Cockroaches are one of the oldest groups of insects, indicating how successful they have been in adapting to changes in their environments. One reason for this success may be related to diet--they are scavengers and will eat anything organic. They prefer food sources such as starches, sweets, grease and meat products, but other items may include cheese, beer, leather, glue, hair, starch in book bindings, flakes of dried skin or decaying organic matter (plant or animal).
Cockroaches are attracted to warm, moist environments. They spend the daylight hours in dark, secluded sites under refrigerators, stoves, false bottoms in kitchen cabinets, in the backs of cabinets and in crevices between ...view middle of the document...
Of the cockroaches which infest structures, the German cockroach is probably found more frequently than other species.
American Cockroach: Periplaneta americana
The American cockroach is one of the largest cockroaches in the Northeast. It is about 40 mm (1.5 inches) long with a reddish-brown body. The center portion of the pronotal shield is light brown, while the outer edges are yellow. Even though both sexes are winged, their flight is more of a gliding movement from point to point than active flight.
The female American cockroach will not retain the egg capsule for more than a day after its formation, instead dropping the capsule in some suitable site. Under some conditions it may be glued to a surface. The number of capsules produced by a female will range from 6 to 14, with each capsule containing 14 to 16 eggs. The eggs hatch in 50 to 55 days.
The American cockroach prefers dark, moist sites where it feeds on decaying organic matter. Such sites include basements, kitchens, clothes hampers, drains, bathroom plumbing or sewers. High populations have been known to develop in sewers, from where they infest households or other structures.
Brownbanded Cockroach: Supella longipalpa
The brownbanded cockroach is 12 mm (1/2 inch) long, light brown, and has two lighter colored bands running across the body. These bands are located at the base of the wings and on the abdomen. The bands are much darker during the immature stages. The brownbanded female carries the egg capsule for 24 to 48 hours before gluing it to a surface. The capsule contains approximately 18 eggs that hatch in 50-74 days. An adult female produces about 18 egg capsules over a life-span of 10 months.
The brownbanded cockroach requires less moisture than other cockroaches. It is more prevalent in homes, apartments, hotels and hospital rooms than in restaurants or stores. Evidence of this cockroach may be found behind pictures, in furniture, the underside of chairs and tables, upper kitchen cabinets or the upper shelves of closets and pantries. The brownbanded cockroach often infests electrical appliances such as radios, televisions, telephones and computers.
Identification of the infesting cockroach is crucial to successful management. Knowledge of the preferences and habitats of each species will help to provide more accurate and effective control.
Anything that can be done to eliminate the sources of food and water for the cockroaches from the home environment will help in their control:
* Do not allow dirty dishes to accumulate in the sink and remain there...