Order: Blattoidae Family: Blattidae
Just to say that word makes one
shudder. Cockroaches multiply like crazy and quickly infest whole buildings traveling along networks of
pipes from place to place. Cockroaches are ancient insects that hail from the
Devonian period of the Paleozoic era that took place over 400 million years ago. They have
changed very little during their evolution. Worldwide there are more than 3,600 species
with around 60 residing in the USA. Of the 60 there are specifically 5 roaches that are
most troublesome in the USA which we will list for you here. Their preferred habitats are
human occupied dwellings, animal burrows, mines, caves, termite and ant nests. They
also like decaying organic matter such as we find on the floor of forests. A
little known and disgusting fact is that cockroaches can live minus their
head for 9 days before the body finally starves to death.
Oriental Roach: Body length to 1 1/4 inch being dark reddish brown to
black. Oriental cockroaches do not have the sticky pads on their feet
that other cockroaches do have. They are unable to climb smooth
surfaces. Egg cases hold up to 16 eggs. Cases are placed in sheltered
areas with garbage or food so it is often found in kitchen areas. Eggs
hatch in about 6-8 weeks. The adults live can live up to a year. Females
are wingless whereas the males have wings. Infestation areas
include: beneath washers, refrigerators and sinks. Also in sewers, drains, basements,
cracks and crevices of porches and
- American Roach: These are 1 /34 inch long with the main body being
reddish brown in color and a pale banded marking behind the head on the edge of the
thorax. They lay brown egg cases that will turn black with 14 eggs. The
eggs hatch in 38 to 49 days. Food storage and food preparation areas in
restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, and houses, are often infested..
The males and females both have wings and are avid fliers compared to
- German Roach: To 9/16 an inch in length with a light brown body and 2
darker stripes on the thorax. The cases contain from 30 to 48 eggs and
take about 30 days to hatch.
Females carry cases until 12 days before hatching. At that time they are dropped just
about anywhere. The German cockroach produces more eggs and has more
generations per year (three to four) than other roaches. The German roach is the most common of the roach pests.
They have a high need for moisture, usually traveling 10 to 12 feet from
their abode for food and water in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms,
etc. They prefer darkness.
- Smokybrown Roach: Big guys up to 1 1/2 inch in length with body being
solid black or dark brown. Egg cases have 20 eggs that mature into adults within 320-388
days. Egg case is dropped after 24 hours hatching in 24 to 70 days. Smokybrown is mainly
found in the southwestern states and the Gulf area. Lives outside in debris and woodpiles.
It can also get into garages.
Brownbanded Roach: 9/16 in length with body color being
and subtle light color v-shaped bands found on the wings. Egg cases contain 16 eggs. Adult
stage is reached in approximately 5 months. This roach will "glue" it's egg
cases in dark places like under furniture, closets and also on ceilings.
Roaches will eat just about anything when hungry
enough but their preferred diet consists of carbohydrate based substances including
pastes, glues, solid soaps and starch based paints and foods like pasta.
Using an Integrated Pest Management plan, cockroach activity can be
monitored using sticky traps or glue boards. These monitoring stations are
placed throughout a building where roaches are likely to be found such as in
dark places along cabinets, walls, under appliances, on pipes, etc., in
bathrooms and kitchens. Any tight cracks about 3/8 inch or smaller are good
cockroach habitats. Monitoring indicates whether roaches are present and if
control practices are working. The following
tips and methods may be tried on any of these roaches.
- Sugar and Baking Soda: This
excellent cockroach treatment comes from Christopher Moss who resides in Prescott,
Arizona. He says this worked on the smaller Oriental type of cockroaches that tend to
infest cabinets. Prior to coming up with this recipe Christopher had used the commercial
type sprays that you can find at supermarkets to no avail. Boric acid bates did not work
either. Our many thanks to Christopher for this!
- Here it is. Just mix 50/50 granulated sugar and baking soda (Arm & Hammer will do)
and place it in their path. Takes about 3 or 4 days to notice a reduction and 2 weeks
later, no roaches. The cure seems relatively permanent, although you may have to repeat
some months later.
Why might this work?
The roach has an acid stomach. They can't resist the sugar and the baking soda mixes with
the acid in their stomachs. Blamo! The best part is the roach is a cannibal and they eat
their dead, and the whole process cascades through the colony.
- Cook 'em with steam! Roaches also
infest appliances from time to time like underneath the pilot light in ovens and the motor
housing on refrigerators. What can be done in this situation is to use a steam cleaner to
drive them out of the machine and into waiting traps.