Cockroaches are described as having flat oval bodies with long thin antennae with shining black and brown colored bodies. Commonly known as unclean and unsightly beings, the purpose they serve is to clean up decaying organic matter. Cockroaches are among the most hated pests found in homes around the world. Throughout the world, there are approximately 4,500 species of cockroaches. Only 69 of those are found in the United States. In Kansas City, there are four main species of cockroaches found in homes. The American Roach, Oriental cockroach, The Brown-banded Cockroach, and German cockroach.
The American Cockroach is the largest of home-infesting cockroaches growing between 1 1/4 and 2 and 1/8 inches long. Their color is a reddish-brown and a yellowish figure print texture on its back. Despite their name, the American cockroach did not originate in the Americas. It has been reported that the American Cockroach came to the U.S. from Africa in the 1600s. Their primary habitat is in sewers and drains outside; they will make their way inside if there are food shortages or the temperature drops. The preferred conditions are dark, warm, and moist environments with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Other places they habitat include flower beds, mulch piles, and in the summer behind most food-related commercial buildings. An American cockroach has the primary diet of fermenting materials such as fungi, algae, and decaying leaves but will eat crumbs of different foods if inside. These cockroaches clean up all this decaying material; they are considerably unclean pests. It’s believed they can spread 33 different kinds of bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella, along with six parasitic worms. The spread of all of these is from the organic matter diet. Even though they are cleaning this organic matter, they are spreading dangerous diseases as a result.
Oriental Cockroaches are often referred to as the black beetle cockroach because of their shiny dark body color. These roaches, on average grow to one inch long and have an oval shape while not appearing as flat as many other roaches. These roaches enjoy hanging out in damp areas as most cockroaches do but also like getting inside under doors, gaps in siding, along following pipes. Signs of infestation are simple, they include a sighting of an adult, sighting of egg casings which are around ten millimeters and contain approximately 16 eggs, and smell, they give off a musty stench due to chemicals they secrete to communicate with each other. The diet of Oriental roaches is quite similar to the American Roach, eating decaying organic matter, starchy foods, and even going through garbage cans. Much like the American cockroach, the origin of the Oriental roach is not as its name gives off. It is believed the Oriental Roach originated from Africa before coming to the United States. The dangers of the Oriental roach are similar to that of most cockroaches in that they spread many different diseases and can cause allergic reactions and asthma flare-ups.
Brown-Banded Cockroaches are a smaller; species of cockroach growing up to a half-inch long on average. The other species on this list are named after different locations, while the Brown-Banded Cockroach is the only one who gets its name from its appearance. The name Brown-Banded comes from two light bands on the back of the dark-bodied roach; this coloration helps them blend in with cabinets. This species entered the United States more recently compared to the Oriental and American roaches believed to have minted in the early 1900s by way of Cuba. One of the biggest threats of the Brown-Banded Cockroach is their species rate of reproduction. The average lifespan of the roach is just over 200 days. They can lay 14 egg capsules in that time, which include up to 18 eggs each. As nocturnal cockroaches, they can be difficult; to see in the open during the day, but their main hiding places include under sinks, most cabinets, and other dark enclosed spaces with other areas to hide. Because they are rare to see, it’s hard for the untrained eye to find an infestation. The top indicator of an infestation is finding droppings. Another way is to find their egg casings which are yellowish and are about 5 mm long. Brown-Banded Cockroaches will eat just about anything, making it hard to eliminate a food source. Being expert hiders and nocturnal increases the danger of the Brown-Banded Cockroach with the many different microorganisms they carry around the spread of many diseases and allergens.
There are no other species of cockroach found more worldwide than the German Cockroach. The defining characteristic of the German Cockroach is the two dark stripes on their back that stretch from their heads to the end of their body. German roaches do have wings but they use them quite sparingly as they prefer to run due to their speed. The ideal habitat for the German roach is warm, humid, and an abundance of food within easy reach. These places include kitchens in homes and commercial buildings, bathrooms, and grocery stores. As a way of noticing there may be a problem is the sight of droppings which may resemble that of pepper flakes on countertops, under the sink, or in drawers where they like to spend most of their time. If the population is large enough a musty smell is something you could notice. The ideal conditions for the German roach are in line with most species, they go for temperatures in the 70’s in commercial and residential kitchens. If there are any cracks or crevices in the home they can be hiding many cockroaches. German Cockroaches know how to get around; they are able to get to new places by boxes, bringing in used furniture, or even old electronics. Their diet is a nearly endless list, this includes even things such as soap, toothpaste, and glue. Their treats are that of most roaches carrying bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens.
Many cockroaches call Kansas City home, KC is in the top 15 of most infested cities for cockroaches. The humidity and warm spring and summer months provide great conditions for roaches to survive and thrive. Roaches are also prominent in the surrounding cities of Overland Park, Lees Summit, Lenexa, Prairie Village, and more due to the high number of residential homes. When dealing with cockroaches there is not much else you can do other than calling a cockroach exterminator. If you are having roaches call Blue Beetle Pest Control to set up a service today!
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