Cockroaches

Identification

  • Colour Black to reddish-brown
  • Size From 1 cm to 5 cm long
  • Description All cockroaches have a pair of long antennae and six long, spiny legs. The body is flattened back to front and oval-shaped. Most cockroaches in Canada have wings, but cannot fly long distances.
Cockroaches

General Facts

Where do they live?

There are over 4,500 cockroach species around the world, but in Canada the most common is the German cockroach. Other structure infesting cockroach species found here include the American cockroach, oriental cockroach, brown-banded cockroach and wood cockroach. Cockroaches are famous for their remarkable survival skills and rank among the oldest and most resilient of insects on the planet. They are highly adaptable and can live wherever enough food, moisture, and heat exist to support them. They tend to be nocturnal creature, hiding during the day and becoming active at night. They will also flee rapidly when exposed and move easily from one room to another.

Cockroach life cycle

Female cockroaches lay eggs in a protective case called an ootheca, which can contain up to 50 eggs. Some cockroaches can lay up to 30 of these cases in their lifetime. They usually lay the ootheca in a protected location, but some species carry it until the eggs hatch. After two to three months of incubation, wingless nymphs emerge from the eggs. As they develop into adult cockroaches, they shed their skin several times – each moult is called an instar. This process can take up to a year, depending on temperature and humidity.

Why do I have cockroaches?

Cockroaches frequently enter homes and businesses to escape the colder weather, seeking warm, damp shelter close to food and water. Basements, bathrooms, greenhouses, kitchens, and rooms containing sewer pipes or plumbing make ideal habitats for cockroaches. In the wild, cockroaches mostly feed on dead or decaying plant material and other organic matter. However, indoors, cockroaches will scavenge virtually anything, including glue, leather, fabric, soap, toothpaste, and common pantry items. Cockroaches are not inherently attracted to dirty or unclean environments, but unsanitary conditions can aggravate the problem. Starchy or sugary substances will attract them.

How worried should I be about cockroaches?

Cockroaches create an unsanitary situation and can pose various health threats to humans. Eating food contaminated by cockroaches may cause food poisoning, meanwhile cockroach faeces can also negatively affect the health of humans, particularly for people with asthma. They can also spread harmful bacteria, including coliform, salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus, by crawling through garbage and sewers to kitchen countertops. But once these pests have entered your home, it can be almost impossible to eliminate them. Cockroaches can survive for weeks without food and water. Their eggs are also protected from insecticide by the egg case, so even if you kill the adults, they'll soon be replaced by newborns. The only way to eradicate a cockroach invasion is with a professional pest control service.

How can I prevent cockroaches invading?

Clean and vacuum the home regularly, Store food in tightly-sealed containers, Make sure cupboards remain dry, Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture, Clean up crumbs and spills promptly, Take out the trash every day, Don't let dirty dishes pile up, Seal crevices and openings in walls and floors, Fix leaky faucets and cracks in plumbing

Types of Cockroaches

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