American Cockroaches (Periplaneta americana (L.))
Adults are approximately 1-1/2 inches long and reddish brown, with fully developed wings that cover the entire length of the abdomen.
Both male and female are fully winged. The wings of the male extend slightly beyond the tip of the abdomen, while those of the female are about the same length as the abdomen.
Environment and Behaviour:
American cockroaches normally live outdoors. They prefer warm, damp areas like flowerbeds, and under mulch.
They feed on a variety of foods including feces, with an apparent preference for decaying organic matter. The adults can survive two or three months without food but only about a month without water.
The American cockroach prefers habitats where food and water supply are plentiful. These areas typically include commercial bakeries and kitchens, hospitals, hotels and sewers and drain pipes.
Roaches communicate with one another through the use of pheromones to decide what location is best to settle in.
They are known to settle among family, and it is not uncommon for multiple generations of roaches to live within the same area. They particularly enjoy environments above 20oC.
American cockroach females deposit their eggs in bean-shaped cases (oothecae) in sheltered areas on or near the floor, usually close to a food source.
Each capsule or case contains an average of 14 to 16 eggs. Usually one capsule is produced each week and is often glued to a hidden surface with secretions from the female’s mouth. Each female produces from 15 to 90 egg capsules.
The length of the egg stage varies from 29 to 58 days. At room temperature, nymphs hatch out in 50 to 55 days. Young nymphs are grayish brown and after the first few molts become reddish brown.
The number of offspring per year averages 800. Under ideal conditions an adult female can live up to 15 months, males for a somewhat shorter period.
Signs of infestation
- Droppings: The droppings of the American cockroach are small, and are often mistaken for mouse droppings. American cockroach droppings have ridges on the sides and have blunt ends while mouse droppings have pointed ends. Mice droppings will have hair present as they usually groom themselves.
- Odour: Cockroaches secrete pheromones, he pheromones causes the roaches to stay together in groups. Persons describe the pheromones as having a “musty” smell. As the roach population starts to grow, people with sensitive noses may begin to notice this odor.
- Egg Cases: The egg cases or capsules of the American cockroach is approximately about 38 mm long and red or black/brown in colour. Homeowners often find these egg cases in basements, in laundry rooms or kitchens. The egg cases may be under cabinets or behind appliances. American cockroaches also deposit their egg capsules behind stored items in garages and sheds.
- Sightings: American roaches may even fly if they are startled or disturbed. They move quite fast to dark areas.
Disease-producing organisms such as bacteria, protozoans, and viruses have been found on cockroach bodies.
Different forms of gastroenteritis (food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, and other illnesses) appear to be the principal diseases transmitted by German cockroaches. The organisms causing these diseases are carried on the legs and bodies of cockroaches and are deposited on food and utensils as the cockroaches forage.
Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain a number of allergens to which many people exhibit allergic responses, such as skin rashes, watery eyes and sneezing, congestion of nasal passages, and asthma.
Control and Management of American Cockroaches in Jamaica
G.O. ® Pest Control Service will customize the treatment to the situation. He can select from a variety of tools and techniques to help keep American cockroaches out of your home:
- Integrated Pest Management - Nonchemical methods such as caulking or door sweeps help keep American cockroaches from entering your home.
- Baiting - These are applied in areas where American cockroaches will eat them but children or pets cannot reach them.
- Insecticides - Applied into cracks and crevices, these help keep American cockroaches from hiding in the treated areas. The technician may also apply liquid insecticide outdoors to help keep American cockroaches from coming inside.
- Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) - Applied into cockroach hiding places, these interfere with the cockroaches’ normal development.