Cockroach – Public Enemy #2
The second offender in our series “America’s Most Unwanted Pests” is the cockroach! Scientist estimate that there are somewhere between five and ten million insect species worldwide. If asked which insect people hate the most, the majority will answer immediately with the cockroach! The list of characteristics that catapult the cockroach to the top of the insects we love to hate list are many. For one, their flat bodies, transparent wings, hairy legs and long sweeping antennae just plain creep people out! Second, the cockroach’s main food source is garbage and waste matter. For this reason cockroaches spread infectious bacteria like Salmonella and Shigella from place to place.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that cockroaches carry upwards of 7,000 different infectious pathogens on their bodies. As a cockroach moves across a surface they drag their abdomen and leave trails of fecal matter wherever they go. They use these fecal trails to find their way around your home or business. Outside of the total “GROSS” factor, these trails cause stains and odors in your home. The cockroach’s saliva and fecal waste can also cause allergies and have been linked to aggravating asthma conditions in humans.
Cockroaches are extremely difficult to get rid of once they invade. Part of the difficulty comes from the fact that they reproduce faster than rabbits! Seriously, their natural behavior is to reproduce quickly and this makes them difficult to completely eliminate. Cockroaches are nocturnal insects, so they go unnoticed until there are so many that they literally run out of hiding places.
There are approximately 4000 cockroach species that exist in the world today, however, only a handful of cockroach species are home and business invaders. These species are: The German Cockroach – Blatella Germanica. The American Cockroach – Periplaneta Americana, also known as the Palmetto Bug. The Brown Banded Cockroach – Supella Longipalpa. And finally, The Oriental Cockroach – Blatta Orientalis. The best way to identify which type of cockroach you’re dealing with is by color and size. The German and American cockroaches both have a brownish red color but differ dramatically in size. The German cockroach is relatively small measuring just about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in length. The American cockroach measures between 1.5 and 2.0 inches (3.8 50 5.0 cm) in length and is the largest of these species. The brown banded cockroach derives its name from it’s dark brown color and measures just slightly smaller than the German cockroach. The Oriental cockroach has a shiny black color and measures about 1.2 inches (3.0 cm) in length with short transparent wings that are basically useless since they can’t fly. There are other distinguishing characteristics you can look for when trying to identify your home invader. German cockroaches have two black stripes right behind the head while brown banded cockroaches have light brown lines around the abdomen. Determining which type of cockroach infestation you have is key in determining the proper way to eliminate the problem.
Oriental and American cockroaches tend to enter structures through drains and pipes. They congregate in areas that are dark and cool like basements. German cockroaches live in areas where food or garbage are present like kitchens and garages. If you find a German cockroach, you’ll want to contact a pest professional immediately as they reproduce quickly and become unmanageable in just a few days. Like most insects cockroaches live close to food sources. The challenge with cockroaches is that they are omnivores, which means that they will eat anything and everything! There is a detailed prep program for getting rid of cockroaches. It is tedious but necessary if you want to completely eliminate the problem.
As with most pest issues, a licensed pest control professional is your best source for effective treatment. For a free pest control home inspection contact the pros at BugOut today! 1 Click. 1 Call. 1 Company Does It All! It’s that simple!