Monday, January 9, 2012

Overview of Roaches


There are typically five kinds of cockroaches commonly found in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois (Northern United States). They vary somewhat in appearance, reproductive capacity, and habits. We will be discussing the following:  German Cockroach, American Cockroach, Oriental Cockroach (or Waterbugs), Brown-banded Cockroach, and the Pennsylvania Woods Cockroach (or Woods Roach). I will be following this blog with a more in-depth look at each of these species mentioned. Generally speaking, they are all rather large, flattened insects, brownish or dark in color and fast moving. Roaches seek concealment in the daytime and also when disturbed at night. They may be carried into homes in boxes, egg cartons, beverage cases and produce such as potatoes. In apartments (and other large buildings) they readily migrate from one place to another along water pipes, plumbing lines, and other conduits.

German Cockroach
The German roach is a very common species and usually found in kitchens and/or bathrooms (drawn to heat & humidity). The adults are comparatively small (about 1/2 inch long), tan in color and often occur in large numbers. The immature – nymphs, have dark markings which make them appear dark brown to black.

American Cockroach
The American roach is reddish-brown and is the largest of the common roaches (about 1-1/2 inches in length at maturity). It is found more often in food establishments, although houses and apartments near such establishments can frequently become infested.

Oriental Cockroach
The Oriental roach is also large (about 1 inch in length) and shiny black or very dark brown. It is often called a “water bug” or “black beetle.” This species is frequently found in dampness and may enter homes through sewer openings. It may likewise live outdoors during the summer months and move from home to home.

Brown-banded Cockroach
The Brown-banded roach is a southern species but is often found in Indiana. It resembles the German roach in size but differs in habits. It may infest the entire home, rather than confining itself to the kitchen or where there is food. Infestations usually start from luggage, furniture or other materials shipped from one place to another.

Woods Roach
The Woods roach normally lives under the loose bark of dead trees, logs or stumps. It sometimes invades homes built in or near wooded areas, but it does not thrive indoors. Males are nearly 1 inch long and dark brown with a pale stripe on the outer margins of the wings. They are fairly good fliers and often enter homes this way. They can also be carried in on firewood. The females are short-winged and resemble the Oriental roach, but they are seldom found indoors.

How you can help:
The chances of effective, lasting cockroach control are greatly increased if thorough sanitation precedes proper chemical application. The destruction of breeding places (by clearing out garbage and clutter, sealing cracks and openings, etc.) and the removal of food and water sources, will aid in controlling and eliminating populations.

German Cockroach (female with egg-sack)

American Cockroach

Oriental Cockroach

Brown-banded Cockroach

Woods Cockroach

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