Roaches

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BROWN-BANDED COCKROACH

Biology: This roach species is found primarily indoors, where it may be as common in dry areas of the structure as it is in the kitchen or bathrooms. It has a low moisture requirement, allowing it to survive in many locations, and the females deposit their egg capsules within about one day of its development, sticking them to hidden surfaces in closets, behind drawers, within corrugated cardboard, or behind objects on the walls. Each capsule contains an average of 15 eggs, and development from egg to mature adult takes about 6 months. Males have wings that completely cover the abdomen, while the females wings are shorter, exposing the last few segments of the abdomen. Both sexes can fly. Because of the manner of hiding the egg capsules on materials, this species is easily relocated to new habitats.

Identification: The brown-banded cockroach is named for the two wide stripes running side to side on its thorax and abdomen, seen even through the opaque wings on the adults. Females have shorter wings than the males. Overall length is only about ½ inch, and the color is a yellowish brown in the males to a darker brown in the females. The top of the prothorax is a solid dark brown color.

GERMAN COCKROACH

Biology: The German roach is a nocturnal animal, strongly avoids light, cannot fly, and in almost all situations will be found indoors. Infestations normally begin by the introduction of roaches in packages. The biological potential of this species is enormous, with females producing an average of 5 egg capsules in their lifetime, each with an average of 30 eggs in it. The time from egg to mature adult averages about 3 months, allowing 4 generations of the insects each year. Female adult roaches live for about 200 days. Females carry the egg capsule until one day before the eggs are to hatch, providing necessary moisture into the eggs. Her activity level is low while she is in this “gravid” stage. This species has a higher moisture requirement than many other species, and is most likely to be living near moisture sources and in humid areas. First instar nymphs often remain in hiding, feeding on the fecal material of other roaches. Older roaches are extremely variable in their diets, feeding on virtually any materials in a food environment. They may also nibble on human hair or finger and toenails.

Identification: The German roach is typical of the genus Blattella, with a tan to brownish color, small size, and two dark, longitudinal stripes on its prothorax. Adults reach about ½ inch in length, with wings that reach the end of the abdomen in females and just beyond the tip of the abdomen in males. Neither is capable of flight. Nymphs begin as extremely small insects and without any hint of wings. However, they do have the dark markings on the prothorax. This species may be distinguished from the Field roach by the color of the face, which is light brown in the German

AMERICAN COCKROACH

Biology: This species is common outdoors in landscape plantings, in sewers or storm drain systems, and in lower areas of buildings where moisture may be greater. It may inhabit storm drains in huge numbers, emerging though man-hole covers at night to invade buildings. They will feed on most carbohydrate or protein based materials, including human hair or finger and toenails. Each female produces around 10 egg capsules, carrying the capsule for a day or two and then carefully placing it in a protected location. Each egg capsule has an average of 15 eggs in it and these hatch in about 45 days. Development to the adult stage averages about 450 days, but may take well over 2 years in colder climates. Adults live an average of around 1 year, but potentially can live almost 3 years.

Identification: The American roach adult has fully developed wings and is capable of some flight, usually from an upper location to a lower surface. It is reddish brown with a yellow ring around the prothorax. Adults may be up to 1.5 inches long from head to tail, with extremely long antennae. The cerci are long and thin, a character that separates the nymphs of American roaches from those of Oriental roaches.

SMOKEY BROWN

Biology: This species is a common outdoor cockroach, hiding under vegetation and yard debris, heavy mulch layers and thick leaf litter. They are extremely common in Texas and Louisiana and become a severe pest problem indoors there as well. They are nocturnal in habit, and as omnivores they will feed on many starchy or protein materials. The egg capsule contains around 24 eggs and it is glued to a surface by the female, usually in corners or cracks where it is somewhat hidden. The eggs hatch in about 45 days, and it takes about 200 days for the nymphs to become mature adults. Adult smoky brown roaches live about one year.

Identification: This is one of our larger roach species, with adults about 1 to 1.5 inches in length. The adults have fully developed wings that extend past the tip of the abdomen, and they are a solid dark brown color, without any yellow patches on them. Nymphs are also dark brown over most their body, but have the middle section of the thorax (the mesonotum) white to light colored, and also have white sections on their antennae.

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