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American vs. German Cockroach Championship

|  May 15, 2014

Welcome to your ringside seat at the Cockroach Championship. Which cockroach species is the toughest to knock out (KO) American or German?

In the blue corner, we have the American cockroach — bigger and harder hitting. Many expect the American to take advantage of its superior size and strength by going for an early knockout.

In the red corner, we have the wily German cockroach — quick and elusive. The German will try to leverage its evasiveness to wear down its adversary. If this championship bout goes the distance, it will be an advantage for the German.

The corner men facing off in this battle royale co-authored The Cockroach Combat Manual II, available at the PMP Bookstore. The American’s corner man is Dr. Austin “The Scorpion” Frishman, a PMP Hall of Famer. In the German’s corner is Paul “Rung My” Bello, a longtime pest management professional (PMP) and retired boxer.

PMP’s readers will decide the cockroach champ, after these two combatants go tarsi to tarsi in a 13-round battle royale.

As ring announcer Michael Buffer says: Let’s get ready to ruuuuuumble!

Tale of the Tape
American Cockroach
Periplaneta americana

Nicknames: Water bug, Palmetto bug and Bombay canary

Size: Typically 1.5 in. or longer

Color: Reddish-brown to tan

Markings: None

Egg capsules: Reddish-brown to black, deposited in various locations; might cover egg cases in debris

Number of eggs in each capsule: Typically 12 to 16 eggs; about 60 capsules per lifetime

Time to maturity: About 400 days to 2 years from hatch to reproductive adult

Annual descendants: As many as 800 from one female. Most egg capsules are deposited in early spring and hatch within six to eight weeks. The greatest numbers of adults are observed in summer and fall.

Preferred habitats: Generally, they’re found in damp areas such as basements, crawlspaces and service ducts. They also live in sewers and sometimes enter structures through sewage pipes and drains. They’re often found in toilets, bathroom sinks and cabinets in the vicinity of sewer drains.

Source: Cockroach Combat Manual II, coauthored by Dr. Austin M. Frishman and Paul J. Bello. It’s available at the PMP Bookstore.

Tale of the Tape
German Cockroach
Blatella germanica

Nicknames: Steam fly and Croton bug (Large numbers appeared shortly after the 1842 completion of the 41-mile Old Croton Aqueduct, which supplied water to New York City.)

Size: Typically 0.5 in. to 0.63 in.

Color: Light brown, tan or tawny

Markings: Two dark or black longitudinal stripes extending from the pronotum rearward on the back

Egg capsules: Yellowish to reddish-brown; carried by the female until ready to hatch

Number of eggs in each capsule: Typically 30 to 48 eggs; about four to eight capsules per lifetime

Time to maturity: About 36 days from hatch to reproductive adult

Annual descendants: As many as 400,000 from a single female

Preferred habitats: Cooking areas close to food and moisture sources; any warm, moist location. They tend to aggregate near warm water pipes; under sinks; in base cabinets, stoves, and hot plates; and behind refrigerators

Source: Cockroach Combat Manual II, coauthored by Dr. Austin M. Frishman and Paul J. Bello. It’s available at the PMP Bookstore.

 

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