What are the different cockroach species?
Cockroaches first appear on earth 320 million years ago and have now evolved into 4,600 species. The four most well-known species that invade human habitats include American cockroach, brown-banded cockroach, German cockroach, and Oriental cockroach.
Being the largest of the four species, the flying American cockroaches can survive much longer than the other species for up to two years They are reddish-brown to brown in color and favor warm, damp areas like sewers, drains, kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements.
Brown-banded cockroaches love warm and dry indoor places, such as ceilings, electronics, televisions, and refrigerators, and tend to stay away from water. While the males are dark brown at the base with a hint of golden tan towards the wing tips, the females have reddish brown wings and dark brown bodies.
German cockroaches are light brown in color with two dark, parallel stripes on their pronotum. They are efficient breeders that can produce 30,000 cockroaches a year with each ootheca capable of hatching 20 to 40 baby cockroaches.
Also known as “water bugs”, Oriental cockroaches come in either dark brown or glossy brown with a life span of up to six months. These insects dwell in dark and moist spots and typically stay out of human sight.
Cockroaches can withstand freezing temperatures as cold as 0°C and live without its head for a week due to their open circulatory system, meaning that they don’t depend on the mouth or head to breathe. The reason why cockroaches are a health hazard is that they can pick up germs on their legs as they crawl through decaying matter and transferred them to humans through food contamination, leading to illnesses such as E. coli and Salmonella.
Cockroach eggs are called oothecae. Depending on the species, the color of an ootheca range from light reddish brown to dark brown and can contain as many as 50 eggs (in the case of German cockroaches). A cockroach egg takes 24 to 38 days to hatch.
What are the characteristics of cockroaches?
Capable of growing over 50 mm long, cockroaches have flat, oval-shaped bodies with six legs, two antennae, and tiny sensory hairs on each leg. They like to hide in cracks and crevices and can survive for almost a month without food and two weeks without water. They are quick on their feet and can run up to three miles in an hour.
While many species of cockroaches have wings, not all of them are good flyers with some not flying at all. In the case of American cockroaches, they use their wings to glide from high places to lower surfaces.
Finally, an interesting fact: cockroaches can hold their breath for 40 minutes!
How to get rid of cockroaches?
Cockroaches can enter any indoor space through cracks, gaps, ventilation, drains and sewer pipes. The most effective way to prevent cockroach infestation is to eliminate the major sources that attract them, i.e. food, water and shelter. These insects can invade your home from under the door or through duct leaks from the outside or next door. It is also critical to block off any cracks that can lead to a cockroach nest.
In addition to eliminating food sources, remember to store dry food properly in sealed containers or plastic bags and clean up any food waste and liquid spillage. You should also dispose your trash in a covered bin every day, clean up food crumbs in your refrigerator and under the stove, and store trash and compost in a sealed bin. Furthermore, it is best to throw out old newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes, and any sundries hidden under cabinets because all these items can make a perfect cockroach nest. In addition, It is a good practice to do your dishes and not leave them out in the sink overnight. If you have pets, please do remember to clean up their leftover food, water and litter!
How can I get rid of cockroaches and black ants on my own?
Even though there is a variety of roach motels and baits that can eliminate cockroach infestation within a short period of time, these products do not offer an absolute solution (Cockroaches often come back very soon, don’t they?) There are also concerns pertaining to highly-toxic pesticides from unknown origins; therefore, it is advisable to only purchase authorized products and strictly follow the instructions. While the toxins present in these products might not be lethal, there are chances that they will cause allergies, so make sure that you put baits in child-proof places.
If you prefer a home remedy, you can try baking soda. Simply mix one part baking soda with one part sugar and put the mixture in places where cockroaches frequent and they should disappear within 1 to 2 weeks. This is an alternative method to consider if the infestation is not too severe.
How can a pest control company deal with cockroach and black ant infestation?
A pest control company will start with an inspection to confirm the cockroach population, species, and nests. The next step is to place baits in the kitchen, parlor, living room and other hidden places to prevent the insects from entering your home via the bathroom and then spray the premise with a biopesticide to achieve the best results. In addition, the pest control company might place roach motels around your home to closely monitor the cockroach population, inspect the control points, and check the effects of the baits, so that they can take extra measures.