Cockroach Facts, Identification and Control
Scientific Order: Blattodea
Most common families:
Blattidae, which includes the most common cockroach species in New York, the American Cockroach (periplaneta americana)
Wood Cockroaches (Ectobiidae), including the German cockroach (blattella germanica)
Size: Cockroaches can get as big as 3.5 inches in length but the average roach is between 1 and 2 inches in length and no more than 30 grams in weight.
Color: All cockroaches come in varying shades of reddish-brown.
Signs of Infestation
Signs of a roach infestation include finding pieces of their exoskeletons along with black specks (feces) lying everywhere. As with most infestations, visible confirmation is also common - if you turn the light on at night and have a roach infestation, you’re likely to see them scurrying across the floor.
Treatment and Prevention
The best way to keep roaches out of your building is to keep things clean. Roaches love dirt and garbage, so remove a potential living space for them by keeping your business clean. You should also look for and seal the outdoor gaps and cracks roaches use to get inside. Start with door and window frames.
While there are over the counter insecticides, glue baits, and powders out on the market, roaches are incredibly hardy creatures. More often than not, if you have a cockroach infestation, your best bet is to immediately call professionals to take care of the problem instead of wasting time and money on lesser options.
Behavior and Diet
Cockroaches are omnivorous. They'll eat just about anything and don't need a lot to survive. In fact, they don't need food to survive for up to two or three months. They do need water to live, which is why humid buildings often suffer roach infestations.
Roaches live to burrow, dig, and roll around in any filth they can find. Because they can slip through cracks mere millimeters in size, roaches are capable of reaching every conceivable space in your business.
Reproduction and Life Cycle
The average natural lifespan of a cockroach is up to a year. A single female can give birth to eggs up to eight different times.
Each of those egg cases can have around 50 eggs in it. In favorable conditions, a single female cockroach can produce between 3 and 400 offspring.
- Cockroaches' bodies are divided into a thorax with three separate sections. They have flattened bodies, large compound eyes, flexible antennae, and six legs.
Cockroaches have surprisingly flat bodies, which enable them to fit under and inside of small nooks and crannies where you might not expect them. Roaches tend to spend a lot of their time hunkered in tight spaces.
- Many people are allergic to cockroaches. Cockroaches may secrete a protein allergen called tropomyosin that has been linked to asthma complications.