American Cockroach The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), also colloquially known as the waterbug, but not a true waterbug since it is not aquatic, or misidentified as the palmetto bug (see Florida woods cockroach for the differences), is the largest species of common cockroach, and often considered a pest. American cockroach adults grow to an average length of around 4 cm (1.6 in) and about 7 mm (0.28 in) tall. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except they are wingless The cockroach is divided in three sections; the body is flattened and broadly oval, with a shield-like pronotum covering its head. A pronotum is a plate-like structure that covers all or part of the dorsal surface of the thorax of certain insects. They also have chewing mouth parts, long, segmented antennae, and leathery fore wings with delicate hind wings. The third section of the cockroach is the abdomen. The insect can travel quickly, often darting out of sight when someone enters a room, and can fit into small cracks and under doors despite its fairly large size. It is considered one of the fastest running insects. It is also known as the ship cockroach, kakerlac, and Bombay canary. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings. The odorous secretions produced by American cockroaches can alter the flavor of food. Also, if populations of cockroaches are high, there will be a strong concentration of this odorous secretion. Cockroaches can pick up disease-causing bacteria, such as Salmonella, on their legs and later deposit them on foods and cause food infections or poisoning. House dust containing cockroach feces and body parts can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in certain individuals.
Oriental Cockroach The oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis), also known as the waterbug, is a large species of cockroach, adult males being 18–29 mm (0.71–1.14 in) and adult females being 20–27 mm (0.79–1.06 in). It is dark brown to black in color and has a glossy body. The female Oriental cockroach has a somewhat different appearance from the male, appearing to be wingless at casual glance but has two very short and useless wings just below her head. She has a wider body than the male. The male has long wings, which cover two thirds of the abdomen and are brown in color, and has a narrower body. The odd male is capable of very short flights, ranging about 2 to 3 meters. The female oriental cockroach looks somewhat similar to the Florida woods cockroach, and may be mistaken for it. Originally endemic to the Crimean Peninsula and the region around the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, its distribution is now cosmopolitan. They are often called "waterbugs" since they prefer dark, moist places. They can often be found around decaying organic matter, and in sewers, drains, damp basements, porches, and other damp locations. They can be found outside in bushes, under leaf groundcover, under mulch, and around other damp places outdoors. They are major household pests in parts of the northwest, mid-west, and southern United States.
German Cockroach The German cockroach (Blattella germanica) is a small species of cockroach, measuring about 1.3 to 1.6 cm (0.51 to 0.63 in) long; however, larger individuals have been recorded. It can be tan through brown to almost black, and has two dark parallel streaks running from the head to the base of the wings. Although it has wings, it is unable to sustain flight. Found throughout many human settlements, these insects are particularly associated with restaurants, food processing facilities, hotels, and nursing homes. In colder climates, they are found only near human habitats, since they are not very tolerant to cold. However, German cockroaches have been found as far north as Alert, Nunavut, and as far south as southern Patagonia. The German cockroach is originally from Africa. It is very closely related to the Asian cockroach, and to the casual observer they appear nearly identical and may be mistaken for each other (the Asian cockroach, however, is attracted to light and is capable of flight not unlike a moth— not so of the German cockroach). Though nocturnal, this cockroach can be seen in the day occasionally, especially if the population is large or they have been disturbed. However, sightings are most commonly reported in the evening hours, as they are most active at night. This type of cockroach can emit an unpleasant odor when excited or frightened. The German cockroach is cosmopolitan in distribution, occurring as ahousehold pest around the world. The German cockroach is omnivorous and a scavenger. They particularly like starch, sugary foods, grease and meats. In certain situations where there is a shortage of foodstuffs, they may eat household items such as soap, glue and toothpaste or they may even turn cannibalistic, often chewing on the wings and legs of each other.
Brown Banded Cockroach
Brown Banded Cockroach The brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa, is a small species of cockroach, measuring about 5⁄8 in (10 to 14;mm) long. It is the only species of the genus Supella. It is tan to light brown. It has two light-colored bands across the wings and abdomen, they may sometimes appear to be broken or irregular but are quite noticeable. The bands may be partly obscured by the wings. The male has wings that cover the abdomen, while the female has wings that do not cover the abdomen completely. The male appears more slender than the female, the female appears wider.The brown-banded cockroach has a fairly wide distribution, being found in the northeastern, southern, and midwest regions of the United States quite commonly. They are one of the most recent alien cockroaches to form breeding colonies in Britain and Ireland. They need less moisture than the German cockroach so they tend to be more broadly distributed in the home, such as in living rooms and bedrooms. They can often be found in homes and apartments, but are less common in restaurants. They tend not to be found in the daytime, since they avoid light. The brown-banded cockroach eats a wide variety of items. Cockroaches are usually scavengers, and thus can eat a wide array of items, often almost anything organic, including decaying matter. It has been known to cause problems in hospitals by emerging at night to feed on bodily fluids, thereby risking cross-infection.
Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach The Pennsylvania wood cockroach is considered an occasional nuisance pest in homes in Pennsylvania. It is widely distributed in the eastern, southern, and midwestern states, up to Canada. This species can become a problem when infested firewood is brought indoors, or when it moves into homes from the surrounding woods. Adult males are approximately 1 inch long; females grow to about 3/4 inch long. Males are dark brown; the sides of the thorax and the front half of the wings are margined with yellow. Adult males are fully winged, while females have conspicuous wing pads (actually short wings like that of the female oriental roach), which are functionless. Wings of the male are longer than its body, while wing pads of the female cover only one-third to two-thirds of the abdomen. The males fly swiftly but do not have the ability to sustain themselves in the air for long periods. Nymphs and adults are usually found outdoors beneath loose bark in woodpiles, stumps, and hollow trees. Brought indoors on infested firewood, they wander about the house without congregating in any particular room. They can be especially troublesome during the mating season, which is during May and June. Male wood cockroaches frequently travel in large numbers and fly considerable distances. They are attracted to lights at night and may gain entry indoors. Large numbers may also be found in rain gutters of homes. Pennsylvania wood cockroaches feed primarily on decaying organic matter. Both female and male Pennsylvania wood cockroaches have been found under shingles and on the inside of garages. They rarely breed indoors. However, with the growing use of firewood, the popularity of cedar shake shingles, and the continual building of homes in wooded areas, problems with Pennsylvania wood cockroaches will probably escalate.
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