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Pest Control For Cockroaches


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Oriental Cockroach(Waterbug)|American Cockroach|Brown Banded Cockroach

                                  German cockroach


scientific name: Blattella germanica (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Blattodea: Blattellidae)

 

Introduction

The German cockroach is the cockroach of concern, the species that gives all other cockroaches a bad name. It occurs in structures throughout the US, and is the species that typically plagues multifamily dwellings.

Distribution

The German cockroach is found throughout the world in association with humans. They are unable to survive in locations away from humans or human activity. The major factor limiting German cockroach survival appears to be cold temperatures. Studies have shown that German cockroaches were unable to colonize inactive ships during cool temperatures and could not survive in homes without central heating in northern climates. The availability of water, food, and harborage also govern the ability of German cockroaches to establish populations, and limit growth.

Life Cycle

The German cockroach has three life stages typical of insects with incomplete metamorphosis: the egg, nymph, and adult. The entire life cycle is completed in about 100 days. However, factors such as temperature, nutritional status, and strain differences may influence the time required to complete a life cycle. German cockroaches breed continuously with many overlapping generations present at any one time. Under ideal conditions, population growth has been shown to be exponential. Actively growing field populations are comprised of 80 percent nymphs and 20 percent adults. The German cockroach is omnivorous, eating table scraps, pet food, and even book bindings.

Description

 

Egg. Eggs are carried in an egg case, or ootheca, by the female until just before hatch occurs. The ootheca can be seen protruding from the posterior end (genital chamber) of the female. Eggs will often hatch from the ootheca while the female is still carrying it. A typical egg case contains 30 to 40 eggs. The egg case is a tiny, brown, purse-shaped capsule. It is about 8 mm long, 3 mm high, and 2 mm wide.

adult female with ootheca

oothecae

Larva or Nymph. The nymphal stage begins with egg hatch and ends with the emergence of the adult. Nymphs are dark brown to black in color, with distinct dark parallel bands running the length of the pronotum. Nymphs do not possess wings. The number of molts required to reach the adult stage varies, but the most frequently reported number of molts is six. The stage between molts is called an instar. At room temperature nymphs complete development in about 60 days. All developmental stages actively forage for food and water.

3rd instar nymph

Adult. The adult is 10-15 mm long, brown to dark brown in color with two distinct parallel bands running the length of the pronotum. The sexes can be distinguished by the following characteristics: male - body thin and slender, posterior abdomen is tapered, terminal segments of abdomen visible, not covered by tegmina (leathery outer wings); female - body stout, posterior abdomen is rounded, entire abdomen just covered by tegmina.

adult male

Medical and Economic Significance

German cockroaches adulterate food or food products with their feces and defensive secretions, physically transport and often harbor pathogenic organisms, may cause severe allergic responses, and in extremely heavy infestations have been reported to bite humans and feed on food residues on the faces of sleeping humans. In addition, some scientists suggest that German cockroach infestations may cause human psychological stress and that the stigma associated with infestations alters human behavior. For example, people with infested houses do less entertaining, and avoid the kitchen at night for fear of encountering a cockroach.

Action Threshold

Since the German cockroach is considered an aesthetic pest, the action threshold for this insect depends upon the tolerance of the people living in the infested dwelling. However, most people associate cockroach infestations with poor sanitary conditions and typically go to excessive lengths to eradicate them from their houses.

Management

Insecticides in the organophosphorous, carbamate, pyrethroid, amidinohydrazone, insect growth regulator, inorganic, microbial, and botanical classes are available for controlling German cockroaches. Insecticide treatments are available in a wide variety of formulations including (emulsifiable concentrates, wettable powders, microencapsulated), dusts, and powders.Baits such as the incomparable easy to use and effective  Seige Roach Bait, or sprays such as Dursban Pro  for crack and crevice application followed by a total release fogger treatment for flushing with The Pro Control Fogger  are both effictive treatments.However using bait and spray at the same treatment site are a no no.Crack And crevice Treatment with Dursban Pro usually proves to be effective, however in my opinion baits are a most effective treatment for German cockroaches.Crack and crevice treatment with  Delta Dust has an amazing mortality rate on the German cockroach when label directions are followed.

Treating the outside perimeter with a liquid dust or granules such as                    Dursban Granules  according to label directions to prevent further migration into the structure is also a must.

Non toxic and low toxic alternatives for German cockroach control are available. Sticky traps such as Bell Insect Monitors can be used to monitor or reduce population size. Improving sanitation by eliminating food and water sources and clutter can have a significant impact on reducing the chances of infestation population size. Finally, exclusion practices such as sealing cracks and crevices will reduce harborage space and also negatively impact population size.

Selected References

  • Bennett, G.W. and J.M. Owens. 1986. Advances in Urban Pest Management. Van Nostrand, New York.
  • Cornwell, P.B. 1968. The Cockroach, Volume I. Hutchinson of London, London.

    Miller, D. (March 1998). "IPM for Cockroaches in Schools." School Integrated Pest Management. Available: http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~schoolipm/tp4.htm

  • Rust, M.K., J.M. Owens, and D.A. Reierson. 1995. Understanding and Controlling the German Cockroach. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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Oriental Cockroach                

 

                                                               oriental.jpg (10709 bytes)      

SIZE: 1 & 1/4 inches long (31mm)

COLOR: Dark reddish brown to black     

DESCRIPTION: When disturbed, may run rapidly and adults may fly. Females are wingless, and males have wings. Unlike other pest cockroaches, oriental cockroaches cannot climb up smooth surfaces (they lack sticky pads on their feet). Immature cockroaches resemble adults except that they are wingless.

HABITAT: Oriental cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer cooler temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and can overwinter in protected areas outdoors where temperatures average 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 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.

LIFE CYCLE: Females produce egg cases and carry them protruding from the tip of the abdomen for about two days. Egg cases are then generally glued to a surface in a hidden location. Egg cases are 3/8 inch long, brown, and purse shaped. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6 to 8 weeks and require 6 to 12 months to mature. Adult cockroaches can live up to one year, during which females produce an average of 150 young.

TYPE OF DAMAGE: Not common in the home

CONTROL: Due to their large size and slow development, large infestations of these insects are not common within houses. However, during certain times of the year, they may move inside a house from outside sources. For example, in winter these cockroaches may move indoors, seeking warmer temperatures and food.

Cockroaches may enter houses via sewer connections, under doors, around utility pipes, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation. Exclusion is the best way to control this inward movement of cockroaches. Place fine mesh screening over crawl space vents and basement floor drains. Seal exterior doors with weather stripping. Fill gaps in walls and floors where pipes enter using steel wool and/or caulking compounds. Cockroach populations in basements can be reduced by decreasing dampness and applying insecticides in cracks and crevices where there is evidence of cockroach activity (presence of egg cases, dead cockroaches, brown fecal smears).

Cockroach populations around the perimeter of houses are more difficult to control. First, limit the availability of food and water. Place garbage in trash cans, not plastic bags (plastic bags rip easily). Divert water from gutters at least 3 feet away from the foundation. Secondly, reduce hiding places for the cockroaches. Do not stack firewood or debris next to the foundation. Make a visual inspection  locate cracks and crevices in the building from which cockroaches are emerging.  Pay particular attention to basements and other moist areas that Oriental roaches frequent. Spray these areas with Dursban Pro insecticide and then follow up with a  flushing agent such as the Pro ControlFogger and seal the cracks and crevices, if possible. A very effective bait to use to control the Oriental Cockroach after he is eliminated is Niban Bait especially if it is being used in the basement where this roach is usually found.Oriental Roaches love this  bait and in most cases will find it, however locating the infestation and placing it close to it is recommended. also treat the outside perimeter of the structure with Dursban Pro or Dursban Granules according to label directions.

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American Cockroach

Blattaria: Blattidae, Periplaneta americana

SIZE: American cockroach adults are 1 and 1/2 inches long (38mm)

COLOR: American cockroaches are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head.

DESCRIPTION: When disturbed, may run rapidly and adults may fly. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except that they are wingless.

HABITAT: 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.

LIFE CYCLE: Females produce egg cases and carry them protruding from the tip of the abdomen for about two days. Egg cases are then generally placed on a surface in a hidden location. Egg cases are 3/8 inch long, brown, and purse shaped. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6 to 8 weeks and require 6 to 12 months to mature. Adult cockroaches can live up to one year, during which females produce an average of 150 young.

TYPE OF DAMAGE: Not common in the home.

CONTROL: Due to the large size and slow development of American cockroaches, large infestations of these insects are not common within houses. However, during certain times of the year, these cockroaches may move inside a house from outside sources. For example, in winter these cockroaches may move indoors, seeking warmer temperatures and food. Cockroaches may enter houses via sewer connections, under doors, around utility pipes, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation. Exclusion is one way to control this inward movement of cockroaches. Place fine mesh screening over crawl space vents and basement floor drains. Seal exterior doors with weather stripping. Fill gaps in walls and floors where pipes enter using steel wool and/or caulking compounds. Cockroach populations in basements can be reduced by decreasing dampness and applying insecticides in cracks and crevices where there is evidence of cockroach activity (presence of egg cases, dead cockroaches, brown fecal smears).

Cockroach populations around the perimeter of houses are more difficult to control. First, limit the availability of food and water. Place garbage in trash cans, not plastic bags (plastic bags rip easily). Divert water from gutters at least 3 feet away from the foundation. Secondly, reduce hiding places for the cockroaches. Do not stack firewood or debris next to the foundation. Make a visual inspection  to locate cracks and crevices in the building from which cockroaches are emerging. Spray these areas with Dursban Pro, Follow up with Pro Control Fogger and seal the cracks and crevices if possible.  Then for maintenance use the Niban Bait as the treatments for American Roaches are very similar to treatment of the Oriental Roach. Also treat the outside perimeter of the structure with Dursban Pro or Dursban Granules according to label directions.

 

INTERESTING FACTS: American cockroaches are the largest of the common roaches.

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Brown Banded Cockroach

The brown-banded cockroach is similar in size and color to the German cockroach. It can be distinguished by the lack of the brown bars on the shield in front of the wings and by the presence of two light bands across the wings and abdomen . They prefer a much drier environment than the German cockroach and are found in ceilings, light fixtures, furniture and appliances, especially televisions. Generally thourough inspections will have to be done in all areas of the house as the Brown banded roach doesn't stay close to the water areas as other types of roaches do.

Insecticide treatments are available in a wide variety of formulations including (emulsifiable concentrates, wettable powders, microencapsulated), dusts, and powders.Baits such as the incomparable easy to use and effective  Seige Roach Bait, or sprays such as Dursban Pro  for crack and crevice application followed by a total release fogger treatment for flushing with The Pro Control Fogger  are both effictive treatments.However using bait and spray at the same treatment site are a no no.Crack And crevice Treatment with Dursban Pro usually proves to be effective,.Crack and crevice treatment with  Delta Dust has an amazing mortality rate on the Brown Banded Cockroach when label directions are followed.Dont for get to also treat the outside perimeter of the structure with Dursban Pro or Dursban Granules according to label directions.

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Iowa -Illinois Termite & Pest Control Inc.                      

3909 Marquette St.                                                                                           Davenport Iowa    52806                                                               

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