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Flying Cockroach Cockroaches are flat, quick-moving insects that are active at night. They prefer to hide in cracks and crevices during the day. Under good conditions, cockroaches can reproduce rapidly . Female cockroaches place 18 to 30 eggs within a protective covering or egg case called an ootheca, which is later deposited in a protected location. A single female may produce 4 to 20 oothecae during her lifetime.
Most cockroaches have a flattened oval shape, spiny legs, and grow long, filamentous antennae.Immature stages are smaller, have undeveloped wings and resemble adults. Adult American cockroaches are reddish-brown to dark brown (except for a tan or light yellow band around the shield behind the head), about 1-1/2 to 2-inches long, and have wings capable of flight. Males and females are about the same size. The wings are about the same length as the body (abdomen) in the females and longer in the males, extending slightly beyond the abdomen.
Females have a broader abdomen, while the males have both cerci (pair of appendages at the end of the abdomen) and styli (short, slender, fingerlike process). Nymphs are wingless, uniformly brown colored, and run very fast. Egg capsules are mahogany brown and about 1/3-inch long.
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. Nymphs are similar in appearance but are smaller and do not have wings. American cockroaches are capable of flying but rarely do in northern areas of the United States. The cockroach can be identified by its large size and reddish brown color with faded yellow edges on the thorax.
Life Cycle:Cockroaches have three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The eggs are laid in capsules that are dark brown, symmetrically shaped, and about 5/16 inch long. The female drops her egg capsule within a day after it is formed. She often drops it in a suitable location near a food source or in a protected area. Each capsule averages 14 to 16 eggs. Usually one capsule is produced each week and is often glued to a hidden surface with secretions from the femaleâ€™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 nymphal stage varies in length from 160 to 971 days. 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.
Damage: Cockroaches feed on a wide variety of materials, including cosmetics, beer, potted plants, wallpaper paste, soap, postage stamps, fermenting fruit, pet food, and human food. They contaminate human food, clothing, paper goods, and surfaces with their feces and body parts. American cockroaches also produce a strong unpleasant odor. This characteristic odor is not only detectable in infested buildings but is also transferred to items that the cockroaches crawl across when foraging. A pest management professional can often detect an American cockroach infestation by smell before he has actually seen any cockroaches.
Controls: Inspect bags, boxes, cartons, etc. for evidence of American cockroaches before they are brought into the building. Cockroach evidence includes a â€śroachyâ€ť odor, feces, body parts, or live cockroaches. If evidence is found, do not allow the container into the building until it is emptied and all its contents inspected. If cockroaches are already inside the building, limit their movements from place to place by sealing around pipe chases and conduit with expandable foam. Caulk can be used to seal cracks behind cabinetry and under sink fixtures. Screen vents in attics and crawlspaces, install door sweeps, and weatherproof window frames. Also, trim trees and shrubs so that they do not touch the structure. In buildings that are unoccupied, flush toilets regularly to prevent American cockroaches from entering through plumbing traps.
There are a large number of consumer aerosol products available for killing cockroaches. These products will not control an infestation, but will kill individual cockroaches sprayed with the product. Keep in mind that one two-second application of spray is enough to kill a cockroach. It may not die immediately, but it will die within a few minutes. It is not necessary to empty half a can of spray on a single cockroach until it completely stops moving. Applying this much insecticide to a single cockroach is a pesticide contamination risk for people and pets living in the structure. Always be sure to read the product label and only apply the recommended amount of insecticide.
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