What is the history of cockroaches?
Cockroaches are an extremely resilient insect. By examining fossils, it’s been determined that they have been around for over 300 million years. These days, there are more than 4,000 species crawling around. About 60 exist in the United States and around a dozen cause us to get out the insecticide.
What are some physical attributes of roaches?
The fact that cockroaches have been able to survive for as long as they have has made it extremely difficult in the past to control their population. Years and years of evolution have given them tough flat bodies and large legs for fast running and easy maneuvering. Other factors contributing to their enduring presence are the rapidity and frequency that they lay eggs and their possession of good climbing abilities.
What are Oriental Roaches?
The Oriental cockroach is found in all parts of the United States and is also referred to as the black beetle or shad roach. They measure approximately 1 ¼” in length for females and 1″ for males. In addition to being longer than the males, females are broader. Females have small wing pads while males have wings that cover ¾ of their body. Neither sex can fly. Their color ranges from dark brown to black and they have a greasy appearance. In some parts of the world, such as Great Britain, the Oriental cockroach is the most widespread cockroach; however, in the U.S., they are not nearly as prevalent as German roaches.
After becoming impregnated, the female carries an egg capsule for about 30 hours before depositing and attaching it near a food source or protected surface. In room-temperature conditions, the eggs will hatch an average of 16 nymphs after 60 days. After that, the nymphs molt 7-10 times. The nymphal stage usually takes several months to a year to complete. The warmer the temperature in which the nymphs live, the shorter the amount of time it takes for them to mature. Unlike other cockroach species, the Oriental cockroach generally has a seasonal development cycle. This means that the peak number of adults appears in the late spring or early summer and that the adult population decreases greatly by late summer or early fall. Oriental cockroaches usually have a life span of a half year.
It is also interesting to note that Oriental cockroaches possess an abundance of “cockroach odor,” the odor that is associated with cockroaches and much despised.
Can you tell me a bit about their behavior?
Unlike German cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches are usually found at ground level or below. Oriental cockroaches are sluggish and lack the cushion-like pads between their claws to climb smooth, vertical surfaces. For this reason, you do not often see them above ground level. They are found near decaying matter, both indoors and out. Outside, they can be found in yards, dumps, crawl spaces, flowerbed mulch, and beneath leaves. Indoors, they are common in sewers, drains, and basements. They are seldom found in walls, upper floors of buildings, or in cupboards.
In many areas, Oriental cockroaches are found outdoors when it is warm. If a drought or cold weather occurs, they will move into buildings seeking shelter.
What do they eat?
Oriental cockroaches eat all kinds of filth including garbage, decaying organic matter, and the contents of discarded tin cans. If none of these options are available, they can survive on just water for a month. If no food or water is available, they can survive for approximately two weeks.
How did I get them?
Generally, if you have an infestation of Oriental cockroaches, it is due to the location that you are in. Damp places, as mentioned before, are conducive to these roaches. Factors that contribute to infestation include having a damp basement or crawl space or being located near infested sewer lines or areas that have a lot of outdoor decaying organic matter.
It is also possible to acquire these roaches by unwittingly carrying them from an infested area in a package, bag, or anything else that a roach can hide in.