Different Species Require a Different Approach


December 5, 2008

By: Austin Frishman

A cockroach is a cockroach is a cockroach? When it pertains to control and elimination, not so. Sometimes what works for one species will not work for another. Here are a few examples for pest species other than German cockroaches.

American Cockroaches
Found from our tropical palms to our filthiest landfills and sewers, these creations are king of any jungle we attempt to create or live in. They can mass migrate from a sewer or landfill when overpopulated or under stress (like lack of available food). Even in abandoned buildings or apartments, they have been known to mass migrate next door.

Australian Cockroaches
These are the vegetarians of the cockroach world. When you find these indoors, look for live plants. They love fancy atriums. They frequent zoos and animal research facilities, originally brought in with large potted plants. Once indoors, their tastes can turn to pet food and other nutritious items. They can devastate seedlings grown in a greenhouse.

Brown-banded Cockroaches
Supella longipalpa (Serville) deposit their egg capsules in hard-to-reach areas in residential accounts. Search bedroom closets, top shelving of closets, pleats in curtains and bamboo articles for their capsules. In high-rise apartments, check pipe chase areas. They rapidly spread from apartment to apartment via these areas. Jump on control early, or you may end up with 90 percent of the apartment infested.

Also, note that because adult males can fly, when you open up a cabinet or closet, they may fly and land on you.

Oriental Cockroaches
With no pad between their claws, Blatta orientalis walk on their claws on all six feet. This helps them avoid residual treatments. You have to go to a bait, wettable powder or microencapsulated material to achieve control, particularly on cinderblock walls. These insects commonly frequent them, and at night on warm evenings migrate outdoors into alleys or lawns. They also frequent sewers and cesspools.

In general, they remain at the lower levels of a structure — as opposed to the Periplaneta (see below)which can fly all the way to the roof, even of high-rise buildings.

Peridomestic Species
The name “peridomestic” itself tells you it is found inside some of the time. The main group belongs to Periplaneta(American, brown, smoky brown and Australian species). In warmer climates, all four species do just fine outdoors — and they can invade and go back outside again. However, they often invade and remain indoors.

Their egg capsules are not carried once formed. Instead, they deposit them, often gluing them to rough surfaces. This makes control that more difficult to accomplish. You may eliminate (or come close to it) for the nymphs and adults. But about a month or two later, new ones appear from hatched capsules you could not find or reach.

When baiting, remember that these roaches are relatively large in size and consume a great deal. Small bait stations and small amounts of gel baits are not going to cut it.

Wood Cockroaches
This is a term used to define several different genera. The key points to remember are that they generally cannot complete their life
cycle indoors, and that the adult males are attracted to exterior lighting. They fly to the lights and are found the next day inside or on the immediate exterior. Sometimes they can survive in firewood piles or under exterior wooden shingles on the surface of a building.

The bottom line? Different cockroach species behave differently. Use these differences to obtain better control.

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