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Cockroach Identification

 To the untrained eye, all cockroaches may look alike. However, there are actually five species of significance. German, Brown-banded, Oriental, American and Common Wood cockroaches are all unwelcome pests.

The most common cockroach is the German cockroach. It has a flattened oval body with long spiny legs and measures 15 mm (3/4") when fully grown. Both male and female are winged. Color is light brown with two dark brown stripes running lengthwise on the thorax (middle section).

Cockroach Habitat

The main attractions for a cockroach are food, water and shelter. To them, almost anything is food - any foodstuff, paper, cloth, plants and even glue used for binding books. They can be found in every part of the home, but most prefer some kind of damp environment. Since most cockroaches are active at night, many people may be completely unaware of their presence in their home. Cockroaches are a public health concern because they have been known to carry Salmonella bacteria - the organisms responsible for food poisoning. 

Although some people worry that admitting to an infestation of cockroaches indicates poor housekeeping, at times even the most conscientious housekeeper may find it impossible to avoid an infestation. 

Cockroach Life Cycle

The German female cockroach carries an egg capsule containing approximately 40 eggs which she drops prior to hatching. Development from eggs to adults takes three to four months and cockroaches live up to a year. The female may produce up to eight egg cases in her lifetime. An infestation of cockroaches can number in the thousands.

Cockroach Prevention

Although little can be done to prevent an infestation, the practice of good sanitation and the elimination of accessible food are ways to minimize the extent of the infestation. Careful inspection of produce or packages entering the home can help to prevent cockroaches from establishing themselves in your building.



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