German Cockroaches (Blattella germanica):
The adult German cockroaches are approximately 1/2 to 5/8 inch long and tan to light brown in colour, the nymphs are usually darker in appearance. The German cockroach is best recognized by its small size and by the presence of two dark parallel lines which runs from the back of the head to the wings. They have fully developed wings, but they do not fly. Nymphs are similar in appearance to adults except that they are smaller and lack wings, although it may glide when disturbed.
Environment and Behaviour:
German cockroaches are usually found in kitchens (near dishwashers, stoves, and sinks) and in bathrooms of homes. They usually prefer a moist environment with a relatively high degree of warmth.
German cockroaches are usually introduced into a structure or residence when bags, boxes or cardboard containers are brought into the establishment or residence. The insect may even be brought in with used appliances.
The insects are mostly scavengers and will feed on a wide variety of foods. They are attracted particularly to meats, starches, sugars, and fatty foods. Where a shortage of foodstuffs exists, they may eat household items such as soap, glue, the bindings of books and toothpaste. In famine conditions, they turn cannibalistic, chewing at each other's wings and legs.
There are several reasons for this cockroach’s persistence and the difficulty of controlling it. The German cockroach reproduces faster than any other residential cockroach growing from egg to reproductive adult in approximately 50 – 60 days resulting in a rapid population growth. Female German cockroaches only need to mate once for the production of young. After mating, they will produce, on average, 8 egg cases during the course of their lives, with each egg case, or ootheca, holding approximately 30 to 48 eggs. At room temperature, one capsule is produced about every 6 weeks. Egg cases are carried, protruding from the abdomen, until hatching time when they are deposited into crevices and other sheltered locations. It usually takes 28 days for the capsule to hatch from the time it begins to form. Formation of the next egg capsule usually begins within a couple of weeks.
The life span of the adult female varies from 20 to 30 weeks. In one year over 10,000 descendants can be produced, assuming two generations per year. As adults, German cockroaches can survive anywhere from 100 to 200 days.
Signs of infestation
You can identify German cockroach droppings pretty easily because they look like ground pepper/coffee grounds and are commonly found in drawers or on countertops. Their fecal matter may even cause dark stains in the corners of the rooms in your home.
German cockroaches are known to discharge odorous compounds. When cockroach populations are high, these secretions may result in a characteristic “musty” odour in the general region of the infestation.
- Egg Cases
Empty egg cases may be found in areas that the females frequent, since German cockroach females carries their egg case until 1 to 2 days before depositing it.
- Cockroach activities during the day
Cockroaches are nocturnal, presence of German roaches during the day, indicates a major cockroach infestation in the establishment.
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 German Cockroaches in Jamaica
G.O. ® Pest Control Service technicians utilizes an assortment of treatment methods and combinations, usually including baits, dusts and insect growth regulators (IGR) treatment of cracks and crevices. Contact G.O. ® Pest Control Service for consultation.