Pest Identification: Blattodea
Most Common Types
Blattodea is an insect order that includes 4,500 different cockroach species including the common pests, American, German, Asian, and Oriental cockroaches.
What They Look Like
Cockroaches have long, flattened reddish, brown, or black bodies, small heads, large compound eyes, long flexible antennae, and hard wings which lie on the body like a shield. The American cockroach is 1.6 to 2 inches in length while the Oriental cockroach is slightly smaller, about 1 inch long. Asian and German cockroaches, which are nearly identical to one another, are a little over 1/2 inch long.
Where They Live
Cockroaches are nearly universal around the world and thrive wherever people are found. Cockroaches like warm wet environments and are found in sewers, basements, and around pipes and drains. Roaches are omnivorous, which means they will eat anything including garbage, fecal matter, human and pet food, and dead animals.
Where They Nest
Cockroaches are prolific breeders that build their nests in dark, warm, moist areas that are free from noise and vibration. They lay their eggs in walls, baseboards, crawl spaces, heating vents, furnaces and around plumbing fixtures.
Steps to Prevent
Cockroaches enter homes from the outdoors in search of food and water. Keep the home as clean as possible by keeping food in air-tight containers. Clean up grease splatters around the stove and sweep up crumbs in cupboards and under toasters, microwaves, and other appliances. Place cockroach bait stations and gels near places where cockroaches may be entering your home.
Are They Harmful?
Cockroaches carry over forty different pathogens which could potentially be transferred to humans. These include the plague, pneumonia, typhoid fever, hepatitis, and other diseases. Cockroaches leave trails of saliva and feces which dries and becomes a fine airborne powder. This can enter the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, and lungs, causing allergic reactions and asthma attacks.