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Cockroach Facts | Cockroach Habits | German Cockroach | American Cockroach
How do you Prevent Cockroach Infestations?

Cockroach Facts

  • Cockroach mouths work sideways. Try it sometime.
  • What if you skinned your knee and white blood came out? If you’re a cockroach, no big deal. Cockroaches bleed white blood.
  • Cockroaches use their feelers as noses.
  • Cockroaches have at least 18 knees.
  • Pregnant for life? It doesn’t sound like much fun, but some female cockroaches mate once and are pregnant for the rest of their lives.
  • Cockroaches live all over the world, including the North and South Poles. In extremely cold places, however, they survive by moving in with humans.
  • It’s hard to sneak up on a roach. They have one great big nerve connecting their tails to their heads, alerting them to danger from behind.
  • Don’t complain next time you have to swallow cough syrup. You could be taking a dose of cockroaches instead! Processed cockroaches have been used to cure illness and physical disorders for centuries.
  • The headless horseman? For a while anyway. A cockroach can live a week without its head. It only dies because without a mouth, it can’t drink water.
  • How can you tell if a cockroach is resting or trying to remember what it came into the room for? Resting cockroaches point their antennae up and forward, and at about 60 degree angle from one another.

Cockroach Habits

  • Cockroaches are scavengers, exploiting foods available to them. Plentiful food, warmth, and water combined with sheltered hiding places make ideal conditions for cockroaches. Provided with such conditions cockroaches may be active and breed all year round.
  • Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and extremely shy, in fact, for every one that is seen there may be several hundred or more hiding and multiplying out of sight.
  • The best way to determine the extent of cockroach activity, and hiding places is to look for them at night. In daylight, those cockroaches seen tend to be those that have been forced out by overcrowding.
  • With their retiring habits, spraying only the cockroaches that you see is often ineffective.
  • Cockroaches spend considerable time resting. Cockroaches shelter during the day and come out to feed for limited periods only during the night.
  • Cockroaches travel well and are easily spread. They are often introduced in the packaging of food and other supplies. Large numbers of cockroaches are able to hide in extremely small cracks often offered by many forms of packaging material and often go unnoticed.
  • In apartments, cockroaches travel commonly by scurrying along plumbing and electrical wiring. This means that if one room is sprayed, the cockroaches may simply move next-door.
  • Cockroaches can survive for several weeks without food or water. This enables them to easily adjust to the rigors of long-distance travel.
    Accidentally sealed in packaging with severely limited food resources, cockroaches are able to survive for weeks, enabling them to be successfully shipped almost anywhere in the world.
  • It is difficult to estimate the population of cockroaches, particularly when new recruits are consistently being enlisted from other parts of the building or being brought in from the outside. Pest control managers normally use their best professional judgment based on several years of experience.
  • Cockroaches are behaviorally driven to stay in touch. However, it’s not physical contact with other cockroaches, but rather the feel of floors, walls, and ceilings that they seek.
  • All cockroaches are possessed by the desire for ideal harborages; this leads them to cabinets, gaps between bathroom tiles, pockets behind stoves, refrigerators, and water heaters as well as cracks in baseboards, window and door frames, and ornamental trim. Cockroaches are most comfortable in snug and secure spaces.
  • Cannibalism is common among cockroaches. This trait enables cockroach populations to adjust to fit the quantities of available food.
  • Without control measures, and as numbers swell, individual cockroaches must become more competitive for food, mates and harborages. This may force them out during the day, spending more time in the open.

German CockroachGerman Cockroach

  • The German cockroach (Blattella germanica) is a relatively small cockroach that is probably the most successful cockroach to co-exist with man in buildings. It is the most prolific breeder of all the pest cockroaches and there may be 3-4 generations per year.
  • The German cockroach is about 15 mm long, brown in colour, with two dark longitudinal streaks on the pronotum.
  • German cockroach is the most prevalent species in and around homes, apartments, supermarkets, food processing plants, and restaurants. Ships, especially cruise ships and naval vessels, can also be heavily infested.
  • In homes, during the day they hide in cracks and crevices such as under kitchen appliances, sinks, cabinets, behind baseboards and moldings, in wall voids, pantries and similar areas of homes and restaurants. In commercial establishments such as food plants, warehouses, supermarkets, etc, they can be found in cardboard containers, wooden boxes, and under pallets.
  • The German cockroach breeds throughout the year indoors, but favours a humid environment and an average temperature of approximately 260C. A life cycle can be completed in about 3 months. The German cockroach produces more eggs per capsule than other pest cockroach species, and its young complete their growth in a shorter period of time.
  • Female German cockroaches carry their egg capsules until they are ready to hatch. The number of eggs in a capsule is usually between 30 and 40. The average number of nymphs hatching is 30.
  • Adults may live for more than 200 days.
  • The German cockroach is spread by commerce and transportation, as well as by migrations. Many homes and business establishments become infested with German cockroaches when they are introduced in infested cartons, foodstuffs and other materials.
  • The German cockroach appears to be extending its range into non-traditional sites in buildings due to availability of water in many areas. Plants are often located throughout the house or workplace, drinks are often carried or left anywhere, consequently German cockroaches are able to get sufficient moisture and food to survive.
  • This cockroach seeks conditions that provide warmth, moisture and food.
  • The vast majority of infestations are associated with kitchens or other food-handling areas.
  • Their small size facilitates establishment in small cracks and crevices, and its prolific breeding capacity allows it to build up large populations quickly.

American CockroachGerman Cockroach

  • The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) is a large cockroach; it is a common inhabitant of the outdoors and very wet situations such as sewage systems. Because of its large size, it tends not to live in the dwelling parts of buildings but comes inside in search for food, or water.
  • The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting cockroaches, being 40 mm long with fully developed reddish/brown wings, and light markings on the thorax.
  • The American cockroach is a common inhabitant of sewage systems. Observations after heavy rain show that basements in numerous cities have heavy infestations of American cockroaches.
  • The American cockroach is found most commonly in restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, and where food is prepared or stored.
  • During the summer months, alleyways and yards may be badly infested.
  • Egg capsules are often glued to surfaces and are often covered with paint or other building material, blending well with the surroundings.
  • American cockroaches do not drop the egg cases indiscriminately, but usually hide them with great care in crevices, or bury them in soft wood or workable material. This clearly has survival value since predators and parasites attack poorly protected egg capsules or pest control technicians may squash egg capsules easily spotted around exterior door frames.
  • A female may produce 30-90 egg capsules at intervals of approximately 4-7 days. The egg capsule may contain up to 16 eggs; however, the average number of young to emerge is 14.
  • The American cockroach may reach sexual maturity in seven months under optimal conditions. Adult females live 102-588 days, with an average of 440 days.
  • American cockroaches are also very aggressive, and are more likely to be seen in daytime and outdoors than other species.
  • They also have a marked attraction to alcoholic beverages, especially beer. This cockroach may also be found in domestic residences, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, and where food is prepared or stored.
  • With warm conditions, outside locations such as alleyways and yards may become infested.
  • American cockroaches seem to have a preference for decaying organic matter, but will eat most human or animal feeds and also book bindings, paper and clothing.
  • The American cockroach is winged and tends to fly in warm weather. Egg cases glued to food packages or boxes, pallets etc. play an important role in its dispersal.

How do you Prevent Cockroach Infestations?

  • Cockroaches travel and can be spread easily. You unknowingly can bring them into your home in bags of groceries where they hide in the folds of packaging and the bags themselves. They also commonly hide in the crevices of a cardboard box or carton.
  • Cockroaches can hide almost anywhere. Did you know cockroaches can squeeze into cracks thinner than a matchstick?
  • Cockroaches may also scurry along water pipes and electrical conduit throughout apartments and houses. In some instances if an insecticide is used in one room or apartment, the cockroaches may simply move along to the next.
  • Similarly, if your neighbors move out, putting an end to the cockroaches food
    supply, the cockroaches may move into your home.
  • In cities, cockroaches can live in buses or trains. Many live in the drains or sewers. They can crawl from one locker to another at the health club, or at work, they may stow away in clothing seams or pockets. They especially love garbage chutes and trash compactors.
  • In the suburbs, cockroaches can get carried out with the garbage, and when placed on a freezing cold kerb, they may head straight for the warmth and shelter of your home.
  • All cockroaches need to survive and multiply are food, shelter, water, and warmth. If you can deprive them of these things in your home, they will move elsewhere.
  • Here’s what you can do to encourage them to move out and stay out:
  • Inspect all baskets, bags or boxes of food, groceries, firewood, and laundry brought into the house.
    • Destroy any cockroaches or egg capsules.
    • Make it difficult for cockroaches to enter by filling all openings around pipes passing through floors or walls with patching plaster putty, or plastic wood, particularly if cockroaches are coming in from adjoining apartments or from outside.
    • Keep door and window screens in good repair and make sure that there are no cracks between them and the frames.
    • Kill or remove any outdoor species of cockroaches found indoors.
    • Cleaning will aid considerably in cockroach control.
    • Take away their food supply. Store in tight containers and avoid spilling flour, cereals and other dry materials in cupboards or pantry shelves. Do not leave remnants of food on tables or in kitchen sinks overnight. Sweep up any crumbs or bits of food from the floors of the kitchen, pantry and dining area. Put table scraps, vegetable parings and other waste materials in tightly covered garbage cans.
    • Use RoachKillTM throughout the kitchen and laundry areas of your home, making sure that the spots are checked regularly to ensure it is available. Replenish after 3 months. RoachKill is also suitable for use in garages, garden sheds or anywhere cockroaches are likely to live. Ensure that the spots are not put where they can be washed or wiped away
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