Termite & Pest Control

Roaches

Appearance:
American roaches are reddish-brown in color with a pale-brown or yellow band behind the head.

Size:
1-1 ½- inches in length. They are the largest of the house-infesting cockroaches.

Behavior:
These cockroaches dwell outside but often enter houses after heavy rainfall or other extreme weather. They may enter via sewer connections, under doors, around utility pipes, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation. When disturbed they may run rapidly and adults may fly.

American cockroaches prefer warm temperatures and do not tolerate cold climates. Because of their fondness of sewers, large populations of American cockroaches will be seen in many cities after heavy rains or flooding. Females produce egg cases that hatch in 6-8 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.

They are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders that will consume decaying organic matter, but being a scavenger, they will eat almost anything. They prefer sweets but has been known to eat paper, book bindings, the soft part on the inside of animal hides, cloth and dead insects.

Habitat:
American cockroaches are found in moist, shady areas outdoors, in yards, hollow trees, wood piles, and under mulch. They can also be found under roof shingles and in attics. In Florida, areas such as trees, woodpiles, garbage facilities, and piles of organic debris can provide adequate food, water, and shelter for them to thrive.

They migrate by crawling or flying into structures and entering houses and apartments from sewers via the plumbing, by trees and shrubs located alongside buildings, or from trees with branches that contact or hang over roofs. During the day the American cockroach, which responds negatively to light, rests in harborages or nests close to water pipes, sinks, baths and toilets.

Medical/Economic Significance:
American cockroaches can become a public health nuisance due to their affinity for sewers and the ability to move from them into homes and businesses, and their association with human waste and disease. The cockroach is often found in latrines, cesspools, sewers, sewerage treatment plants, and dumps. Their presence in these habitats is of epidemiological significance; at least 22 species of pathogenic human bacteria, virus, fungi, and protozoans, as well as five species of helminthic worms, have been isolated from field-collected American cockroach specimens. Cockroaches are also aesthetically displeasing because they can soil sterile and eating environs with their excrement and salivary secretions.

Control:
American cockroaches are most often found near plumbing fixtures that are not sealed. Finding and repairing leaks or breaks is often the critical step in long-term control. Caulking of penetrations through ground level walls, removal of rotting leaves or mulch, and limiting the moist areas in and around a structure can help in reducing areas that are attractive to these cockroaches.







Appearance:
Oriental roaches are dark brown to black in color, and their bodies often have a somewhat greasy sheen. Both males and females have short, essentially functionless wings.

Size:
Approximately 1 inch in length.

Behavior:
Oriental cockroaches are often called water bugs because of their preference for dark, damp, and cool areas such as those under sinks and washing machines, and in damp basements. Large numbers are sometimes found in one big mass around basement leaks or in crawl space areas in homes. If water is available, they can live for a month without food; without water they die within two weeks.

The life span of an adult female is 5 to 26 weeks with approximately 200 offspring. Unlike the other house-infesting species, the Oriental cockroach generally has a seasonal developmental cycle. The highest number of adults usually appears in late spring or early summer. Oriental roaches are often found feeding on garbage, sewage, or decaying organic matter. They will eat almost anything, but they prefer a high starch diet.

Habitat:
Oriental cockroaches are often called water bugs because of their preference for dark, damp, and cool areas such as those under sinks and washing machines, in damp basements, crawl spaces, and areas between the soil and foundation. They will often enter buildings through sewer pipes.

Oriental cockroaches are generally found outdoors during warm weather, but in periods of drought they tend to infest structures in search of moisture. This species is less wary and more sluggish than other cockroach species, and are usually found at or below ground level indoors. They may enter the home in food packages and laundry, or simply come in under the door or through air ducts, garbage chutes, or ventilators.

Nymphs and adults have similar habits and are found with decaying organic matter indoors and out. Indoors, Oriental cockroaches prefer dark, moist areas under porches, in sewers, drains, crawl spaces, dark, damp basements, and floor drains. They can be found outdoors in yards beneath leaves, and in bark mulch around shrubs, in dumps, crawl spaces, and in garbage, trash dumps and trash chutes.

Medical/Economic Significance:
The most important aspect of Oriental cockroach damage derives from their habit of feeding and harboring in damp and unsanitary places such as sewers, garbage disposals, kitchens, bathrooms, and indoor storage areas. Pathogens from these sources are then spread to food supplies, food preparation surfaces, dishes, and other surfaces. Disease-producing organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses have also been found in their bodies.

Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, etc.) appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by Oriental cockroaches. The insects carry these disease-causing organisms on their legs and bodies and deposit the organisms on food and utensils as they forage. Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain a number of allergens, to which many people exhibit allergic responses such as skin rashes, watery eyes, sneezing, and can also cause asthma.

Control:
Treatment of your home’s interior-removing food, excess moisture, and possible nesting sites-is the first step in eliminating Oriental roaches. Eliminating harborages involves caulking in closets and cabinets, under the sink, etc., and making similar repairs in the kitchen, bathroom, and storage areas.

Recent research has shown that these cockroaches frequently move into the home along plumbing (up through the floor from underneath the crawl space) and under door or window jams. The use of screening, caulking and similar items may be useful in tightening the exterior to deter entry by these cockroaches. Cover any vents, open pipes and other areas with screening as well. Disperse leaf and mulch piles to discourage nesting.







Appearance:
German roaches are tan to light brown in color. The head shield, or pronotum, has two dark stripes that run lengthwise from the head to the wings. Adults are fully winged but rarely fly.

Size:
Adults are approximately ½-inch in length.

Behavior:
As with other species, German cockroaches are mostly active at night, when they forage
for food, water and potential mates. During the day they hide in cracks and crevices and other dark sites that provide a warm, humid environment. Their wide, flat bodies enable them to move in and out of cracks and narrow spaces easily. They may be seen during the daytime, especially if there is a large population present, a lack of food, or other stressor.

German cockroaches produce a larger number of eggs per capsule and they undergo the shortest time from hatching to maturity. They produce more eggs per capsule than most other species and have a developmental period as short as 2 months. Thus, troublesome infestations can develop rapidly from a few individuals. They are scavengers and will feed on a wide variety of foods such as starches, sweets, grease and meats; in some cases garbage is a principal food source.

It should be noted that their persistence and control can be difficult due to the fact that German roaches are smaller than other roaches and therefore can conceal themselves in many places that are inaccessible to individuals of larger species.

Habitat:
The German cockroach is found throughout the world in association with humans. They are unable to survive in locations away from humans or human activity. They thrive in all types of buildings, but are commonly found in homes, apartments, condos and commercial food establishments. They often enter homes by ‘hitch hiking’ on food and drink containers, grocery sacks, potatoes, onions, and even furniture that are carried into the home.

During the day, these roaches may be found in clusters, hiding behind baseboard molding, in cracks around cabinets, closets or pantries, and in and under stoves, refrigerators and dish washers. If clusters of roaches are seen during the day, it is often the sign of a large population. They prefer areas near food, moisture, and a high degree of warmth.

Medical/Economic Significance:
Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, and other illnesses) appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by German cockroaches.

Because they tend to frequent garbage cans, sewers and other disease-laden locations, germs attach to their body and legs that can transfer to food contact surfaces (utensils, plates) during the normal course of roach activities. These include disease-causing bacteria: Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, Streptococcus (pneumonia), several helminths (hookwoorm, pinworms, tapeworms), and even viruses (poliomyelitis).

They can also produce a powerful allergen that causes allergies and asthma, as well as odorous secretions that can affect the flavor of various foods. When German cockroach populations are high, these secretions may result in a characterisitic odor in the general region of the infestation. Some scientists suggest that German cockroach infestations may cause human psychological stress and that the stigma associated with infestations alters human behavior.

Control:
German roaches can move from one building to the next during the summer, entering through cracks in foundations, around loose-fitting doors or windows, and along water and gas pipes. Repair leaky water faucets and pipes. Seal openings such as cracks in foundation walls, exterior walls around air conditioners, doors, windows, floors, ceilings, around plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, baseboards, etc. with putty, plastic wood or other caulking material.

Sanitation is critical in roach control (Unclean living conditions from neglected housekeeping is the major contributing factor of roach infestations). Keep areas beneath sinks, stoves, refrigerators, etc. clean as well as cupboards, pantry shelves and food storage bins. Clean up spilled foods and liquids.

Avoid leaving scraps of food on unwashed dishes and countertops overnight. Keep food in tightly sealed containers and transfer garbage outdoors into tight-fitted receptacles away from the house. Leftover pet food should not remain in the feeding dish overnight.

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