So... What's a Cockroach?
Cockroaches are oval shaped insects that range from 1/2"-2" in length. There are three main types we may come across here in the United States. These three are the German Cockroach, the American Cockroach and the Oriental Cockroach. Pictured below is the Oriental Cockroach.
There are also the Brownbanded Cockroach, Wood Cockroach, and Smokybrown Cockroach, but these are not as common as the other three.
Adult cockroaches range in color from tan to reddish brown to black, depending on the species. Nymphs look like smaller versions of adults, and the eggs they emerge from are usually brownish in color and oblong in shape.
Reproduction Patterns of Cockroaches
The cockroach, which has existed on this planet much longer than humans, has a basic life cycle involving three stages: egg, nymph and adult. Adult females lay up to 40 eggs at one time, which are encased in an oblong, bean-shaped egg case. The eggs will hatch in about 2-7 weeks, depending on the species of cockroach, and nymphs will emerge.
These nymph undergo a molting process which occurs in stages and can take anywhere from 2 months to 3 years before it becomes a mature adult ready for mating and egg-laying. The length of the entire life cycle depends on the species of the cockroach and the state of its environment.
Cockroaches can be found throughout our planet. Although there are 3,500 known cockroach species worldwide, there are only about 55 species living here in the U.S.
They may have begun as outdoor insects before the advent of man, and some still prefer to live and breed outside, however, some species of cockroaches have found it preferable to live in homes, apartments, grocery stores and restaurants, much to the chagrin of humans.
Cockroaches gain entry in a variety of ways. They may be inadvertently carried in with grocery bags, furniture, and pet food bags.
They may gain access on their own by crawling inside a home via water pipes and electrical lines as well as cracks in walls, doors, and windows. One species in particular, the Wood Cockroach may be carried inside in the fall when firewood is brought into the home.
Using a product such as Safer® Brand Ant and Crawling Insect Killer can eliminate your cockroach problem and keep your house free from other crawling insects as well. Using a product powered by diatomaceous earth will allow you to eliminate roaches without the use of synthetic chemicals.
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