Cockroaches: Facts, Identification & Control
How to identify Cockroaches?
The German cockroach is one of the most common indoor species. This species reproduces the fastest of the common cockroach pest: a single female and her offspring can produce over 30,000 individuals in a year.
Where do they live?
The German cockroach is found throughout the world wherever humans can be found.
How do they live?
German cockroaches have 3 life stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Eggs are carried in an egg case, or ootheca, by the female until just before a hatch occurs. The egg case is a tiny, brown, purse-shaped capsule which is about 8mm long, 3mm high, and 2mm wide. It can be seen protruding from the posterior end (genital chamber) of the female. Nymphs will often hatch from the ootheca while the female is still carrying it.
Nymphs are dark brown to black in color, with distinct dark parallel bands running the length of the pronotum. Nymphs do not have wings. All developmental stages actively forage for food and water. The entire life cycle is completed in about 100 days.
The adult has two distinct parallel bands running the length of the pronotum and is approximately 13 to 16mm.
How do they affect us?
German cockroaches are omnivorous, eating table scraps, pet food, and even book bindings. The major factor limiting German cockroach survival appears to be cold temperatures. German cockroaches adulterate food or food products with their faeces and defensive secretions, physically transport and often harbor pathogenic organisms, may cause severe allergic responses and feed on food residues on the faces of sleeping humans.
How to control them?
Improving sanitation by eliminating food and water sources and clutter can have a significant impact on reducing the chances of infestation. Exclusion practices such as sealing cracks and crevices will reduce harborage and also negatively impact population size.