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Cockroaches History and Prevention

They have been around since the time of dinosaurs!

They can live almost a month without food.

They can live about two weeks without water.

Some female cockroaches only mate once and stay pregnant for life!

A cockroach can live for up to one week without its head!

They can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes!

They can run up to 3 miles an hour.

And they have been around for millions of years, evolving into some of the most adaptable pests on Earth. There are approximately 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world. About 70 of these species are found in the United States.

The cockroach is commonly found in buildings and homes because they prefer warm environments close to food and water. Unfortunately, cockroaches can cause allergies and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. They can also spread nearly 33 different kinds of bacteria.

 

American Cockroaches

The American cockroach is the largest cockroach found in houses. Despite its name, the American cockroach is not native to North America, but was likely introduced via ships from Africa in the 1600s.

Females can hatch up to 150 offspring per year. Cockroaches don’t get their wings until they become adults.

Size: 2"

Shape: Oval

Color: Reddish-brown, with a yellowish figure 8 pattern on the back of the head

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antenna: Yes

Common Name: American cockroach

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Dictyoptera

Family: Blattidae

Species: Periplaneta americana

Diet: American cockroaches will eat just about anything, including plants and other insects.

Habitat: American cockroaches prefer to live in warm, dark, wet areas, like sewers and basements. They often enter structures through drains and pipes. Although American cockroaches can be found in homes, they are also common in larger commercial buildings, such as restaurants, grocery stores and hospitals.

Impact: Cockroaches crawl through dirty areas and then walk around our homes tracking in lots of bacteria and germs. They can contaminate food by shedding their skins. Their cast-off skin and waste byproducts are allergens that can trigger allergic reactions, asthma and other illnesses, especially in children.

Prevention:

Keep cooking, eating and food storage areas clean and dry.

 

Brown-banded Cockroaches

These cockroaches get their name from the two light bands they have across their dark brownish bodies. The male’s wings are larger than the female’s wings.

The brownbanded cockroaches often hide their eggs in or under furniture. They usually live 5-6 ½ months.

Size: 1/2/"

Shape: Oval

Color: Brown, with light bands of color across wings

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antenna: Yes

Common Name: Brown-banded cockroach

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Dictyoptera

Family: Blattellidae

Species: Supella longipalpa

Diet: Brownbanded cockroaches prefer to eat starchy foods, such as wallpaper paste and book bindings. Sometimes they’ll eat non-organic things, like nylon stockings!

Habitat: Brownbanded cockroaches prefer warmer, drier, and higher locations than most cockroaches. While most cockroaches prefer to live in kitchens and pantries, Brownbanded cockroaches will live in any room in the house. They do not need much moisture and avoid light whenever the can.

Impact: Cockroaches crawl through dirty areas and then walk around our homes tracking in lots of bacteria and germs. They can contaminate food by shedding their skins. Their cast off skin and waste byproducts are allergens that can trigger allergic reactions, asthma and other illnesses, especially in children.

Prevention:

Keep cooking, eating and food storage areas clean and dry.

 

German Cockroaches

German cockroaches can be found all over the world. They are the most common cockroach in the United States. Each German cockroach can live about 100-200 days.

Size: 1/2" to 5/8"

Shape: Oval

Color: Brown to dark brown

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antenna: Yes

Common Name: German cockroach

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Blattodea

Family: Blattellidae

Species: Blattella germanica

Diet: Cockroaches are attracted to sweet and floury foods. They also eat non-organic items such as toothpaste and books!

Habitat: German cockroaches live in warm and damp places, like kitchens, bathrooms, and places where people eat and drink.

Impact: Cockroaches crawl through dirty areas and then walk around our homes tracking in lots of bacteria and germs. They can contaminate food by shedding their skins. Their cast off skin and waste byproducts are allergens that can trigger allergic reactions, asthma and other illnesses, especially in children.

Prevention:

Keep cooking, eating and food storage areas clean and dry.

 

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroaches probably get their names from trade ships but they are actually from Africa. They are large and very dark compared to other cockroaches. They usually travel through sewer pipes and drains. They prefer dirty places and cooler temperatures than other cockroaches. An Oriental cockroach creates a strong smell and is considered one of the dirtiest of all the cockroaches.

Size: 1"

Shape: Oval

Color: Dark brown, almost black

Legs: 6

Wings: No

Antenna: Yes

Common Name: Oriental cockroach

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Dictyoptera

Family: Blattadae

Species: Blatta orientalis

Diet: Oriental cockroaches feed on all types of garbage and other organic material.

Habitat: Oriental cockroaches also live in sewers and wet, decaying areas, such as basements and crawlspaces, firewood and piles of leaves.

Impact: Cockroaches crawl through dirty areas and then walk around our homes tracking in lots of bacteria and germs. They can contaminate food by shedding their skins. Their cast off skin and waste byproducts are allergens that can trigger allergic reactions, asthma and other illnesses, especially in children.

Prevention:

Keep your home clean and dry.

Vacuum often and seal cracks in and around your house.