Roaches, Unwanted Guests

Close-up study of a cockroach (Insecta, Order Blattaria). Photographed in Thailand.

Close-up study of a cockroach (Insecta, Order Blattaria). Photographed in Thailand.

Cockroaches live in a wide range of environments around the world. Pest species adapt readily to a variety of environments, but prefer warm conditions found within buildings. Cockroaches have broad, flattened bodies and relatively small heads. They are generalized insects, with few special adaptations, and may be among the most primitive living insects. Cockroaches leave chemical trails in their feces, as well as emitting airborne pheromones for swarming and mating. These chemical trails transmit bacteria onto surfaces. Other cockroaches will follow these trails to discover sources of food and water, and also discover where other cockroaches are hiding.

The most common Florida roaches are the American Roach they are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. German Roach are light brown except for the shield behind the head marked with two dark stripes, which run lengthwise on the body. Australian Roach looks like the American roach it’s slightly smaller in size, the yellow markings on the thorax and the light yellow steaks on the sides at the base of the wings. Brown Banded Roach are tan to light brown, has two light-colored bands across the wings and abdomen. And the Asian Roach is nearly identical to the German cockroach except for a few minor differences, they are tan to brown in color, and has wings. However, its wings are longer than the German cockroach, and there is a difference between a groove in the abdomen between the two species. Roaches destroy food, and damage fabrics, book bindings, and other materials. Roaches leave a waste, in the form of pellets or an ink-like liquid. Their waste also has a bad odor and soils areas where they live. Roaches can adapt quickly to its environment, quick reproduction, and its ability to get nourishment from a wide range of food sources.

Roaches have three stages in their lifecycle: egg, nymph and adult. These pests deposit their eggs in a leathery case called an ootheca. The oothecas contain anywhere from 10 to 48 eggs depending on the type of cockroach. Newly hatched nymphs have no wings and will shed their skin several times before becoming an adult. Cockroaches can be found in groups in their daytime hiding areas, known as harborages, or feeding in groups at night. If you notice cockroaches during the daytime or if you see small amounts of feces that resemble black pepper, coffee grounds, or cylindrical shapes, you very well could have a cockroach infestation.

Roaches are often carriers of bacteria, which can easily be transferred to humans. Roaches can contaminate dishes, kitchen surfaces, and food itself. Do you have a roach problem in your home or business? Swatter Pest Solutions has treatments to control and prevent these pests!

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