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Only a few of the cockroach species found in the United States routinely enter and infest our dwellings. Cockroaches usually choose to live in protected cracks and crevices which provide a warm and humid environment. Besides their ability to move around inside and outside, and the fact that some species are good fliers, cockroaches are well known for moving to new areas via "hitchhiking." Because they prefer to hide in cracks and crevices in the daytime, they are frequently moved about by individual people or in products shipped around cities or the country. Cockroaches develop by a gradual metamorphosis that consists of three stages: egg, nymph and adult. Nymphs undergo a series of molts; with the last molt, the wings are fully formed and the sexes are easily distinguished from each other.
German cockroach's are the most economically important urban pest in the United States and throughout the World.
The female carries her egg capsule protruding from the rear of her abdomen until the eggs are ready to hatch.
Infestations are sometimes found in areas not generally suspected of German cockroaches; for example, dresser drawers in bedrooms. The German cockroach is the most commonly encountered of the house infesting species in the United States.
Third, German cockroach nymphs have a better chance of surviving than do other species because the female carries the egg capsule during the entire time that the embryos are developing within the eggs.
Fourth, German cockroach nymphs are smaller than most other cockroaches; thus, they are able to conceal themselves in many places which are inaccessible to individuals of the larger species. These biological factors, combined with its very adaptive feeding habits and other behaviors, give the German cockroach advantages toward increased chances for survival and persistently maintaining high populations. Moreover, there are additional factors which contribute to the success of the German cockroach.
Some of these uncommon patterns of infestation are more understandable in the light of recent research on the normal movement patterns of German cockroaches within and between urban apartments. The German cockroach is a relatively active species, moving around readily within structures.
Much of the discussion on where cockroaches will harbor was written particularly with the German cockroach in mind.
American cockroach's are also known as waterbugs, flying water bug and, in some areas of the South, the palmetto bug.
When indoors, the nymphs and adults are usually found in dark, moist areas of basements and crawl spaces as well as in and around bathtubs, clothes hampers, floor drains, pipe chases and sewers. American cockroaches feed on a variety of foods, but decaying organic matter seems to be preferred. In the South, American cockroaches are commonly found in the landscape along with other larger species, and can readily move inside during nighttime foraging.
Exclusion techniques such as caulking or sealing various cockroach entry points are effective at reducing the problem indoors.
When insecticide applications to plants such as trees, ground covers or grassy areas are necessary outdoors, only use formulations which are safe for use on plants. Palmetto Bugs are the roach that Floridians (natives) find inhabiting saw-palmetto fan palms and cabbage palms.
Old timers called the Eurycotis Floridana "palmetto bugs" when they were cutting "swamp cabbage" (heart of palmettos and palms) for food. Control of palmetto bugs in saw-palmetto and fan palms consists of treating the palms with any residual pesticide such as Suspend or Talstar. An egg capsule is earned by the female for about 30 hours, after which it is either dropped or attached to a protected surface near a food supply.
Nymphs molt from 7-10 times and the nymphal stages usually take several months to one year to complete.
The nymphs and adults have similar habits and are found associated with decaying organic matter indoors and out. Oriental cockroaches feed on all kinds of filth, rubbish and other decaying organic matter. Indoors, Oriental cockroaches prefer dark, moist areas such as under porches, crawl spaces, basements and floor drains. Oriental cockroaches can be controlled with the same types of insecticide sprays and baits as those used for the American cockroach. Because Oriental cockroaches often move into dwellings in large numbers, a perimeter or barrier treatment is recommended when cockroaches are found living outside.
A female brown-banded cockroach carries her egg capsule for a day or two, and then attaches it to a protected surface. Nymphs and adults are generally found on ceilings, high on walls, behind picture frames and light fixtures, or near motors of refrigerators and other appliances.
When making an inspection for brown-banded cockroaches, look beneath tables and chairs, dressers and chests.
These cockroaches are more often found in homes, apartments, hotels and hospital rooms than in stores, restaurants and kitchens. Brown-banded cockroaches prefer warm places and are usually found widely dispersed throughout houses or other buildings. Sprays or dusts (products recommended for German cockroach control) should be thoroughly applied to such places as inside closets, shelves in clothes closets, ceiling light fixtures, and valances above windows. Smoky-brown cockroaches are closely related to the American cockroach but are distinguished by their smaller size, being slightly more than 1 inch long, and uniform mahogany brown color. Normally, this cockroach feeds on plant material, but it can feed on almost anything that other cockroach species feed on once inside a dwelling.
Smoky Brown Cockroach's can be controlled with the residual sprays such as Demon insecticide because of its quick killing properties and long lived residual. It is often necessary to treat outside areas with power sprayers to get thorough coverage of the areas in which they hide.
In general, successful smoky-brown cockroach management requires planning and thoroughness.
German cockroaches usually prefer a moist environment with a relatively high degree of warmth. It seems that New York City’s reputation as a melting pot extends to its 6-legged creatures as well. Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. A German cockroach can be quite troublesome, especially to certain establishments such as restaurants, hotels, and food processing factories. Another reason why these cockroaches can be so troublesome is because they are so small, making it easier for them to hide in cracks and crevices.
Based on fossil evidence, roaches are known to have been present on Earth for over 300 million years. The most common of these are the German cockroach, American cockroach, Oriental cockroach, Brown-banded cockroach, Smoky brown cockroach, Australian cockroach, Brown cockroach, Woods cockroach, Field cockroach and the Asian cockroach.
Some species, such as the American and oriental cockroaches, gather in large groups on open walls in protected places or in open areas outside. They are oval and flat-bodied, which enables them to squeeze into all types of cracks and crevices.
Careful inspection of furniture, clothing, or other goods coming into a home or other facility may reveal cockroaches hiding in these items. The female produces a purse shaped egg capsule, called an ootheca, which has two rows of eggs in it. It is the most common cockroach species in houses, apartments, restaurants, hotels and other institutions.
German cockroaches can be distinguished from other roaches by the two dark stripes on the back of their head.
The number of nymphal instars may increase under certain environmental conditions, or if appendages such as legs or antennae are lost during the earlier nymphal instars.
If water is present, adults can live about a month without food, but young nymphs will die of starvation within 10 days. When German cockroaches are found scattered through non-food areas of a home or building, it is usually caused by a very heavy infestation or by the repellent effects of insecticide applications. This results in the nymphs avoiding many hazards of the environment which may affect eggs that remain detached and isolated. In fact, in a commercial kitchen, there may be literally thousands of cracks and crevices young cockroaches can hide in and remain protected. The "high reproductive potential" of this species can significantly affect its ability to develop resistance to insecticides. Check places such as cracks and crevices, under tops of tables, behind and under sinks, in cabinets, the motor compartments of refrigerators and soft drink dispensing machines, underneath the bases of kitchen equipment or pallets which are set on the floor, in switchboxes and fuse boxes, underneath cafeteria counters and soda fountains, in food carts, in cash registers and telephones, in vegetable bins, around meat counters and check-out stands, under meat cutting blocks, and almost anywhere else conditions are favorable.
Sometimes it is dropped in a suitable location, such as near a food source, or in a protected area. Recent studies in Florida have shown that American cockroaches and other outdoor roaches are generally associated with trees and woodpiles in landscapes.
They also feed upon book bindings, manuscripts, clothing and glossy paper with starch sizing.
They frequently congregate in groups in more or less open spaces, rather than in cracks and crevices.
A trap survey may be necessary in difficult or special situations before any management procedures are attempted. Movement indoors often increases during periods of cold, extreme hot and dry weather, or excessive rainfall. To prevent cockroaches from entering through weep holes in exterior brick facade, insert small squares of window screening into the holes using a putty knife. Residual insecticide sprays applied into infested areas will control American roaches slowly, but effectively.
In these situations, either wettable powders, microencapsulated or emulsifiable concentrate sprays of the residual materials listed above are generally appropriate.


Females will produce an average of 8 capsules, each containing 16 eggs which will hatch in about 60 days under room conditions.
Unlike the other house-infesting species, the oriental cockroach generally has a seasonal developmental cycle. They can be found in yards, beneath leaves, in dumps, in crawl spaces and in the mulch of flower beds.
In periods of drought there may be considerable movement into structures, apparently in relation to humidity gradients. They may be found outdoors in abandoned cisterns, water valve pits, in bark mulch under shrubs around the foundation, in stone walls, and in garbage and trash dumps. However, the moist situations in which this cockroach is normally found will typically decrease long-term effectiveness of residual insecticides, cause baits to mold (reducing their effectiveness), and often prevent the successful use of dusts.
It is light brown and can be readily distinguished from the German cockroach by the presence of two lighter, transverse bands running from one side to the other across the base of the wings and abdomen in adults, and in the same position on the nymphs. The egg case is purse-shaped, light brown in color and is cemented in place, usually to the side or under surfaces of infested objects. However, they can be found feeding on almost anything, and have been known to chew on such non-food materials as nylon stockings (presumably for the residues of body oils and skin flakes). Look also behind pictures, along picture moldings, on rough plaster walls and ceilings, and most especially on the ceilings and upper walls of cabinets, pantries and closets. They are frequently transported in furniture, and will rapidly spread throughout an entire building.
Unless a control program is thorough, these roaches can be difficult to manage because they live as individuals and small groups in such widely scattered locations. They do not have any lighter coloration around the edge of their pronotum, as does the adult American cockroach.
It is common throughout central Texas and eastward, along the Gulf Coast, throughout Florida and up the eastern seaboard.
It is commonly found living in wood shingle roofs and in gutters where it feeds on decaying organic matter. They can be brought into the house with firewood or anything else that is stored outside, in garages or other storage areas. However, the extent and thoroughness of treatments must often be greater since this cockroach is typically more active in its movements and will usually be found living in and around the inside and outside of a building. It also requires use of more different types of applications than any other type of cockroach management. Even though they can exist outdoors in warmer climates, they much prefer to be an indoor species. If you have an infestation problem, you might want to try bait stations and other DIY methods.
Of these eight species, the first five represent 95% of all cockroach management in and around buildings. They may be seen in the daytime, particularly when a heavy population is present or when some other form of stress is placed on the population (such as lack of food or water). While they are often found in groups in their daytime hiding or resting areas (called "harborage"), and can be found feeding in groups at night, cockroaches are not social insects as are the ants and wasps. A pronotum (a shield-like covering) projects forward over the head; their mouthparts are of the chewing type and are oriented downward slightly toward the rear of their body. Careful observations by pest management professionals and researchers have shown surprising numbers of German cockroaches entering such facilities as hospitals, restaurants, zoos and supermarkets by these routes (every day in some cases). In some southern areas, larger cockroach species such as the smoky-brown cockroach can be more of a problem. German cockroach nymphs resemble the adults except that they are smaller, wingless, and darker in color, often being nearly black. It usually takes 28 days from the time of initial formation of the egg capsule until it hatches.
In the latter case, extra instars will occur to allow regeneration of these missing body parts. If German cockroaches are seen during the day, the population is probably so large that the available harborage is already full, or food and moisture are in such short supply that daytime foraging is necessary. Cockroaches in these areas will find food scarce, but can feed on scattered crumbs, soiled clothing, the glue on dresser drawers or on some cosmetic products.
The reasons for this are somewhat complex, but an understanding of some of the factors involved is basic to the practice of pest management. German cockroach nymphs also tend to stay close to each other, often close to the female at the time of hatching, creating a tendency for a high local population density.
During the late 1950s and the 1960s, insecticides such as DDT and chlordane were widely used to control German cockroaches. Up to 10% (or more) of the adult German cockroaches in a moderately to heavily infested apartment can move into or out of the kitchen area within a week's time. They are also regularly carried from place to place in such things as bagged potatoes and onions, beverage cartons, grocery bags, food cans, other food packages, handbags, and the folds of clothing.
It is impossible to list all the places where German cockroaches may live and hide, so you must inspect thoroughly and use judgment and roach "thinking" to find all of the harborages. It is reddish-brown, with a pale brown or yellow border on the upper surface of the pronotum. They are often found near steam pipes, in sewers, grease traps, floor drains, pipe chases, damp basements and similar places.
In these cases, it is important to treat all outdoor areas where the cockroach populations are focused. This prevents insect entry, yet still allows for air exchange for which the weep holes are intended. Indoor surfaces are most effectively treated with wettable powder or flowable microencapsulated formulations. For applications to the sides of houses, door and window jams, and other exterior surfaces, microencapsulated formulations or wettable powders are preferred. They are also common in high moisture situations such as sewers, drains and dark, damp basements.
If water is available, they can live for a month without food, but die within two weeks without water.
As cold weather approaches, or sometimes during unseasonably cool periods, a similar migration indoors may occur. Oriental cockroaches are often found in cooler places than is typical for the other large species of cockroaches. These bands may be somewhat irregular or broken and are more apparent on the young and the females than on the males.
Females will produce about 14 egg capsules during their adult life, each containing about 18 eggs.
No room should be left un-inspected, nor should any piece of furniture (wood, metal or upholstered) if its construction provides shelter. They have long been abundant in the southern states, but are now found as far north as Canada. It is the most common species of cockroach encountered in some parts of the South, and is now known to be present in some areas of southern California. They can enter around doors and windows, through ventilation ports under the eaves of a house or any other small cracks or crevices which lead inside. Individuals or groups of smoky-brown cockroaches may be found in almost any room of a building as well as in crawl spaces, garages, attics, flower beds, in and around trees, shrubs, trash or garbage receptacles, woodpiles and just about any other place where they can hide.
When treating exterior surfaces of the home or building, use wettable powders in order to obtain the most effective residual performance on these difficult porous surfaces. Fortunately, once adequate results have been achieved in and around a home, the reproductive potential of this species is low enough (compared to the German cockroach) that their numbers will not rebound very quickly. German cockroaches are mostly active at night, when they forage for food, water, and mates. For residential, all kitchen drawers and cabinets must be emptied out prior to the scheduled service date! The German cockroach is very closely related to the Asian cockroach and these two species are often mistaken for one another. The main reason why these cockroaches are so troublesome is because they can utilize practically anything as a food source, including books, soap, meat, toothpaste, and pet food.
Some biologists consider insects to be one of the most successful groups of animals to ever inhabit this planet, and cockroaches are one of the most adaptable and successful insect groups. Cockroaches ordinarily prefer a moist environment, and many species also prefer a relatively high degree of warmth.
Cockroaches generally forage individually for food and otherwise behave in a largely individualistic or non-social manner. The oriental cockroach or some other species may also be more common in certain situations, especially infesting around or under the premises and frequently moving indoors. A single light stripe running down the middle of the back is the most prominent marking on the young cockroach. Completion of the nymphal stage under room conditions requires 40-125 days, depending on environmental conditions and other factors such as favorable diet. Most stages become very stressed if deprived of food or water for more than a couple of days.
German cockroaches can also be found outdoors during warm months, often associated with garbage receptacles. First, the German cockroach has a larger number of eggs per capsule than the other species that infest structures. They also have aggregation pheromones associated with their droppings, which have the effect of increasing the level of aggregation or clumping of individuals in the population. In many cases, some individuals of German cockroach populations exposed to these insecticides survived. The pest management professional must look very closely to find all the places in which cockroaches may be living, and try to determine how cockroaches might be transported into the premises.


The larger nymphs and adult males are known to range more widely inside infested buildings. Under ideal conditions, an adult female can live up to 14-15 months; males for a somewhat shorter period. In northern areas where steam heat tunnels are not found, the American cockroach will be restricted primarily to large institutional buildings.
The adults can survive two or three months without food, but only about a month without water. Perimeter or "barrier" treatments using residual insecticide formulations to prevent cockroach entry into buildings are helpful.
Excessive and widespread insecticide applications in the landscape are not usually necessary. In some situations, American cockroaches can be killed by the use of non-residual, quick-knockdown insecticides. The number of adults in the population is generally quite low by late summer and early fall, due to natural mortality and the hatching of nymphs. Both the nymphs and adults are sluggish and are usually located at or below ground level indoors. There may be considerable group movement within heated structures during cold weather, particularly if areas of a building are maintained at warmer temperatures than other areas.
For example, they can over-winter in protected landscape areas of cold regions of the United States. This helps explain why they are so commonly found in rooms other than the kitchen or bathroom. Look for tiny black droppings, attached egg capsules, or cast skins where they have fallen from above onto shelves or ledges. Many homes with brick facades are built with regularly spaced "weep holes" in the brickwork. In addition, it is often necessary to dust cracks on the outside of the building and to dust in the cracks of wood shingle roofs. However, if one or more groups of smoky-brown cockroaches are left untouched or if they cannot be eliminated from adjacent property, adequate control may be difficult to obtain. You are less likely to see them moving around during the day because they tend to hide in cracks and crevices and other dark sites that provide a warm and humid environment. Same goes for bathrooms!A  For commercial locations, the same is required throughout the vulnerable entry points!
Identified as the periplaneta japonica, the immigrant bug is known for its ability to withstand extreme cold, a trait that differentiates it from the American cockroach.
Certain other species may infest homes or other buildings, but will generally be found in very localized situations or under other unusual circumstances. Specialized pads in their tarsi allow them to easily scale glass windows or walk on a ceiling. The length of time required for the eggs to hatch, for nymphs to develop, and the life span of adults will also vary (even within each species) due to temperature, humidity, the quality of their diet, and other environmental conditions. However, the German cockroach is by far the most common and important species infesting our homes and institutions. The nymphs may break open the capsule while it is still attached to the female, or she may deposit the capsule in some protected place where the young will be able to find food and harborage when they emerge.
Adult German cockroaches can live up to one year, but most will die from various causes long before that time. This species usually hides in areas close to moisture and food, which means they are generally found in kitchens and other food areas.
Stressed cockroaches tend to wander or forage for resources aggressively, even during abnormal periods such as the daytime. Second, it also has the shortest period to develop from hatching until sexual maturity; thus, populations of German cockroaches will build up faster than other species.
And because these cockroaches reproduce so quickly, survivors were able to pass the ability to survive exposure to DDT and chlordane to following generations. This latter movement usually does not occur unless the two adjacent apartments share common plumbing. It may not be possible to eliminate all the German cockroaches in a structure at any one time if a steady flow of cockroaches is carried into the premises via people, food shipments or other routes. Adult females forage for food and water in a manner similar to the males, except during the few days before the egg capsule hatches. The wings of the male extend slightly beyond the tip of the abdomen, while those of the female are about the same length as the abdomen. Egg capsules are formed at the rate of about one per week until from 15 to 90 capsules have been produced.
The American cockroach is also common around the manholes of sewers, and on the underside of metal covers of large sump pumps in boiler rooms.
Similar studies in Texas have shown that American and smoky-brown cockroaches often prefer moist, shady areas of ground cover, which are often found around foundations and near swimming pools. Identify where the cockroaches are harboring and moving around in the landscape, and focus insecticide applications in those areas.
Few live adults are usually found in the population throughout the year, but if nymphs have not reached maturity by late fall or early winter, their development seems to slow considerably and maturity is not reached until spring.
Also, check the rain gutters for the possibility that smoky-brown cockroaches are living in debris trapped in the gutter. In many areas of the South, smoky-brown cockroach management is very frustrating in heavily wooded neighborhoods, because of the many cockroach population reservoirs which are present, but difficult to find or treat. Manufacturer rebates, terms, conditions, and expiration dates are subject to manufacturers printed forms. There are approximately 3500 species of cockroaches worldwide-about 60 species are found in the United States. However, cockroaches which live in buildings are mostly scavengers and feed on a wide variety of food. The nymphs generally resemble the adult in appearance and behavior, but, are smaller, do not have wings or wing pads, and frequently have a somewhat different color. The German cockroach is the only common house infesting species which carries the egg capsule for such an extended period.
Over many generations, large portions of populations can then become resistant to insecticides.
Thus, exclusion of German cockroach movement into the wall voids which house plumbing connections, or careful treatment of those areas with insecticides (dust formulations), will greatly aid in maintaining adequate control in multi-family dwellings and other large, complex structures such as hospitals and motels. American cockroaches have also been observed migrating from one building to another during warm months in the North.
The presence of automatic sprinkler systems for irrigating these areas of turf and ground cover will provide particularly attractive and favorable living conditions for cockroach populations. They are capable of gliding long distances and will cover considerable distances if they take off from a tree or roof top.
There are various insecticide baits available for use against other outdoor cockroaches, crickets, millipedes and other crawling insects.
Their presence in nearly every part of the world and wide range of habitats demonstrate that cockroaches are truly an outstanding success story in Nature. They are especially fond of starches, sweets, grease, and meat products; but will also eat a great variety of materials such as cheese, beer, leather, bakery products, starch in book bindings, glue, hair, flakes of dried skin, dead animals and plant materials. Capsules removed from the female more than a couple of days before the normal hatching time are unlikely to hatch unless they remain under conditions of very high humidity.
It is possible within a single town or city to find both populations of cockroaches that are resistant to a particular insecticide and others that are susceptible to the same insecticide.
If all of the scattered or "satellite" populations are not found and treated, re-infestation of treated areas will occur. When conditions are unfavorable, American cockroaches and other outdoor species may move indoors. In the South, and as far north as Kentucky, American cockroaches have been reported to fly short distances. Smoky-brown cockroaches move in and out of buildings to forage more than American cockroaches and most other outdoor species. Unfortunately, many of the same outstanding biological characteristics which make them so successful, also make them one of the most difficult pests to manage. This is also true for gravid females which may be killed by an insecticide within several hours, to one day or more, from the time the egg capsule would normally have hatched. Examples would be on ships, or in large modern food processing plants and kitchens with stainless steel equipment and wall panels. Each population's history of insecticide exposure over many generations will determine the levels of resistance to various insecticides. In the process of hatching, nymphs will molt and leave their first cast skins in the egg case. One must be very careful to identify this species correctly, as control techniques are different for the two species because of their different behaviors. Cockroaches, especially the German cockroach, are the most commonly encountered and important household insect pests in much of the U.S.
The embryos in the egg capsule require a reasonably steady flow of water, usually from the adult female, to prevent death from desiccation or drying out. Again, if the humidity is very high, desiccation may not occur, and the egg capsule can survive for a few hours or longer after premature dropping, or death of the female.



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