Why haven't there been more famous songs written about cockroaches? How about if Dorothy had sung, "Some--where under the floorboards… roaches lie…" Would that have caught on? Of course not. The simple truth is people don't generally sing about cockroaches because people don't like cockroaches! In this article, we are going to look at some of the common cockroaches in our Kansas service area, the dangers they pose, and what can be done about them.
Brownbanded Cockroaches (Supella longipalpa)
"You ain't nothin' but a cockroach, flyin' all the time…"
This roach is light brown in color and grows to be around 1/2 an inch long with females shorter and stouter than the males. Though both have fully developed wings, the females are not able to fly, while the males will fly away quickly when provoked. This roach gets its name from the distinctive banding that is found on its body.
Brownbanded roaches, when they infest, will feed on almost anything from garbage to food stored in your kitchen. But they also feed on non-food items such as nylons, drapes, and wallpaper. They have been found to carry and spread disease-causing bacteria and protozoa which causes gastroenteritis as well as diarrhea. Roaches are also known to trigger asthma and allergies, and cause food poisoning and dysentery by contaminating foods and food prep surfaces.
German Cockroaches (Blattella germanica)
"The walls are alive… with the sound of roaches..."
While this roach has the word "German" in its name, it did not come from Germany. It actually started out in Asia, but now it is found infesting every nook and cranny in the world, even Kansas. And also Germany.
The German cockroach grows to be around 13-16 mm in length, is flat and oval-shaped, and has 2 antennae, 6 legs, and 2 sets of wings. It has a tan coloration with 2 dark brown parallel stripes on the back of its head.
Like other roaches, German cockroaches cause many illnesses, trigger asthma and allergies, and can cause skin rashes. German cockroaches are hardy and fast and have few natural predators inside human habitats. For these reasons, their populations tend to grow rapidly and can be hard to get rid of, often requiring professional treatment. These and other factors make them difficult to completely eradicate, especially with DIY methods.
Pennsylvania Wood Cockroaches
"Take me home… country roach..."
A Pennsylvania cockroach grows to be around 1 inch in length and is dark brown in color with its thorax and the front portion of its wings outlined in a whitish-yellow color. Though both males and females have wings, only the males can fly, and only for short periods.
These roaches do not typically enter man-made structures but prefer to live outside in the woods for most of the year. However, if a female has wandered inside during mating season, males will follow her in when she puts off pheromones to attract a mate. Another way this type of roach may end up indoors is by being transported in when infested firewood is carried inside.
Oriental Cockroaches (Blatta orientalis)
"Oh, I just died in your walls tonight!"
Another roach that didn't originate where its name suggests, Oriental cockroaches came from Africa. An Oriental cockroach is large, pill-shaped, black and shiny, and looks like it is wearing armor. Although some types of Oriental cockroaches have developed wings, they do not fly.
These roaches, like those German cockroaches, will also eat just about anything. In fact, they will even eat other cockroaches that die inside your wall voids. They often live inside drains and garbage disposals, and they also spread disease-causing bacteria to food and food prep areas. Some of the illnesses Oriental cockroaches are known to spread include different forms of gastroenteritis, E. coli, salmonella spp, and more. They transport bacteria on their legs and bodies as they move from filthy places to kitchens and pantries. These roaches can also create quite an odor if populations are allowed to grow. This odor can even taint the taste of foods.
How Rottler Can Help
When you begin to see any of these roaches inside your home, or the signs of their presence, it is time to reach out for professional help. Cockroaches are notoriously hardy and very difficult to eradicate using DIY methods. Don't keep singin' the blues about all those roaches, let Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions help.