Integrated Pest Management
Adult German cockroaches are light brown except for the shield behind the head marked with two dark stripes, which run lengthwise on the body, and about 5/8 inch long. Young roaches are wingless and nearly black with a single light stripe running down the middle of the back. Egg capsules are light tan.
German cockroaches, are the most common roaches found in houses and restaurants. Most cockroaches have a flattened, oval shape, spiny legs, and long, filamentous antennae. Immature stages are smaller, have undeveloped wings and resemble the adults. They eat food of all kinds and may hitchhike into the house on egg cartons, soft drink cartons, sacks of potatoes or onions, used furniture, beer cases, etc.
They can develop into large populations and live throughout the house, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. During the day, these roaches may be found hiding clustered behind baseboard molding, in cracks around cabinets, closets or pantries, and in and under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. When seen during the day in clusters, the population is large.
Roaches can foul food, damage wallpaper and books, eat glue from furniture, and produce an unpleasant odor. Some homeowners are allergic to roaches. The pests can contaminate food with certain bacterial diseases that result in food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea.
American cockroaches are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. They are usually around 1 and 1/2 inches long. When disturbed, may run rapidly and adults may fly. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except that they are wingless.
American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 84 degrees Fahrenheit and do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings. They feed on a wide variety of plant and animal material.
The Oriental cockroach known as the "water bug," is more closely associated with damp areas than the other common roaches. These insects feed on garbage and decaying organic matter and are often considered the filthiest of the house-infesting roaches. They are found in damp basements, cellars, crawl spaces, near drains, leaky water pipes and beneath refrigerators, sinks and washing machines, under floors, and inside walls. They forage mostly on first floors of buildings.
Outdoors, they are found beneath decomposing leaves or stones in mulching materials, in trash and at municipal sewer plants. During the autumn, there can be a mass movement into buildings, but because of their preference for cooler temperatures, can be found outdoors and in unheated buildings during the winter.
Adult Oriental cockroaches are shiny, dark brown or black, about 1 to 1-1/4-inch long and have nonfunctional wings incapable of flight. Females are about 1-1/4-inch lo