Lurking inside 25-48 percent of every American home is one of the most resilient pests ever to roam this earth—the cockroach, which belongs to the Blattodea family. Within the cockroach family, 30 species aggregate within the human habitat. Cockroaches prefer a dark, warm and moist environment, which tends to make kitchens, bathrooms, crawlspaces, gutters, etc., prime real-estate for these pests.
Roaches decide their homes based on two primary factors, one of which is how dark is the area? Roaches are nocturnal creatures, tending to sleep during the day and venture out scouting for resources during the night. Typically, if you enter a room and turn on the lights, every roach makes a run for the hills, which people with a roach infestation can likely attest. The only exception is the Oriental cockroach, which is attracted to brightly lit surfaces.
Blessed by their size, roaches can slip into small cracks, crevices, and drains for sanctuary. The second factor that guides roach’s behavior is where more cockroaches are congregating. Roaches search for a community with efforts to heightening their possibility of mating and reproducing.
Female cockroaches carry their eggs until they find a suitable crevice or location where they can lay them. An entire civilization could be breeding in a drain, beside a refrigerator, or in the cracks of a wall. Quick fertility, along with radiation resilience, is why it is commonly noted that cockroaches “shall inherit the Earth after humanity.”
Roaches may seem harmless, but they are significant threats to your health and well-being, which is why we should not take cockroaches’ ability to survive up to a month without food and develop efficient resistance to pesticide lightly. Every homeowner, business owner, parent, and individual should be on alert for these predators, which is why this article lays out the signs, risk, habitats, and containment methods for the top three cockroach species in the United States. (The American Cockroach, German Cockroach, and Oriental Cockroach.)
Common FAQ’s About Cockroaches
2.German cockroach nymphs? What do they look like?
The American Cockroach
“Despite its name, the American cockroach is not native to North America. Some evidence suggests that American cockroaches were introduced via ships from Africa in the early 1600s.” according to Pestworld.org. American cockroaches are generally reddish-brown, with both sexes sporting a pair of wings that allows them to fly. They are usually 1-2 inches in length with two long antennas.
Luckily, cockroaches are notorious for leaving clues exposing their presence. Roaches leave fecal matter in the places they inhabit. Another sign of a roach infestation is the remains of their egg capsules, which are usually dark and roughly 8 millimeters long. Check behind your appliances, cabinets, and any other sites that typically do not receive the light of day. Lastly, roaches produce an odor that alerts neighboring cockroaches of food, community, or mating opportunities. It can also alert you that you might have a roach infestation right below your nose. The odor is commonly described as “musty.”
There is good news; American cockroaches prefer to set up camp outside. Roaches thrive in sewers, flowerbeds, and underneath mulch. They typically only venture inside when searching for food or warmer climates during the winter. Instinct drives them towards industrial locations like restaurants, hospitals, and food processing plants. Here, roaches can find large sums of food. Roaches are not picky eaters, but they do have a preference for rotten food. Though they can eat human food, roaches are more than open to dead leaves, algae, and smaller bugs. American roaches being so resilient and versatile makes them an even more significant threat.
Considering that the American roach can bite humans, the bite is typically harmless, but it could grow into an infection if left unchecked. Unfortunately, this is not the primary danger of roaches. The actual threat is that cockroaches are bacteria-harboring pests. The bacteria uses the roach as a vehicle to travel to other surfaces, which can potentially harm you and your family.
How do you protect your friends and family from such a threat? The most efficient pest control method if an infestation has already occurred is to hire a licensed pest control specialist to use chemicals to exterminate the adults and eggs to prohibit future problems. To prevent infestation, ventilate crawl spaces, seal cracks in your infrastructure and use silicone-based caulks to seal drains.
The German Cockroach
German cockroaches are typically light brown to khaki color with what appears to be two dark stripes running down their head to their wings’ tips. Though they have wings, German cockroaches are not prone to fly; they prefer to run. German cockroaches are small, averaging half to 1 inch long.
They are more likely to appear in residential locations, and because of their size, their fecal matter resembles grounded pepper, so look out for dark spots in corners of door frames, countertops, and openings in the wall. German roaches congregate where people eat and drink, and they are terrific travelers. German cockroaches can find their way into suitcases, grocery bags, home appliances, etc. These techniques are how they tend to get into your home, where they can eat nearly anything from food, toothpaste, and even glue. A German cockroach can even survive off the glue on the back of a postage stamp.
Unlike the American roach, the German roach does not bite humans, but they also are a dangerous bacteria carrier. The best way to keep German cockroaches away is by practicing good sanitation. That means sweep regularly, do not allow dishes to pile, and keep food in airtight containers. This method is even more efficient than chemicals because it does not allow the roaches colony to develop resistance. German cockroaches can breed at a rate of up to six generations per year, so a pest control company may recommend a reoccurring service to address this rapid reproductive rate.
If you come across a black or dark red cockroach, you have likely encountered an Oriental cockroach, which also originated in Africa. These roaches tend to be 1 inch long, but significantly chunkier in size. Males and females are generally similar in appearances but, the primary difference is their wings. Males have wings that cover their abdominal section, while females do not have wings but, instead, have wing pads. Nevertheless, neither sex possess the ability to fly.
Oriental roaches congregate in dark, moist, and calm areas during the day as they are also nocturnal. Oriental roaches are outdoor species that thrive under debris, stones, and firewood. They typically invade homes during the high-temperature seasons through drains, sliding doors, and toilets.
The Oriental roach typically feeds on decaying food, garbage, and starch. Unlike other cockroaches, they have a heightened need for water, giving them the nickname “water bugs.” They tend to conjugate near water sources, so ventilation is an efficient method for fighting an infestation. To keep Oriental roaches out, you must keep your home clean, seal all entry points from the outside and not allow moisture build-up.
Cockroaches have become unanimous with urban living, but it does not have to be that way. If you practice good hygiene and anti-exposure methods, you can protect your home, family, and self from these pests, and call a professional if you need help getting rid of cockroaches.
Feel free to read more about us and decide if Synergy² is the right company for you. We have over 300 Five-Star Google reviews for pest control service in the Jackson metro area (Jackson/Madison/Brandon/Ridgeland). Check out our newest location reviews for pest control service in Jackson, MS here at Synergy² Jackson Pest Control!