in deposits of droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies of roaches.

Prevention

Good sanitation and habitat reduction, along with vacuuming, surveillance, and baiting program, and some sealing of cracks can usually reduce or eliminate a cockroach problem. The reduction of moisture sources, such as leaking pipes, is also helpful.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroaches, Blatta orientalis (L.), are large very dark (almost black, but sometimes dark reddish-brown), shiny cockroaches which live in sewers and similar wet, decaying organic matter. They are sometimes called “water bugs” because they come out of drains, and “black beetle cockroaches” because of their smooth, dark bodies. Males are about 1 inch long, with wings that cover only about 3/4 of their abdomen; females are about 1 1/4 inch long, and have only short stubs of wing pads.

Habits

This species of cockroach often travels through sewer pipes. It survives on filth and enjoys temperatures from 68 to 84 degrees. This is a cooler temperature than that preferred by other cockroach species.

Habitat

Oriental cockroaches are often found in sewers and will enter structures through drains. They find indoor harborage in basements and crawl spaces. They can also be found in leaf piles and firewood outdoors.

Threats

Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Germs that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse water, or just sunlight and air. Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic reactions in inner city children. They were even shown to cause asthma in children. These allergens build up in deposits of droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies of roaches.

Prevention

Good sanitation and habitat reduction, along with vacuuming, surveillance, a baiting program, and some sealing of cracks can usually quickly reduce or eliminate a cockroach population.

How Do I Get Rid of Cockroaches? - My Pest Pros Cockroach Control

Roaches are among the toughest pests to control for, so this is why we recommend calling in a professional like My Pest Pros. Our trained technicians can diagnose the severity of an infestation and create a customized treatment plan that will get rid of your cockroach problems for good! 

For information on getting rid of cockroaches, be sure to check out our complete guide on our blog!

- 6 Tips to Get Rid of Roaches

Left unchecked, roaches will quickly infest and overrun your property. Be sure to call the roach control experts at My Pest Pros for a FREE quote on our services! A friendly customer service representative will be happy to help you get started!