Size: Range from ¼” to 2”
Color: Reddish-brown to black
Body: Oval-shaped and flat with antennae
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Cockroaches are found throughout the United States. These pests prefer wet, humid conditions, and are typically found indoors in kitchens, bathrooms, crawlspaces, and basements in both residential and commercial properties. To determine the best cockroach control methods, knowing and understanding the different types of cockroaches and their life cycles and habitats will help in order to eliminate them and prevent them from returning.
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Different cockroach species have different habitats. Some prefer wet, humid areas while others like to hide in leaf litter and garbage. No matter the species, all cockroaches need to be close to food and water sources, which is why you may find them hiding anywhere from under your bathroom sink to behind your kitchen appliances.
Cockroaches go through a full life cycle, including egg, nymph, and adult stages. Eggs are encased in an ootheca until they are ready to hatch and are carried by the female cockroach or deposited in a safe place. The eggs hatch in one to two months, and nymphs take between six weeks to six months to develop into adults. Adult cockroaches can live for one to two years.
Cockroaches will eat just about anything. They prefer meats, sweets, and starches, but have been known to consume hair, paper, and decaying matter. Cockroaches can live for a while without food, but they can only live a few days if they don’t have access to water.
Cockroaches carry disease-causing microorganisms on their bodies. Though they do not directly transmit diseases to humans as mosquitoes do through their bite, cockroaches do contaminate anything they walk across with bacteria. They can cause diseases and viruses such as food poisoning, tapeworms, roundworms, polio, and allergies, and they can even trigger asthma.
Cockroaches come into your house in search of food, water, and shelter. They can gain entry through any tiny opening or are brought in accidentally via cardboard boxes or grocery bags.
Cockroaches thrive in moist areas that are close to food sources. If you are suddenly experiencing cockroaches, make sure you have all food stored and cleaned up, garbage lids sealed tightly, and that there are no water leaks in or around your home. Cockroaches can also quickly pop up if your neighbors have an infestation.
All species of cockroach have wings, but not all of them fly. The species that do fly are not strong flyers. Cockroaches only fly if the weather becomes too hot and they are trying to relocate.
If you find a cockroach in your home, take note of where you found it and solicit the help of an expert as soon as possible. Cockroaches reproduce quickly, so it is important to get the situation controlled at the first sight of one.
Though cockroaches are believed to be a sign of a dirty house or business, they can live just about anywhere. No matter how much you clean, cockroaches can still find their way into your home through any openings and may even be brought inside on a grocery box or cardboard bag by you. As long as there is shelter, food, and water present, they will survive in a clean home.
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