Cockroaches are among the most common insects and have been on earth for nearly 350 million years. Cockroaches are one of the most adaptable and successful insect groups. There are approximately 3,500 species of cockroaches worldwide, with about 70 species found in the US. Cockroaches have six legs, two antennae and develop by a gradual metamorphosis that consists of three stages: egg, nymph and adult.
Two of the most common species of cockroaches that enter and infest homes in the Carolinas are the German and American (also referred to as “water or palmetto bugs”).
The adult female German cockroach produces an egg capsule with 30 to 48 eggs. She will produce four to eight egg capsules in her lifetime and when the eggs hatch, the nymphs are able to produce an egg capsule of their own in about 30 days.
Adult American cockroaches have well developed wings but seldom fly, unless temperatures are above 85¯F, at which point they can be very active flyers. They are capable of gliding long distances and will cover considerable distances if they take off from a tree or rooftop. In the southern US, American cockroaches have been reported to fly short distances.
Only a few of the cockroach species found in the United States routinely enter and infest our homes and businesses. American and German cockroaches represent over 90 percent or more of all cockroach management concerns in the Carolinas.
Cockroaches prefer a warm moist environment and most prefer it to be dark also. Charlotte and surrounding areas are a near perfect environment for these pests.
The most important aspect of cockroach damage is a result of the habit of feeding and harboring in damp and unsanitary places, such as sewers, garbage disposals and damp and unsanitary areas of kitchens, bathrooms and indoor storage areas. Cockroaches spread filth and germs from these sources and food supplies, food preparation surfaces, dishes, utensils and other surfaces. They actually contaminate more food than they eat.
- All cockroach infestations first require a thorough inspection of the house or business interior and exterior. Upon inspections it is important to implement a program that includes treatment, client education and follow up service.
- In most cases, cockroach management should be proposed as more than a one-time treatment. Very rarely will elimination be possible with one treatment or with the use if only one type of insecticide in the cockroach management program.
- Most often a pesticide treatment for cockroaches will include baits, dusts and residual insecticides. PCA will use GREEN and LEED approved chemicals when necessary.
- Physical exclusion can be a very effective method of eliminating certain types of cockroach infestations.