Cockroaches typically stay outdoors, as they like how damp it is under leaves and debris. Sometimes, however, you may find a cockroach in your home. They may come inside in search of food or shelter, especially during summer months. They’ll come in through small holes, cracks, and openings in doors and windows. While cockroaches won’t hurt you by biting, they can cause health problems such as asthma or allergic reactions on your skin.
As we all know, cockroaches can survive just about everything! If you’re dealing with cockroaches, contact the professionals at F&W Pest Control for cockroach control. In the meantime, learn more about the different types of cockroaches, how to identify them, and why they may be attracted to your home in the first place.
Recognition: American cockroach adults measure 1 3/8 to 2 inches long and are colored reddish-brown except for a sub marginal pale mask-like pattern on the pronotal shield (on the back, just behind the head). Both sexes are fully winged. These cockroaches fly only short distances in the North but are moderately good fliers in the South.
Early instar nymphs are uniformly grayish-brown on top and underneath. Later instars are reddish-brown. The kidney bean-shaped egg capsule (ootheca) is brown to black and is about 3/8 inch long.
Biology: The female American cockroach deposits or glues her egg capsule to a suitable surface, usually in a crack or crevice of high relative humidity near a food source. On the average, the female will produce about 9 to 10 egg capsules with each containing 14 to 16 eggs.
Developmental time (egg to adult) is greatly influenced by temperature, varying from less than 6 months to over 2 years. During this time, they molt 10 to 13 times. Adult American cockroaches may live from 3 months to 2 ½ years, depending on habitat.
Habits: Although American cockroaches are found in residences, they are much more common in larger commercial buildings such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, food processing plants, hospitals, etc., where they usually infest food-storage and food-preparation areas, basements, and steam tunnels. During summer months, they can be found outdoors in yards and alleys. In the United States this is the most common species found in city sewer systems.
They can enter structures by being brought in, coming up from the sewer systems via drains, or occasional mass migration from other structures, dumps, etc., during warm weather. Although they feed on many kinds of food, they show a particular fondness for fermenting and starchy foods.
Cultural Control & Preventative Measures: Exercising good sanitation practices and performing thorough pest-proofing/exclusion in and around buildings will help make survival difficult for American cockroaches.
Recognition: German cockroach adults measure 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch long, about half the length of the American Cockroach. They are colored tan through brown. They have wings, but unlike the American Cockroach, they cannot fly.
Biology: The German cockroach reproduces faster than any other cockroach. 15 to 50 nymphs are birthed in a single reproductive cycle. Female German cockroaches can produce almost 400 eggs in their lifetime.
Developmental time: Development time from egg to adult is 4 months, with an average of 100 days.
Habits: German cockroaches are most common in residential buildings. They prefer dark and humid places in human habitats to keep them warm, so you’ll likely find them in kitchens, cabinets, sinks, and bathtubs. German cockroaches prefer closed spaces, and their smaller size lets them hide easily.
Cultural Control & Preventative Measures: Always clean your dishes before going to bed, and always wipe down your countertops. Take time to clean out your pantry and kitchen and bathroom cabinets every once in a while to ensure they’re clean and roach-free.
Other Common Cockroaches
Not many people know that there are actually over 4,500 cockroaches in the world—that said, there are only 4 species that humans are likely to see. In the Eastern Massachusetts area, the most common are the American and German cockroaches. There are two others, however, that aren’t as common:
The adult brown cockroach is nearly identical to the German cockroach, but has shorter spike-like appendages (cerci) protruding from the backward tip of the abdomen. Brown cockroaches are much less common in buildings.
The Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae) has pale yellow margins on the forewings and a more distinct mask-like pattern on the pronotal shield behind the head. Australian cockroaches hide in palm trees and other tropical plants trucked in from Florida to conservatories, shopping malls, zoos and other indoor plantscapes in the North.
Our Roach Control Service
F&W Pest Control pest management specialists readily control cockroaches by:
- seeking out their harborages in buildings, tunnels and sewers and
- removing them using pest vacuum cleaners
- trapping them using food lure sticky monitors and
- making strategic placements of insecticide baits and dusts