Cockroaches

cockroach

Photos courtesy: University of Lincoln-Nebraska Dept. of Entomology

Cockroaches are one of the most adaptable and persistent pests known to mankind. Much like mice and rats, they are found throughout the world in places where people live, work, and eat and they appear in uninhabited locations also. German cockroaches (pictured above) like to live where it is warm and damp, but other species of cockroach like cool wet places, and still others prefer to be high and dry.

cockroachesThe larger, slower moving cockroach species need a lot of water to survive and breed so they are often referred to as “water bugs” even though they are Oriental or American cockroaches.

If you see any kind of cockroach in the house, the first thing you should do is look for the leak. That’s right, look for the leak! These bugs cannot live without a ready source of H2O and it is usually found under a sink or a dishwasher. Fix the leak before you contact us or try to treat the roaches yourself.

Cockroach eggs are laid in capsules rather than separately like most other insects. The female carries the capsule in her abdomen until the eggs are ready to hatch. The eggs cannot survive rapid temperature changes, and even adult roaches have trouble with extreme heat and cold. The egg capsules, which are called oothecae, can have anywhere from eight to forty eggs in them, depending on the species of cockroach, and they usually hatch out as soon as they are dropped by the female.

cockroach-eggs

Roaches do not have a four stage life cycle like most other insects. Instead of developing from egg, to larva, to pupa, to adult, the roaches mature through nymphal instars. The nymphs, which look very much like small adult roaches, will develop through four to eight molts, called instars, before they become fully adult and able to reproduce. A white roach is one that has just recently molted and it will soon recover its normal color.  

Adult roaches breed rapidly and can survive on almost any food, from kitchen scraps to the glue used for binding books and they like to live in tight places, away from people. They only come out at night to feed unless there is a very large population or some other form of stress (such as pesticides).cription

The German Cockroach is the most successful of the species infesting buildings here in North County. There are several reasons for this cockroach’s persistence and the difficulty of controlling it. German cockroaches produce a larger number of eggs per capsule and they undergo the shortest time from hatching until sexual maturity, resulting in a rapid population growth. A greater number of nymphs hatch successfully because the female carries the egg capsule during the entire time the embryos are developing within the eggs. Also, and most importantly, German cockroaches are smaller than most other roaches and can conceal themselves in many places inaccessible to individuals of the larger species.        

Spraying or fogging to control roaches is only marginally successful in most cases. Roaches are very sensitive to aerosols and they will try to find hiding places that chemicals cannot reach. Sometimes pesticide treatments will merely chase them into another area of the home or apartment.

kitchenThe first thing that you must do to control cockroaches, as we mentioned above, is to remove their source of water. After that you can go after their food and their harborage (the restricted places where they seek shelter).  Before you start spraying pesticides to control roaches, you might consider that many people have reduced cockroach populations dramatically with the use of a new generation of insect baits. Always be careful when you handle any kind of pest control material and keep all pesticides away from children and pets. Read the label. It is a legal document. Follow label instructions for safety and efficacy.

If you live here in San Diego’s North County, contact us. In most cases we can advise you and give a quote right over the phone!