There are over 3,500 species of roaches, but some are more likely to be the pests that invade your home. In this article we review common household roaches and treatment methods. There are only about 12 species of
roaches that are the regular invaders of homes. Roaches belong to a suborder of insects called Blattaria, which means “to shun the light”. The actual word “cockroach” comes from the Spanish word, “cucaracha”, which means “crazy bug”. Texas can boast the most cockroach species of any other state, having as many
as 30-35 species.
Common household roaches are German, Banded, American, Oriental, and Woods Cockroaches.
German cockroaches are approximately ½ inches long and light brownish in
color. They can be identified by two black stripes on their body below the
head. These cockroaches love to stay indoors and can be found in kitchens and
bathrooms. If there are abundant food and water sources, these are prolific
breeders, hatching about forty eggs per month for six months.
Keys to treatment for the German Cockroach is to remove all food scraps and
water sources from infested areas. Sticky traps can be used to identify
infestation areas, and aerosols, dusts or baits will remove your infestation.
Some populations have developed insecticide resistance and control methods
should be varied.
Brown Banded Cockroaches:
Brown Banded Cockroaches are about the same size as German, but have bands that go across their abdomen instead of up and down. They will infest other areas in your home besides kitchen and bathroom and don’t proliferate quite as quickly as the German Cockroach. Control methods are the same as the German Cockroach.
American Cockroaches can grow to 1 ½ inches and are a shiny reddish brown. They can be identified by a yellow spot right behind the head. American Cockroaches will live in or out of doors, and often enjoy basements and sewer systems. They are able to fly, and will produce
approximately 16 offspring per month for ten months.
Use drains screens over sewer systems to basements to limit them entering your
home. Otherwise, the same treatment protocol of glue traps for identification
and then chemical control is suggested.
Oriental Cockroaches are 1 ¼ inches long and a dark blackish brown. They prefer to live outdoors but will also make themselves at home in basements, or any other cool and damp area that they can find. Oriental cockroaches can survive cold temperatures, but increase activity
Try to minimize areas that can invite Oriental Cockroaches in. Make sure the
basement does not have leaks, and remove as much moisture as possible. Keep
food sources sealed and away from the Oriental Cockroach and use chemical
methods for sever infestations.
The Woods Cockroach is one inch long and a
lighter brown with yellow accents behid the head and at the tips of wings.
These cockroaches love to find shelter in rotted logs, stumps, or tree hollows.
They might find haven on loose bark or piles of firewood. Males may fly at
night towards light sources and be seen on windows.
Keep woodpiles, etc. limited and as far away from your home as reasonably possible. If you have
dead trees, give in and have them hauled away.