The most common cockroach infesting homes is called the German cockroach. The fully grown adults are 1/2″ to 5/8″ in length, tan to brown in color and have two dark stripes just behind the back of the head. The immature cockroaches (called nymphs) go through seven stages of growth, are darker in color, and vary is size from 1/16″ up to 3/8″.
They are brought in on boxes, bags, used furniture, appliances, beverage cartons, produce boxes, and suit cases. Occasionally in warm weather they can migrate from neighboring homes. In apartment buildings German cockroaches may spread along utility lines, rubbish rooms, trash chutes, laundry rooms, storage areas, and other shared facilities.
Cockroaches hide anyplace they can find darkness, warmth, a little moisture, shelter, and food. Some common hiding places are in cupboards, up under kitchen sinks, in drawers, closets, etc. Here are some other hiding places.
Cockroaches are nocturnal. They avoid light and hide from it. If you see cockroaches during the day it usually means that there are so many cockroaches that the hiding places are overcrowded and they are forced to come out into the daylight.
The female carries the egg sack beneath her abdomen until the young are ready to hatch. Thirty (30) to forty (40) young are produced in each egg sack. If conditions such as moisture, shelter, warmth, and food are abundant they will develop into adults in about 35 days. If conditions are poor the development may take as long as seven months. In the laboratory, adults live approximately one year.
They eat almost anything. They are fond of starches, sweets, meats, breads, gravies, and almost any other human or pet food. Cockroaches will also eat glue and book bindings. Cockroaches can survive without food for up to thirty (30) days, but they will dehydrate if they are denied moisture for more than two weeks.
Recent studies have concluded that roaches can easily transmit bacteria and germs. Some people, especially children, may be allergic and have asthmatic reactions to cockroaches, their shed skins, and the secretions they give off.
lf the egg capsule is detached from the female’s body before the eggs are ready to hatch they will dehydrate and die. It is not likely that you will ever carry an egg capsule by itself into a house on your shoe or in a box or bag.
Cockroaches can be very difficult to eliminate. It is important to very thorough and precise in the inspection and treatment process. The first step cockroach control is preparation. All dishes, pots, pans, foods, and utensils must be removed from the cupboards. Clear and remove clutter. In the bathroom, empty the vanity and medicine cabinet, and remove toothbrushes and other personal items. In other rooms, remove clothes from the closets, empty dresser drawers and linen closets and other storage areas. Pick up items from the floor. In especially severe cases furniture, beds, dressers, etc. need to be moved away from the wall.
Next, choose the appropriate product. Cockroaches can be eliminated using sprays, baits, dusts, and traps. The best results are obtained when a combination of products and methods are used. Read and follow the directions on the label of the product before you use it.
Finally, THINK LIKE A COCKROACH! Study the kitchen and bathroom shown below and review the list of hiding places. Apply the products into cracks and crevices and as close to the harborage. The harder an area is to reach, the more likely cockroaches will be found hiding there.