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Sand Cockroach

Sand 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.

Sand Cockroach

Sand Cockroach

Cockroaches are among the most common of insects. Fossil evidence indicates that cockroaches have been on earth for over 300 million years. They are considered one of the most successful groups of animals. Because cockroaches are so adaptable, they have successfully adjusted to living with humans. About 3,500 species of cockroaches exist worldwide, with 55 species found in the United States. Only four species are common pests in Pennsylvania structures. These are the German, brown-banded, Oriental, and American cockroaches. A fifth species, the Pennsylvania wood cockroach is an occasional nuisance pest in some locations.

Cockroaches are a diverse group of insects in the Order Blattodea including the blaberid cockroaches (Family Blaberidae), the wood cockroaches (Family Blatellidae), the blatid cockroaches (Family Blattidae) and the sand cockroaches (Family Polyphagidae). Texas shares many species found in other southern states such as Florida.A few cockroach species are predominantly indoor pests while most species live outdoors for their entire lives. Some of the most commonly observed cockroaches in Texas landscapes include the Asian cockroach, the American cockroach, the smokeybrown cockroach, the Surinam cockroach, and the Cuban cockroach.

Life Cycle:Cockroaches develop through simple metamorphosis (egg cases, nymphal stages or instars, and adult stages are observed). Female cockroaches deposit eggs in batches or cases known as egg capsules or oothecae. Each ootheca contains approximately 15 eggs and is glued or dropped on or around nesting areas. Nymphs hatch from the ootheca and resemble small versions of the adults except they lack fully developed wings and the ability to breed (note that adults of some cockroach species are wingless). Nymphs molt 10 to 13 times in over a year (470 to 600 days, depending on temperature) before becoming adults (Drees and Jackman 1998). Cockroaches are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of materials; some species occasionally may feed on and damage plants.

Damage: There are several types of insects that damage collection materials including books. The most common pests are roaches, silverfish, and various types of beetles. These insects eat the protein and starch components in books and other materials, and the feces of these and other types of insects can disfigure collection materials. Protective enclosures can lessen the chance of insect damage. The most important safeguard against insect damage is good house keeping. For specific information about pests of collection materials please consult the books listed below.

Sand Cockroach

Sand Cockroach

Controls: In general, if materials are stored in a clean, cool, and dry environment, and looked at and dusted occasionally, the risk of damage by insects is greatly reduced, and problems will be detected before a lot of damage is done. Whenever an insect is found in a book it is advisable to inspect the area where the book was stored to see if more insects are present in the materials nearby. Look for little piles of “frass” (a term for insect excrement) on the shelf. The color of the frass varies depending on the type of insect and what it has eaten. Beetle frass is a fine granular powder (more like very fine sand than flour in texture). If a tiny pile is found near a book, examine the book for any damage an insect might have caused. Beetles make tiny holes (about the size of a pencil dot) usually along the spine of a book. Silverfish tend to leave tiny black specks of frass. Silverfish eat along the surface of book cloth and the edges of pages which might protrude from a stack of paper. Roaches produce 1 mm. size fecal pellets and leave brown stains, they eat book cloth as well, but the damage they cause is less delicate than that of silverfish. It is important to determine the type of insects causing the infestation and the extent of the problem before planning a strategy to solve it.

Florian is an excellent reference on the treatment of insect infested materials. Several insect collection pests are profiled in this article. The precise cause of death by freezing is not known. Possible factors include dehydration, osmotic swelling, loss of bound water, changed enzyme reaction rates, ice crystal formation, and the rupture of cell walls. Insects can survive freezing if they are not frozen quickly enough, not frozen at cold enough temperatures, or not thawed slowly enough. Repeated cycles of freezing and thawing can kill even those insects that are resistant to freezing.

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