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ROACHES

GERMAN COCKROACH

Adults 3/4″ long, tan with 2 black, longitudinal marks on pronotum (shield-like plate on top of head). Average 30 eggs per capsule which is carried by female until ready to hatch. Only 3 months to the mature adult. Most common structural cockroach, a non-flyer carried into structures by man. German cockroaches are most commonly found in homes and commercial establishments. They are usually detected in kitchens, bathrooms or areas with daily access to water. They do not migrate into buildings from the outside, but are usually brought in with packages, groceries, etc.

AMERICAN COCKROACH

Largest urban pest cockroach – up to 2″ long. Adults reddish brown with yellow margined pronotum. Average 15 eggs per capsule, over 1 year to the mature adult. Prefer warm, damp areas – sewers, basements – common outdoors. Tend to move into the home when the conditions outside become unfavorable (extreme temperatures, excessive rain, drought, etc.)


SMOKEY BROWN COCKROACH


The adult is slightly more than 1 inch long and is a uniform, very dark brown to black. The head shield is a solid dark color. Both males and females have wings longer than their bodies and are capable of flying or gliding. They live primarily outdoors and prefer woods, leaf litter, trash piles and other humid sites with abundant organic matter. They also hide under rocks, ground cover and building materials. They may enter homes with infested firewood during seasonal migrations. These species are most commonly found in South Texas.


BROWN BANDED COCKROACH


Adults about 3/4″ long, males much slimmer than females. Identified by 2 broad brown bands crossing the thorax. Egg capsule small, average 15 eggs, glued to hidden surfaces by female. Egg to mature adult in about 6 months. Individuals may be found throughout structure, and not as dependent on moisture as other species.

Adults black and over 1″ long. Non-flyers, as males have shortened wings, females only with wing pads. Average 15 eggs per capsule, 1 year to the mature adult. Common outdoors and in damp areas such as basements, other underground habitats.

ORIENTAL COCKROACH

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. This species, which is less wary and more sluggish than the others, of concern because it often travels through sewer pipes and lives on filth.

Adult Oriental cockroaches are about one inch in length. Both male and female adults are very dark brown, nearly black; their bodies usually have a somewhat greasy sheen. Females have small, functionless, rudimentary wing pads and broader, heavier bodies. Males have wings that cover only about three-quarters of their abdomen. Males are apparently unable to fly.

Nymphs and adults have similar habits and are found with decaying organic matter indoors and out. Indoors, Oriental cockroaches prefer dark, moist areas such as under porches, sewers, drains, crawl spaces, dark, damp basements, and floor drains. They can be found outdoors in abandoned cisterns and water valve pits; in yards; beneath leaves; in bark mulch around shrubs, flowers, and foundations; in dumps, stone walls, and crawl spaces; and in garbage and trash dumps and trash chutes. Both nymphs and adults are sluggish and are usually situated at or below ground level indoors. They are seldom found on walls, in high cupboards, or in the upper floors of buildings. At times large numbers occur in one great mass around leaks in the basement or crawl space areas of homes. Oriental cockroaches are generally found outdoors during warm weather, but in periods of drought there may be considerable movement into structures, apparently in search of higher humidity. They may enter the home in food packages and laundry, or merely come in under the door or through air ducts, garbage chutes, or ventilators.

AUSTRALIAN COCKROACH

The Australian cockroach is a common species of tropical cockroach, with a length of 23–35 mm (0.91–1.38 in). It is brown overall, with the tegmina having a conspicuous lateral pale stripe or margin, and the pronotum (head shield) with a sharply contrasting pale or yellow margin. It is very similar in appearance to the American cockroach and may be easily mistaken for it. It is, however, slightly smaller than the American cockroach, and has a yellow margin on the thorax and yellow streaks at its sides near the wing base.

  It is very common in the southern United States and in tropical climates, and can be found in many locations throughout the world due to its travels by shipping and commerce between locations and can travel quickly, often darting out of sight when someone enters a room, and can fit into small cracks and under doors despite its fairly large size. It is known to be very mobile; its wings allow it to be quite a capable flier.

They prefer warmer climates and is not cold-tolerant, but it may be able to survive indoors in colder climates. It does well in moist conditions, but also can tolerate dry conditions as long as water is available. It often lives around the perimeter of buildings. It appears to prefer eating plants more than its relatives do, but can feed on a wide array of organic (including decaying) matter. Like most cockroaches, it is a scavenger.

It may come indoors to look for food and even to live, but in warm weather, it may move outdoors and enter buildings looking for food. 

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

There are certain steps which property owners can take to minimize the opportunities for roaches to enter and live in homes or buildings. Some of these are:

Sanitation Proper sanitation, both indoors and outdoors, effectively limits cockroach populations. Do not leave unwashed dishes, kitchen utensils and uncovered food out overnight . Clean up all spilled liquids. Areas beneath and behind cabinets, furniture, sinks, stoves and refrigerators should be cleaned often, as should cupboards, pantry shelves and storage bins where particles of food frequently accumulate. Kitchen waste and excess refuse should be kept in cockroach proof containers and disposed of as frequently as possible. Dry pet food should be stored in tight containers away from the kitchen and other foods. If pets are fed indoors, left-over foods should not be allowed to remain in the feeding dish overnight . Outdoors, garbage cans, racks, platforms or slabs should be cleaned regularly.

Exclusion Discourage cockroaches from entering the home by sealing any cracks of 1/8 inch or more in the foundation and exterior walls. Check the seal or caulking around air conditioning units, windows, doors, pipes or other openings into the home. Inside the home, eliminate all possible hiding areas and food sources. Repair cracks and holes in floors, walls and ceilings. Seal openings around plumbing fixtures, furnace flues, electrical outlets, window sills and walls, and along baseboards and ceiling moldings. Leaky water faucets and pipes should be repaired. Thresholds on doors should be as tight as possible and cracks in porches and stoops should be sealed.

Eliminate hiding places Paper, cardboard, lumber, firewood and other debris next to the home provide excellent refuge for several cockroach species. Keep yard trash and stacks of firewood away from the home or garage to minimize the chance of cockroach invasion.

 

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