We accept the following type of payments
Adult American cockroaches are reddish brown or mahogany colored. The area behind their heads is outlined with a yellow band. Immature American roach nymphs are grayish brown. As they mature, their color becomes more reddish brown.
Both male and female American cockroaches can fly. The wings develop when the roaches become adults.
Behavior & Diet
American cockroaches normally live outdoors. They prefer warm, damp areas like flowerbeds, and under mulch. In many parts of the United States people call them “palmetto bugs” because they live on trees. American cockroaches are very common in sewer systems of many American cities.
American cockroaches enter homes to find water or food. They can easily pass under doors if the weather stripping is damaged. Basement windows and garages are also common entryways. When American cockroaches enter homes, they often go to bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and basements.
Outdoors, American cockroaches eat leaves, tiny wood particles, fungi and algae. They also eat small insects. Indoors, American cockroaches forage under appliances, in drains, in kitchen cabinets and on the floor. They eat crumbs, scraps of food and spilled food that they find. They will also eat pet food that is left out overnight.
Female American cockroaches make protective cases for their eggs. These cases are capsule-shaped. After forming a capsule, the roach deposits it in a warm, humid area. An average American roach egg capsule contains about 16 eggs.
When the eggs hatch, the tiny nymphs come out of the capsule. As they grow, the immature roaches shed their skins. If there is plenty of food, American cockroaches can develop from egg to adult in as little as 5½ months.
Signs of American Cockroach Infestation
Homeowners may see these active cockroaches. American roaches can run very fast, and they usually scurry into a dark area. If they are startled, American roaches may even fly.
American cockroaches leave their droppings in the dark areas where they hide. Homeowners may find these droppings in basements, in pantries or behind appliances.
American cockroach droppings are small, and sometimes people mistake them for mouse droppings. American cockroach droppings have ridges on the sides and they are blunt on the ends. Mouse droppings have pointed ends. Since mice groom themselves, mouse droppings often have hairs embedded in them.
American cockroach egg cases are about 38 mm long. They are dark-colored—reddish or blackish brown. Homeowners often find these egg cases in basements, in laundry rooms or kitchens. The egg cases may be under cabinets or behind appliances. American cockroaches also deposit their egg capsules behind stored items in garages and sheds.
Cockroaches produce a chemical called an “aggregation pheromone.” The odor of this chemical causes the roaches to stay together in groups. Some people describe the odor of these pheromones as having a “musty” smell. As the roach population starts to grow, people with sensitive noses may begin to notice this odor.
The American cockroach is also commonly known as the water bug, flying water bug or palmetto bug. These large cockroaches can grow to exceed 50 cm in length. Although the American cockroach is a major pest in the United States, they are native to the tropical climates of Africa. Some evidence has suggested that the American cockroach was brought to North America aboard ships.
American Cockroach Illustration
They are a peridomestic species and live primarily outdoors. In southern states, they are common in shady, humid areas like flowerbeds and around trees. In northern areas, they are usually found in sewers and drains. Climate changes or food shortage can cause them to move indoors.
When they move indoors, American cockroaches prefer to live in moist, humid environments. They can also survive in dry areas with sufficient food and water sources. These insects favor temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When an American cockroach population infests a human home, the insects are drawn to food storage and preparation areas, as well as moist locations. In industrial settings such as restaurants and bakeries, they can be found in boiler rooms and steam tunnels. In residential and commercial buildings, the American cockroach typically infests basements and landscaping.
American cockroaches are moderate flyers. They also gather together in open spaces, while other domestic cockroaches tend to hide in cracks and crevices. They do enjoy sweet foods, but prefer decaying material.
American Cockroach Life Cycle
Within three to seven days after mating, American cockroach females produce egg cases known as oothecae. Each ootheca contains approximately 15 embryos. Adult females produce between six and 14 oothecae in one lifetime. After carrying the egg case on the tip of her abdomen for hours to a couple of days, the female deposits it in a hidden location. It adheres to the surface of its new location through the female’s saliva.
Under good conditions and optimal temperatures, immature cockroaches, also known as nymphs, will emerge within 24 to 38 days. As they grow, nymphs undergo metamorphosis. They do this by shedding their exoskeleton. By the time they are adult roaches, this will happen 10 to 13 times. At each molt, they appear more and more like adults. After undergoing their final molt, they are equipped with wings and reproductive capabilities. This process spans between six months to over a year. American cockroaches live for approximately one year.
The length of the American cockroach’s life is dependent upon environment, diet and other conditions. Favorable conditions lead to rapid population growth, while unfavorable conditions cause adult cockroaches to develop more slowly or to die prematurely.
German cockroaches are well-known indoor cockroaches with a distribution that is world-wide. Adults are easily recognized by their light brown or tan coloration with two black horizontal stripes located on the pronotum immediately behind the head, and growing to a length of 13-16 mm. The much smaller young, or nymphs, are darker, almost black in color, also with the black stripes behind the head.
While adult German cockroaches have wings, they rarely fly, preferring to run.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Although capable of living outdoors in tropical environments, German cockroaches are most commonly found indoors, with a preference for the warmer and more humid areas of a structure. In homes, these insects will typically be found in kitchens and bathrooms, but can move to other areas of a home if food and moisture are available.
In most cases, German cockroaches are introduced into a structure or residence when bags, boxes or cardboard containers are brought into the home. They may even be brought in with used appliances. In multiunit apartment buildings, German cockroaches can easily move between units, using the shared plumbing and pipes as a highway.
German cockroaches are scavengers, capable of feeding on most any food source available, including toothpaste, soap and the bindings of books. These pests are known for their ability to capitalize on the availability of even the smallest amounts of food by feeding on crumbs missed during cleaning or feeding on the dirty dishes left in the sink overnight.
German cockroaches are known for their ability to reproduce quickly. Female German cockroaches only need to mate once for the production of young. After mating, and under normal conditions, they will produce, on average, 4 to 6 egg cases during the course of their lives, with each egg case, or ootheca, containing approximately 30 to 40 eggs. This egg case is then carried by the female until 1 to 2 days before hatching. Depending upon the conditions, the average time for development, from egg to adult can range from 54 to 215 days, with an average of approximately 100 days. As adults, German cockroaches can survive anywhere from 100 to 200 days.
Signs of a German Cockroach Infestation
German cockroach droppings may appear as small, dark, “pepper-like” material left on countertops or in drawers. Fecal staining may appear as dark spots or smears, some that are slightly raised, in the corners of rooms, along the tops of doors or around small cracks and openings into walls.
Since German cockroach females carries their egg case until 1 to 2 days before depositing it, empty egg cases may be found in areas that the females frequent.
German cockroaches are also known to secrete a number of odorous compounds. When populations are present in large numbers, it may be possible to detect a mild, or what some have reported as a “musty” odor.
Asian cockroaches, a pest of the southeastern United States, is often mistaken for the German cockroach. Similar in appearance, the main differences between the two are evident in their behavior. While German cockroaches are known as a pest of structures, found frequently in areas of high humidity and temperature, Asian cockroaches are most frequently found outdoors, and only occasionally make their way into structures. In addition, Asian cockroaches are known for their ability to fly, whereas German cockroaches rarely use their wings for flight and prefer to run from danger.
German cockroaches are also known for their ability to transmit a number of pathogens, including E. coli, Salmonella spp. and Typhus. Recent studies have also indicated that in larger metropolitan areas, the development of asthma in children can be directly linked to the presence of German cockroaches.
Control of German Cockroaches
German cockroaches produce a large number of nymphs in each ootheca. Their small size allows them to hide more efficiently, and they have few natural predators inside human habitats. For these reasons, German cockroach populations tend to grow rapidly and require professional treatment. Contact your local pest control expert for a consultation.
German Cockroach Life Cycle
German cockroaches are one of the most common cockroach species found in households. German cockroaches undergo three distinct life phases: egg, nymph and adult. Their entire life cycle spans approximately 100 days, although this is dependent on factors such as temperature, diet and injuries.
German cockroaches breed continually. In a lifetime, a female cockroach is capable of producing almost 400 eggs. Populations grow quickly in optimal conditions. A typical thriving population is comprised of 75 percent nymphs and 25 percent adult roaches.
German cockroaches begin life as eggs within an egg casing known as an ootheca. The oothecae contain approximately 35 eggs and are brown in color. Oothecae are approximately 7 mm long and 2 mm wide. They are very resilient and can survive harsh conditions.
Female German cockroaches carry the oothecae attached to their abdomens until about two days prior to hatching and then deposit them in a protected location. Oothecae may be seen protruding from the abdomens of German cockroach females. Nymphs emerge from the oothecae as tiny insects. They gradually darken into dark brown or black cockroaches with parallel lines visible upon the pronotum. German cockroach nymphs are wingless and incapable of reproduction. Nymphs molt six to seven times and can develop completely within 100 days under optimal conditions.
The adult stage begins with the last successful molting. At this point, German cockroaches are approximately 15 mm in length and are winged. Adult German cockroaches are nocturnal insects that hide during the day and scavenge at night. Despite their fully developed wings, German cockroaches very rarely fly.
German Cockroach Nymphs
Female German cockroaches create egg pouches known as oothecae. These oothecae remain attached to the female’s abdomen until they are nearly ready to hatch.
German cockroach nymphs resemble adults. However, nymphs are much smaller, do not have wings and are incapable of procreating. As they grow, nymphs shed their exoskeletons several times.
These nymphal stages span approximately 100 days. After the final molt, German cockroach nymphs are fully developed, winged adults equipped with reproductive capabilities.
German cockroach nymphs are similar to the adults of their species. Often mistaken for albino cockroaches, newly molted individuals are white in color. However, the white cuticles covering their bodies gradually darken and harden. German cockroach nymphs may consume their cast-off skins as food. Eventually the nymphs will be dark brown or black in color and characterized by a single, light stripe that runs the length of the back.
German cockroaches are primarily active at night and hide in crevices during the day. Because of their size, German cockroach nymphs are able to hide in places that are inaccessible to larger cockroaches. Under optimal conditions and at room temperature, German cockroach nymphs can complete development within 100 to 200 days.
German cockroach nymphs also emit collective pheromones through their feces. This increases aggregation within their populations. As the population grows, the smell of the pheromone can become noticeable. This musty smell is a sign of infestation.
Smoky Brown Cockroach
The smokybrown cockroach is a common pest of the southeastern Unites States. Although mainly found from central Texas eastward, and as far north as North Carolina, the smoky-brown cockroach also has been found as far north as Indiana and Illinois. This primarily outdoor pest gets its name from its uniform brownish-black coloration and, as adults, can reach a length of 38 mm. These strong fliers have wings that extend beyond their body.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Outdoors, smokybrown cockroaches can be found in areas that are warm, very moist and protected from the elements. Since this insect is prone to dehydration, the availability of a moist environment is critical for its survival. Around homes and structures, the smokybrown cockroach can be found in tree holes and cavities, beneath mulch beds and ground cover, and around soffits and eaves, or areas where moisture problems may exist. The smokybrown cockroach can easily penetrate buildings through openings or gaps beneath siding, through attic or soffit vents, openings around utility and plumbing penetrations, and through open windows or doors.
Smokybrown cockroach feeding activity is most evident during the late dusk or early dawn hours when the insects leave their hiding places in search of food. These opportunistic feeders will utilize any food that may be available, including human food scraps, dead insects, fecal matter and even plant materials. It is also not uncommon to see these insects taking a drink when water is available.
Dependent upon environmental conditions, the development time for a smokybrown cockroach, from egg to adult, can vary greatly, with a range of 160 days to 716 days. As adults, a female smokybrown lives an average of 218 days, and a male will live, on average, 215 days. During her lifetime, a female will produce an average of 10 egg cases, or ootheca, with an average of 20 eggs per case. These egg cases are then attached to a protected surface within a day of production, where they will remain until the young hatch.
Signs of a Smokybrown Cockroach Infestation
Smoky Brown cockroaches are a more regionally important species, impacting the southeastern United States. These insects are commonly found outdoors and can be seen primarily at night, walking in search of food around landscaping beds, running in and out of ivy or other ground cover, and in and around gutters and fascia of homes and structures. These insects then become a pest when, attracted by interior lights, they gain entry into a home or structure through openings in windows, doors and other gaps into the home.
Fecal material and droppings can be evident in areas that the smokybrown cockroach frequents.
Attached to a surface within a day of production, the 11 to 14 mm long, dark-brown to black egg case, or ootheca, may be observed in areas that the smokybrown cockroach frequents.
Although smokybrown cockroaches are related to the American cockroaches, they are slightly smaller in size and uniformly mahogany in color. Nymphs are the same color as adults and their antenna tips are white. Smokybrown cockroaches can grow up to 38 mm in length. Both sexes have wings that are longer than their abdomens. Smokeybrown cockroaches are capable of flying, and they are attracted to light.
Their oothecae, or egg capsules, hold an average of 20 eggs. Each female is capable of producing up to 32 oothecae in one lifetime. Nymphs undergo several molting stages, after which they emerge as adults. The life span of smokybrown cockroaches averages over a year, although they can live as long as 2 years or more under ideal conditions.
While smokybrown cockroaches prefer to eat decaying plant matter, they will consume any food source available to them. They are nocturnal and hide in small places during the day, making themselves inaccessible to humans and predators. Commonly found in tree holes, wood-shingled roofs and in gutters, smokybrown cockroaches thrive in damp, dark and poorly ventilated areas. Inside, they breed in attics, where their populations can grow unnoticed.
They prefer nondwelling areas such as greenhouses, nurseries and gardens but can be an indoor pest. They can be found throughout Australia.
Shiny black to a dark reddish-brown color, oriental cockroaches are a pest invader that most frequently gains entry beneath the thresholds of doors, through open doors or gaps beneath siding, even following utility lines, pipes, open drains or sewers into a structure or home. The adults of the oriental cockroach are very different in appearance. The smaller adult male oriental cockroaches, reaching only a length of 25 mm, can be identified by the presence of three-quarter-length wings, leaving the last few abdominal segments exposed. The larger adult female oriental roaches, reaching a length of 32 mm, on the other hand, lack wings altogether, having only large wing pads that cover the first couple of segments of the body. Neither the male nor female is capable of flight.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Primarily an outdoors species, oriental cockroaches are well adapted for surviving in the natural environment. Most outdoor populations can be found living beneath the mulch in landscape beds, in leaf litter, beneath stones or debris outdoors. If access is available, the insects can thrive in the voids or openings beneath porches, in wall voids and crawlspaces. In more metropolitan areas, oriental roaches can be found in large numbers living in storm drains and sewers.
Oriental cockroaches are known for their preference of feeding on garbage, filth or material that has begun to decay. These cockroaches are very dependent upon water. While studies have shown that they can survive for up to a month without food, these insects can not survive for more than two weeks without water.
On average an adult male oriental cockroach will live 110 to 160 days, whereas the adult female can live anywhere from 35 to 180 days. During that time, a single female oriental roach can produce approximately eight egg cases, or ootheca, with approximately 16 eggs per case. Approximately 30 hours after she has produced the egg case, she will drop it in a protected area where it will stay until the young hatch. The development time for the oriental cockroach is greatly affected by the season. In the warmer months, the time needed to develop from an egg to an adult may take as few as 200 days. However, when the weather becomes colder, or during the late fall and winter months, it can take as many as 800 days for the cockroaches to go from egg to adult.
Signs of an Oriental Cockroach Infestation
During the warmer months, it is not uncommon to find oriental roaches outside around landscaping beds, congregating beneath moist gutters, or even scurrying out from storm drains and sewer grates at night. Mostly active at night, they can be found during the day in areas and rooms that are kept primarily moist, dark and undisturbed.
Egg cases, or oothecas, of the oriental cockroach may appear dark brown or reddish in color and almost 8 to 10 mm in length. Each egg case, which can hold approximately 16 eggs, is dropped by the female into protected areas, almost 30 hours after it is produced.
In areas where large populations of oriental cockroaches are present, a musty odor can be detected. This odor is a result of chemicals that are secreted by the insects that are used to communicate within the population.
Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) is also known as the waterbug, shade roach or black beetle. Oriental cockroaches are shiny, blackish-brown species that measure approximately 25 to 32 in length. The wings of adult male Oriental cockroaches cover two-thirds of the abdomen. Adult female specimens are wingless, and their small wing pads extend only to the middle of the abdomen. Oriental roaches do not fly.
Oriental cockroaches thrive in port cities throughout the world. They can be found throughout the United States, as well as in England, Europe, Israel, Australia and South America. Oriental roaches prefer cool, damp locations, so they are typically located in basements and cellars. Oriental cockroaches crawl around service ducts, toilets, bathtubs, sinks, radiators and pipes.
Although their natural habitat is outdoors, they may infest homes in summer. Inside, they tend to remain on lower floors. Like other cockroach species, Oriental cockroaches are omnivorous and thrive by scavenging for food crumbs and decaying plants and animals. Oriental cockroaches tend to gather in large numbers near water sources.
Oriental cockroaches can be a source for many food-borne pathogens, including E.coli, Salmonella spp., and other pathogens. Due to their dietary preference for garbage and decaying organic matter, oriental cockroaches can carry these pathogens on their legs and bodies from contaminated areas and then transmit them onto clean surfaces.
Oriental Cockroach Nymphs
Oriental cockroach egg cases, or oothecae, are dark and reddish-brown in color. Measuring approximately 8 to 10 mm in length, they appear to be slightly inflated. Each female is capable of producing between one and 15 oothecae, which contain approximately 16 eggs each. Females deposit the oothecae in sheltered, protected locations near food and water supplies. Oriental cockroach nymphs appear extremely similar to adults of their species. Female nymphs are broader and heavier than male nymphs. The nymphal stage spans approximately one year, during which time Oriental cockroaches molt several times.
Nymphs also exhibit habits similar to those of adults. Whether inside or outside, they are found near decaying organic matter. In yards, they hide well beneath leaves and the mulch of flowerbeds. They can also thrive in high-moisture areas such as sewers, drains and basements. Both nymphs and adults of this species are sluggish and tend to prefer below-ground-level indoors.
Oriental cockroaches observe a seasonal developmental cycle. They seem to develop more quickly during the rainy part of the year. The peak of adult population is in late spring or early summer and slows considerably by late summer and into early fall. If nymphs have not yet reached maturity by the fall, they will usually not become adults until spring.
The life cycle of a cockroach
A female cockroach lays between 10 and 40 eggs at a time. On average, the female can lay around 30 batches of eggs in her lifetime. The hatched young look the same as adult cockroaches, but smaller and without wings. Depending on the conditions and type, a cockroach can live for up to 12 months. These insects are cold-blooded and thrive in warm, humid conditions. This is why buildings in the northern parts of Australia are particularly prone to infestations.
Common hiding spots for cockroaches
Cockroaches prefer to live in kitchens and other food preparation areas, so they can feed off food spills and have access to water. Hiding spots for the household cockroach include:
- Cracks in walls.
- Confined spaces, such as behind the refrigerator, in a pantry or underneath a stack of magazines, newspapers or cardboard boxes.
- Any furniture items that are generally left undisturbed.
- Kitchen cupboards.
- Below sinks.
- Around water heaters.
- In drains and grease traps.
Treating the house yourself
Some general suggestions to eliminate cockroaches yourself include:
- Thoroughly clean the house at least weekly.
- Pay special attention to the kitchen and other food preparation areas.
- Clean regularly underneath the fridge, stove, toaster and other movable appliances.
- Empty the kitchen’s rubbish bin regularly.
- Do not leave out pets’ food or food scraps in pet bowls.
- Clean up any food spills promptly.
- Make sure there are no sources of water such as a dripping tap, as cockroaches need a steady water supply to survive.
- Store food in sealed containers.
- Repair any holes, cracks or gaps in the walls, skirting boards and inside cupboards.
- Don’t stack newspapers, magazines or cardboard boxes anywhere in the house.
- Keep compost bins screened and away from the house.
- Use appropriate insecticide and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Cockroach baits contain poison that a cockroach carries back to the nest, which may help kill the rest of the nest.
- Use physical traps, such as greased margarine tubs containing a smear of honey as the lure – cockroaches will climb in for the food, but be unable to get out because of the grease (or oil) on the tub.
Facts, Identification and Control
Cockroaches belong to Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta and Order Blattaria. Some species invade human dwellings and are considered pests. Others are beneficial to the environment as important recyclers of decaying organic material. The pest cockroaches can be carriers of various diseases because they are commonly found near waste deposits or in the kitchen, where food is present. Restaurants may also experience cockroach infestations.
Cockroaches can measure over 50 cm (2 in) length, with tropical species tending to be larger than those found in other climates. Cockroaches have six legs, two antennae and some have wings. However, most winged cockroaches are not particularly adept at flying.
Cockroaches emit unpleasant odors and may also produce sound. The Madagascar hissing cockroach is the most famous of these vocal cockroaches, although more common species may produce quieter clicking or chirping noises.
Cockroaches can wreak havoc on your home. To win the war in cockroach control, here’s what you should know:
- Entry: Cockroaches can enter your home in many different ways, from the outside through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer and drain pipes. We even bring them in on products like grocery bags, boxes, purses and on our person!
- Ideal environment: Your home is an ideal breeding ground for certain pest species of cockroaches. With plenty of food, warmth, water and nesting sites, they can remain active all year round.
- Reproduction: Cockroaches reproduce quickly. For every one you see there can be many, many more hiding and multiplying behind your walls.
- Evasiveness: Because cockroaches typically are nocturnal, if you’ve seen one, you probably haven’t seen them all. The few cockroaches you see by day could mean they were likely forced out by overcrowding; a possible sign of severe infestation.
- Allergies/Asthma: The debris created by cast-off cockroach skins, dead bodies and droppings can aggravate allergies, especially in children and sensitive individuals.
- Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Cockroaches are better at hiding than you are at finding them, and their eggs are naturally protected from many over-the-counter insecticides. Without special equipment, materials and know-how, cockroach control can be a losing battle.
- The cockroach can spread a range of bacteria and disease-producing organisms to humans.
- Cockroaches thrive in warm, humid and unhygienic conditions.
- Heavy infestation will need professional treatment by a licensed pest control operator.