Delta Pest Control & Lawn Service  
El Paso Texas and Southern New Mexico
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COCKROACHES (Palmetto Bug - Water Bug - Croton Bug)
Identification - Threats - Prevention

 
  SIGNS OF COCKROACH INFESTATION
   
Roach seen during the day. They prefer to live and feed in the dark.
   
Visible feces. Resembling coffee grounds, black pepper or mouse droppings.
   
Bodies of dead roaches or shed skins are found throughout the house.
   
Egg cases are found in hidden locations, such as between books or behind furniture.
   
A strong oily or musty odor may be present in the event of serious infestation.
   
  DID YOU KNOW?
   
A cockroach can live almost a month without food.
   
A cockroach can live about two weeks without water.
   
A cockroach can live for up to one week without its head.
   
Cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes.
   
Some female cockroaches mate only once and then stay pregnant for life.
CockroachCockroaches have six legs, two antennae and some have wings; however, most winged roaches are not particularly adept at flying. The typical house-invading roach is oval shaped, flat-bodied and varies in color from brown to black. It usually prefers warm, moist, dark conditions and feeds on a variety of plant and animal products including meats, grease, starchy foods and sweets. Cockroaches have also been known to eat paper, book bindings, cloth, leather, glue, hair and even other roaches.

Because they are commonly found near sewage or refuse, roaches can be carriers of a variety of diseases. They pick up bacteria and germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or waste and then carry these microorganisms into kitchens and onto food surfaces. Cockroaches also contaminate our homes with their feces, shed skin and egg casings. Roaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens that can cause diarrhea, food poisoning and dysentery.

Cockroaches also secrete a musty oil-based liquid that ruins food and ingrains an offensive odor into furniture, clothing and other porous materials. Roach secretions, droppings and cast-off skins have also been implicated as one of the causes of asthma and allergic reactions in people, especially children and sensitive individuals.

Although cockroaches normally thrive in unsanitary conditions, even spotless establishments and households can become infested because these insects readily spread through adjoining structures. When infestations are small, live cockroaches may never be seen because they are most active at night. Tell-tale signs of infestation may include: a musty odor, full or empty egg cases, shed skin, visible excrement or dead roach bodies.
 
 
German Cockroach
GERMAN COCKROACH
German cockroaches can be found all over the world. They are the most common cockroach in the United States. German cockroaches prefer to live in cracks and crevices near food and moisture sources. Each German cockroach can live about 100-200 days.
REVEAL / CONCEAL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 
German Cockroach Life Cycle
 
 
  DID YOU KNOW?
   
German cockroaches can breed at a rate of up to six generations per year.
   
Feed on almost anything, including soap, glue and toothpaste.
   
Fit through an opening as small as 3/16 inch in width.
   
Transmit a number of pathogens, including E. coli, Salmonella and Typhus.
   
Are directly linked to asthma development in children within larger metropolitan areas.
   
  PREVENTION:
   
Vacuum frequently and dispose of garbage regularly.
   
Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs.
   
Store food in sealed containers and clean kitchen appliances.
   
Dry out sinks, bathtubs and showers completely and stop up the drains before bed. Fix leaky faucets and pipes.
   
If you suspect an infestation, contact a Delta licensed pest professional to recommend a course of treatment.
The German cockroach is the most common roach in Texas. This roach is light brown with two dark stripes lengthwise on the head and thorax. Adult males and females are are about 1/2 inch long and winged but rarely fly. The much smaller young, or nymphs, are darker, almost black in color, also with the black stripes behind the head.

In most cases, German cockroaches are introduced into a structure or residence via grocery bags, cardboard boxes, drink cartons and secondhand appliances that are brought into the home from another infested area. In multi-unit apartment buildings, German cockroaches can easily move between units, using the shared plumbing and pipes as a highway.

German cockroaches are most commonly found indoors, with a preference for the warmer and more humid areas of a structure. In homes, these insects will typically be found in kitchens and bathrooms, but can move to other areas of a home if food and moisture are available. They are often found in sewers, crawl spaces and basements, especially around pipes and drains.

German cockroaches are scavengers, capable of feeding on most any food source available, including toothpaste, soap and the bindings of books. These pests are known for their ability to capitalize on the availability of even the smallest amounts of food by feeding on crumbs missed during cleaning or feeding on the dirty dishes left in the kitchen sink overnight.

German cockroaches are a pest control challenge because they’re the most prolific breeders among all cockroaches. Female German cockroaches only need to mate once for the production of young. After mating, and under normal conditions, they will produce, on average, 4 to 6 egg cases during the course of their lives, with each egg case, or ootheca, containing approximately 30 to 40 eggs. This egg case is then carried by the female until 1 to 2 days before hatching. The time for development, from egg to adult, takes approximately 100 days.
 
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American Cockroach
AMERICAN COCKROACH
The American cockroach is the largest of the common house-infesting cockroaches. Females can hatch up to 150 offspring per year. Both male and female American cockroaches can fly. The wings develop when the roaches become adults.
REVEAL / CONCEAL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 
American Cockroach Life Cycle
 
 
  DID YOU KNOW?
   
American cockroaches are the most common species found in city sewer systems.
   
Are more active when the temperature is above 70°.
   
Can lay 10 or more oothecae (egg cases), each containing 14-16 eggs.
   
Are also called a “waterbug.”
   
Despite its name, are not native to North America. Probably introduced via ships from Africa in the 1600s.
   
  PREVENTION:
   
Vacuum. Early and often is best for reducing harmful cockroach allergens.
   
Keep all food and garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
   
Clean behind and under appliances regularly, as these are favorite hiding spots.
   
Ventilate. Air out basements and crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup.
   
Seal the entrances. Close off cracks and holes around pipes.
   
Act quickly. If you find signs of an infestation, contact a Delta pest professional to inspect and treat the problem.
The American cockroach is approximately 1 to 2 inches in length and reddish brown in color with a light yellow band around the edge of the pro-thorax, or head shield. In adults, which fly occasionally, wings cover the entire abdomen area.

American cockroaches prefer warm, damp, dark areas. They are often found in sewers, alleyways, lawns, flower beds, shade trees and other areas containing large amounts of organic matter. They often infest homes, restaurants, grocery stores, food processing plants, hospitals, and other buildings that provide favorable shelter and ample food. They are known to reside in food storage and food preparation areas, as well as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements and drainage systems. They often enter structures by crawling through drains and pipes, but will also migrate inside by flying into structures.

The American roach is omnivorous, and will eat almost anything. It prefers decaying matter and sweets but has been observed eating paper, boots, hair, bread, fruit, and other dead insects. American cockroaches forage under appliances, in drains, in kitchen cabinets and on the floor. They eat crumbs, scraps of food and spilled food that they find. They will also eat pet food that is left out overnight.

American cockroaches have become a public health concern due to their association with human waste and disease and their ability to move from sewers into homes and commercial establishments. At least 22 species of pathogenic human bacteria, virus, fungi, and protozoans, as well as five species of helminthic worms, have been associated with the American cockroach.

The signs of an American Cockroach infestation include: (1) Finding dropping in the dark areas where the roaches hide. Homeowners may find these droppings in basements, in pantries or behind appliances. American cockroach droppings are small, and sometimes mistaken them for mouse feces. (2) Finding capsule-shaped egg cases. These capsules may be under cabinets, behind appliances or deposited behind stored items in garages and sheds. (3) Smelling a musty odor. Cockroaches produce an odorous chemical that helps them stay together in groups.
 
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Brown-Banded Cockroach
BROWN-BANDED COCKROACH
Brown-banded cockroaches get their name from the two light bands they have across their dark brownish bodies. The male, which can fly, has large full wings while the female has short underdeveloped wings. They often hide their eggs in or under furniture.
REVEAL / CONCEAL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 
Brown Banded Cockroach Life Cycle
 
 
  DID YOU KNOW?
   
Brown-banded cockroaches can fly if they are males but females cannot fly.
   
Prefer warmer, drier, and higher locations than most other cockroaches.
   
Do not need much moisture but avoid light whenever they can.
   
Have the most distinctions between males and females.
   
  PREVENTION:
   
Keep counters free of crumbs and vacuum the floors often.
   
Keep garbage in a sealed container and dispose of it regularly.
   
Pay extra attention to ceilings, wall moldings and high hanging picture frames, as these areas are particularly vulnerable to brown-banded cockroach infestations.
   
If you find signs of an infestation, contact a Delta licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the problem.
One of the smallest of the invasive cockroaches, the adult brown-banded cockroach may only reach 11 to 14.5 mm in length. These colorful roaches receive their name from the light brown or tan transverse bands that are present on the wings of the adult and across the body of the young, or nymphs. They are nocturnal, and while both sexes can jump, only the males can fly.

While similar in size to the German cockroach, the brown-banded roach prefers a warmer and less humid environment than its cousin. Temperatures greater than 80 degrees are preferable, so these insects are frequently found congregating on ceilings, in attics and inside cabinets, pantries and closets. They can also be found in electronic equipment or around refrigerator motor housings. Brown-banded cockroaches can also hide from humans in a variety of places such as clocks and picture frames. While most cockroaches prefer to live in kitchens and bathrooms, brown-banded cockroaches will live in any room in the house.

Brown-banded cockroaches, like other cockroach species, are opportunistic feeders. However, when provided a choice, they prefer to eat starchy foods, such as wallpaper paste, stamps and book bindings, but sometimes they eat non-organic things, like nylon stockings. Brown-banded cockroaches require very little water to survive and are inclined to live in higher locations than any of the other roaches.

An adult brown-banded cockroach has an average life span of 206 days and a female brown-banded cockroach will produce approximately 14 egg capsules in her lifetime. She will carry each egg case filled with about 10 to 18 eggs for approximately 24 to 36 hours before she glues it to the protected underside of a surface. Brown-banded cockroaches often hide their oothecae (egg cases) in or under furniture, on draperies, wall decorations, shelving and on ceilings.

Brown-banded cockroaches use their fecal droppings as a means to communicate a safe gathering point for other roaches in the area. These droppings appear as dark brown or black specks or smears and can be an indication of a brown-banded cockroach infestation.
 
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Oriental Cockroach
ORIENTAL COCKROACH
Oriental Cockroaches are large very dark (almost black, but sometimes dark reddish-brown), shiny cockroaches which live in sewers and similar wet, decaying areas such as basements and crawlspaces, firewood and piles of leaves.
REVEAL / CONCEAL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 
Oriental Cockroach Life Cycle
 
 
  DID YOU KNOW?
   
Oriental Cockroaches can survive outdoors in freezing temperatures for long periods of time.
   
Probably get their names from trade ships but they are actually from North Africa.
   
Are sometimes called "water bugs" because they come out of drains, and "black beetle cockroaches" because of their smooth, dark bodies.
   
Create a strong smell and are considered one of the dirtiest of all the cockroaches.
   
  PREVENTION:
   
Keep food sealed and stored properly in kitchens.
   
Clean kitchens daily, where crumbs and trash are more likely to build up.
   
Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
   
Install screens over vents and seal cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
   
Keep basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
   
Contact a qualified Delta pest professional to treat any infestations.
Oriental Cockroaches are large and very dark compared to other cockroaches. Males are about 1 inch long, with wings that cover only about 3/4 of their abdomen; females are about 1.25 inches long, and have only rudimentary wings reduced to mere lobes. Neither sex can fly. This shiny black to dark-reddish brown roach most frequently gains entry beneath the thresholds of doors, through open doors or gaps beneath siding, even following utility lines, pipes, open drains or sewers into a structure or home.

The Oriental Cockroach prefers dirty places and cooler temperatures. Although their natural habitat is outdoors, they may infest homes in the summer. Inside, they tend to remain on lower floors. If access is available, the insects can thrive in the voids or openings beneath porches, in wall voids and crawlspaces. In metropolitan areas, oriental roaches can be found in large numbers living in storm drains and sewers. Oriental cockroaches tend to gather in large numbers near water sources and crawl around service ducts, toilets, bathtubs, sinks, radiators and pipes.

Like other cockroach species, Oriental cockroaches are omnivorous and thrive by scavenging for food crumbs and decaying plants and animals. Oriental cockroaches are known for their preference of feeding on garbage, filth or material that has begun to decay. These cockroaches are very dependent upon water. While studies have shown that they can survive for up to a month without food, these insects can not survive for more than two weeks without water.

During the warmer months, it is not uncommon to find oriental roaches outside around landscaping beds, congregating beneath moist gutters, or even scurrying out from storm drains and sewer grates at night. Mostly active at night, they can be found during the day in areas and rooms that are kept primarily moist, dark and undisturbed.

In areas where large populations of oriental cockroaches are present, a musty odor can be detected. This odor is a result of chemicals that are secreted by the insects that are used to communicate within the population.
 
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Smoky-Brown Cockroach
SMOKY-BROWN COCKROACH
The Smoky-brown cockroach is uniformly mahogany brown in color, with no other distinctive lines or colorations. It is closely related to the American cockroach, but smaller in size at just over 1 inch. Both male and female Smoky-browns have wings longer than their bodies.
REVEAL / CONCEAL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 
Smoky-Brown Cockroach Life Cycle
 
 
  DID YOU KNOW?
   
Smoky-brown cockroaches are strong flyers.
   
Are closely related to the American cockroach but smaller in size.
   
Females can produce up to 32 egg cases in their lifetime.
   
Are attracted to interior lights.
   
  PREVENTION:
   
Discard old boxes and piles of papers.
   
Make sure trash can has a tight fitting lid and keep trash in a closed plastic bag overnight.
   
Caulk and repair holes around doors, windows, water pipes and baseboards.
   
Place mesh screens over windows, floor drains, and vents.
   
Fix leaky drains and faucets.
   
Contact a qualified Delta pest professional to treat any infestations.
The smoky-brown cockroach is common outdoors, especially in the more humid areas of Texas and other southern states. They prefer living in protected, moist, warm sites, away from moving air. Common habitats are ground cover, mulch, palm fronds, soffits, eaves of attics, planter boxes, woodpiles, garages, and water meter boxes. Although the smoky-brown cockroach prefers to live outdoors, it will easily set up residence indoors if it can find its way inside. Smoky-brown cockroaches prefer the upper parts of buildings; they also may live under shingles or siding and sometimes get into trees, shrubs, and other vegetation during summer months.

While smoky-brown cockroaches prefer to eat decaying plant matter, they will consume any food source available to them. These opportunistic feeders will devour any food that may be available, including human food scraps, dead insects, fecal matter and plant materials. It is also not uncommon to see these insects taking a drink when water is available. They are nocturnal and hide in small places during the day, making themselves inaccessible to humans and predators.

Smoky-brown cockroaches are relatively large. Adults reach 1.25 to 1.5 inches long. They are dark brown to black and their wings extend beyond the abdomen in both sexes. Their antennae are as long as or longer than their bodies. Younger nymphs are black with two white bands on the body and white-tipped antennae; older nymphs are uniformly reddish brown. Smoky-brown cockroaches reach maturity in an average of 600 days, and adults typically live 3 to 9 months. Females carry dark brown to black egg cases, which measures about 3/8 inch long, for about 1 day before dropping it; eggs hatch in 24-70 days depending on the temperature. About 40 to 45 nymphs can hatch from a single egg case.
 
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