Cockroaches are a pest management mainstay. They were one of the pests that led to the birth of our industry, but this leads to the question: Why are cockroaches so successful? There are three main reasons:
1. Parental care. Most cockroach females protect their eggs in their oothecae (egg sacs), increasing the chance for survival. In many species, once the eggs hatch, the young nymphs live in loose family groups that provide them with additional protection during the early, most vulnerable part of their lives.
2. Sheer volume. Typically, female cockroaches produce many individual eggs and oothecae in their lifetimes. This allows populations to build rapidly.
3. The ability to quickly adapt. Cockroach populations — especially those of German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) — encourage rapid selection for resistance. This ultimately allows them to adapt to new pesticide active ingredients and new environmental challenges.
Cockroaches will continue to pose a challenge to our industry as they evolve and change. They also will continue to be a source of constant education and improvement for pest management professionals.