Cockroaches are among the oldest group of insects known, with fossils dating 200 million years. Colorado has four common cockroach species.
German cockroach is the most common and difficult species to control. Females carry their egg capsule, protruding from their abdomen, until the eggs are ready to hatch. Females produce about four to eight capsules in their lifetime. Each capsule contains 30 to 48 eggs which hatch in about 28 days at room temperature. Females live an average of 250 days. This species has the highest reproductive potential (number of eggs laid and shortest life cycle) of the house-infesting cockroaches.
American Cockroach are the largest species commonly found in the region. The egg capsules usually are dropped near food sources. A female may produce an egg capsule each week, laying 15 to 90 during her lifetime. Each egg capsule contains 14 to 16 eggs that typically hatch in 50 to 55 days. Under laboratory conditions adult females have lived for 14-15 months.
Oriental Cockroach is thought to be of north African origin. It is also commonly called a “black beetle” or “waterbug” or “shad roach.” This species has worldwide distribution. Females drop egg capsules in warm, sheltered areas near a food supply. Each female produces an average of 8 egg capsules, each containing about 16 eggs. under room temperature conditions, eggs hatch in about 60 days. Adult females may live about 180 days.
Brownbanded Cockroach is apparently of African origin and was presumably introduced from Cuba into Florida about 1903. It now occurs throughout the United States. The female usually glue their egg capsules to surfaces in dark areas such as cabinets, chairs, boxes, drawers, and high areas of a room. Females produce about 14 capsules during their lifetime, averaging 18 eggs in each capsule. Eggs hatch 50 to 75 days. Adult female may typically live about 200 days.
German cockroach adults are pale brown to tan approximately 1/2” to 5/8” long. Adults are fully winged and are distinguished by having two dark stripes that run lengthwise along the pronotum, behind the head. German cockroaches generally are found close to moisture and food sources, (kitchens and other food areas, restrooms and around plumbing fixtures). Infestations found scattered throughout the building, including non-food areas, indicate high populations.
American cockroach adults average 3/4” in length, are reddish brown in color and have a light yellow or brown band around the edge of the pronotum. American cockroaches prefer dark moist areas. Common habitats include: sewers, basements, boiler rooms, steam tunnels, and areas around plumbing fixtures. Garbage containers and other areas of refuse may be infested. American cockroaches are more commonly pests in hospitals, zoos and institutional or industrial buildings then homes.
Oriental cockroach adults are approximately 1″ long and dark brown or black in color. Wings of the oriental cockroach are short. Females only have small wing pads while males have wings that only cover about 3/4 of their abdomen. Oriental cockroaches are almost always found around moist, dark sites. Common habitats include floor and storm drains, water meter boxes, sewers, and around garbage.
Brownbanded cockroach adults are about 1/2″ long and light brown to brown with females much darker than males; head brown, pronotal shield with brown liberty-bell shaped pattern formed by translucent lateral margins or sides, and wings darker at base but paler towards their tips with the exception of a pale band at their base and another about 1/3 from base. Males readily fly, but females cannot fly. Brownbanded cockroaches are found throughout structures but show a preference for warmer areas, over 80°F including high on walls, ceilings, wall molding and near appliance motors.
NON-CHEMICAL CONTROL STEPS TO HELP YOU WITH COCKROACHES
Identify the species of cockroach since different cockroach species have differing habits.
Sticky traps also can be useful to detect cockroach “hot spots”. Several different types of traps exist and some also contain feeding attractants to lure certain cockroach species.
Cockroach control usually requires changes in environmental conditions that contribute to infestations.
Sanitation is fundamental to cockroach control. Any methods that can be used to deny cockroaches the food, water and shelter that they require will aid in control.