Cockroaches are among the most familiar and unwanted of the insects. They are not considered social insects but they commonly occur in groups. They will feed on just about anything that’s of nutritive value. However disgusting they may be, they are among the most important pests of households and businesses in terms of their threat.
Cockroaches are a nuisance but they are known to be capable of carrying many common disease pathogens as well as causing allergic reactions in many people. The more common of these disease pathogens include bacteria which can lead to food poising, diarrhea and dysentery, toxoplasmosis, and hepatitis B. Other diseases now of minor importance in the United States include cholera, plague, and polio.
Of the approximately 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world, about 70 occur in the United States and only a few of them make it into our homes and businesses. These are some of the more common threats to South Carolina.
German cockroaches are by far the most important and usually the most common of the cockroaches. More than just a nuisance, they have been responsible for outbreaks of illness, the transmission of a variety of pathogenic organisms including at least one parasitic protozoan, and allergic reactions in many people. They have a worldwide distribution and can be identified by their light brown to tan color with 2 dark streaks on their outer shield.
German cockroaches can be found throughout a variety of structures but show a preference for warm and humid places. They can be found in kitchens and bathrooms but infestations often occur in rooms where people eat and drink while watching television such as the den or bedroom. Any crack or crevice located near a source of food and/or water is a prime location and they will spend 75% of their time in such locations.
These cockroaches make their way into buildings via paper products or paper packaging such as grocery bags, cardboard boxes, drink cartons, and through secondhand appliances such as refrigerators, televisions, microwaves, etc. They feed on anything with nutritive value including all kinds of food, and such things as soap, glue, and toothpaste. German cockroaches have a rapid reproductive rate and can require frequent pest control service.
Brown-banded cockroaches get the name from the pale brown bands which run across the wings of the adult, but more appropriately, from the pale brown bands which run across the body of the nymph. This species is believed to be of African origin and was presumably introduced from Cuba into Florida around 1903. It now occurs throughout the United States, including South Carolina.
They are light brown to brown in color with females much darker than males. The female carries the egg capsule for 24-36 hours and then attaches it, usually to the side or undersurface of shelves, furniture, etc. On the average, the female will produce about 14 egg capsules with each containing about 14-18 eggs, with an average hatch of 13-14 per egg capsule.
Brown-banded cockroaches can be found throughout warmer structures showing a preference for temperatures over 80 degrees. You should be sure to check ceilings, anything high on walls such as picture frames and wall molding, near appliance motors, and in light switches, closets, and furniture.
American cockroaches have been given several names including “waterbug”, the “Bombay canary”, and the “Palmettobug”. Despite it’s name, the American cockroach is not native to North America but was introduced via ships from Africa in the early 1600s and now has a worldwide distribution.
They are reddish brown in color except for a submarginal pale brown to yellowish band around the edge of the outer shield. Both sexes are fully winged with the wings of the male extending beyond the tip of the abdomen. They are poor to moderately good fliers.
The female deposits her egg case within a few hours or up to 4 days after it is formed. It is dropped or glued with a mouth secretion to a suitable surface, usually in a crack or crevice of high relative humidity near a food source. On the average, the female will produce about 9-10 egg cases with each containing 14-16 eggs.
American cockroaches are most common in larger commercial buildings such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, food processing plants, and hospitals although they can be found in residential areas as well. During the summer months, they can be found outdoors in yards and alleys. In the United States this is the most common species found in city sewer systems. More than 5,000 individuals have been found in a single sewer manhole.
Smokey Brown Cockroaches
Smokeybrown Cockroaches get their name from their uniformly shining brownish black to dark mahogany color. This species is native outside the United States. It is common in the southern states, from central Texas eastward through South Carolina, but does not occur as far north as Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. In Japan, smoky brown cockroaches are of medical concern because asthmatics responded to their allergens in 15-20% of asthma cases. Their body parts and feces are potent human allergens that can cause rhinitis and skin reactions.
The female deposits her egg case within about one day after it is formed. It is usually firmly attached to some surface or object. On the average, the female will produce about 10 viable egg cases with each containing about 20 eggs.
Smokeybrown cockroaches can be found outdoors in places that are protected, moist, dark, warm, and out of desiccating air flows. These are environments like tree holes and other places such as ground cover ivy and vines, loose mulch, woodpiles, and soffits/eaves of attics where there are moisture problems. These cockroaches lose moisture through their cuticle more readily than other cockroaches. This is why they favor moist situations and show relatively little movement because of its resulting exposure to desiccating air currents.
If you suspect or have problems with any of these cockroaches or other unwanted insects, contact Walker Pest Management and one of our trained professionals will come and remove any threats or concerns you have.