Cockroaches can be an extremely difficult pest to treat for once they have infested a property. They multiply rapidly and adapt well to most any environment. Calling in a professional to control a cockroach infestation is a wise choice for long-term control.
Cockroaches live and breed in filth and therefore have the ability to spread disease. They are also known to be a cause of allergies and asthma, especially in children.
There are a variety of cockroaches that you will find infesting homes and businesses in New York and New Jersey, the most common three roaches here are : American, German and Oriental.
American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) are about 2 inches in length and generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas as long as they have ample access to water. Cockroaches prefer warm temperatures and therefore do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. American cockroaches are common in crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways near to buildings.
The American cockroach is a scavenger that feeds on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods, especially fermenting foods.
Due to their large size and slow development, large infestations of American Cockroaches are not common within houses. However, at certain times of the year, they may move inside a house from outside. In cold weather, American cockroaches often move indoors, seeking warmer temperatures and food. They may enter houses through sewer connections, under doors, around plumbing, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation.
American cockroaches are most often found near plumbing fixtures that are not sealed. Finding and repairing leaks or breaks is often the critical step in long-term control. Caulking of penetrations through ground level walls, removal of rotting leaves or mulch, and limiting the moist areas in and around a structure can help in reducing areas that are attractive to these cockroaches.
The German cockroach (Blatella germanica) is a small species of cockroach, measuring about 1/2 inch long; however, they are known to get bigger. They can be tan through brown to almost black, and have two dark parallel streaks running from the head to the base of the wings. Although they have wings, they are unable to sustain flight. The German cockroach is one of the most common and prominent household cockroaches in the world. These insects are particularly associated with restaurants, food processing facilities, hotels, and nursing homes. In colder climates, they are found only near human habitats, since they are not very tolerant to cold.
The German cockroach is very hardy and resilient against attempts at pest control. This is because of the large number of nymphs produced from each egg case, the short period between birth and sexual maturity, and their ability to easily hide due to their small size. This cockroach is also smaller than many other species so it can more easily hide and fit into very small cracks and crevices to avoid humans.
The German cockroach, discounting the presence of pets, has few natural predators inside a human habitat. The German cockroach’s thigmotactic nature compounds the difficulty of pest control treatment. The immature cockroaches will live off excretions and molts from the adult cockroaches and thus can remain hidden away from most surface treatments.
German roaches can move from one building to the next during the summer, entering through cracks in foundations, around loose-fitting doors or windows, and along water and gas pipes. Repair leaky water faucets and pipes and seal openings such as cracks in foundation walls, exterior walls around air conditioners, doors, windows, floors, ceilings, around plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, baseboards, etc. with putty, plastic wood or other caulking material. Sanitation is critical in german cockroach control. Keep areas beneath sinks, stoves, refrigerators, etc. clean as well as cupboards, pantry shelves and food storage bins. Clean up spilled foods and liquids. Avoid leaving scraps of food on unwashed dishes and countertops overnight. Keep food in tightly sealed containers and transfer garbage outdoors into tight-fitted receptacles away from the house. Leftover pet food should not remain in the feeding dish overnight.
Oriental cockroaches are a large species of cockroach, measuring about 1 inch in length at maturity. It is dark brown to black in color and has a glossy body. The female Oriental cockroach has a somewhat different appearance to the male, appearing to be wingless at casual glance but has two very short and useless wings just below her head. She has a wider body than the male. The male has long wings, which cover a majority of his body and are brown in color, and has a more narrow body. The odd male is capable of very short flights, ranging about 2 to 3 meters.
The oriental cockroach tends to travel somewhat more slowly than other species. They are often called “water bugs” since they prefer dark, moist places. They can often be found around decaying organic matter, and in sewers, drains and damp basements.
In order to thrive, oriental cockroaches need a place to hide. They prefer warm places and a relatively high humidity if possible. They also need a source of food/liquid. The optimum temperature for oriental cockroaches is between 68 °F to 84 °F. Oriental Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and can be rather elusive in that a casual inspection of an infested dwelling during the day may show no signs of roach activity.
Asian Cockroaches are approximately ½ inch long (about the same size as German Cockroaches) found in tropical and subtropical climates, and was first identified in the United States in 1986 in Florida. It has since expanded throughout much of Florida and is spreading into other southern states. Its population reaches its zenith in late August and declines rapidly with the onset of cool weather. During adverse weather conditions such as cold or dry conditions, the Asian cockroach will burrow down into the leaf litter.
This omnivorous species also feeds, under certain conditions, on the eggs of crop pests. Asian cockroaches ventured west into Texas in 2006, and became the most common predator of bollworm eggs in the state’s Rio Grande Valley region. The bollworm threatens cotton, soybean, corn and tomato crops.