Residential infestations of cockroaches expose its occupants to cockroach fecal material, saliva and body fragments; all are potentially severe asthma triggers, especially for children.
In New Jersey, the “big four” roaches that infest our structures are the German, brown banded, American and Oriental cockroaches. A fifth species, the Pennsylvania wood cockroach, is an occasional nuisance pest in our area. The German and brown banded are both colonizers that prefer indoor locations; once they find a place to their liking, they have no reason to leave unless you give them one. Other types of roaches, such as the Oriental and American, are invaders, choosing to come inside only when outside conditions are unfavorable; they are attracted to moist, humid areas.
Cockroaches are nocturnal and stay in the dark whenever possible. When they are seen in the open or in the light, it usually means that a large infestation is present. They also like to hide in tight, narrow spaces where their bodies can touch surfaces both above and below. They will eat virtually any item that has nutritional value including dog food, any human food items and even soap and glues.
Cockroach infestations can and does happen in any New Jersey structure – homes, schools, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses and offices. Any building that has food preparation or storage areas is at risk. Cockroach infestations are a serious health hazard. They contaminate food and eating utensils, destroy fabric and paper products and impart stains and unpleasant odors to surfaces they contact. Cockroaches, which come into contact with excrement in sewers or with pet droppings, transmit salmonella and other bacteria that cause food poisoning. German cockroaches are capable of transmitting disease-causing organisms such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and hepatitis. They also have been implicated in the spread of typhoid and dysentery.
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German cockroaches are the smallest of the invading roaches. The adults are only about ½ inch long. They are light brown with two dark stripes on its shield. The German cockroach is the most common indoor species, especially in multiple-family dwellings. Whenever we get a phone call regarding a cockroach infestation, the German cockroach is the usual suspect. German cockroaches have proven themselves to be very successful at infesting human structures. They are resilient roaches and don’t give up easily when subjected to pest control activity. A German roach infestation generally requires multiple fronts to bring the infestation under control.
These insects prefer food preparation areas, kitchens and bathrooms because they favor warm, humid areas that are close to food and water. Severe infestations easily spread to other parts of buildings.
This species reproduces the fastest of the common pest cockroaches: a single female and her offspring can produce over 30,000 individuals in a year. Egg laying occurs more frequently during warm weather. The female carries around a light tan egg case and each case contains about 30 young. A female can produce a new egg case every few weeks.
Brown Banded Cockroach are often found in offices and other places where paper is stored, apartments or homes that are not air-conditioned and over-heated office buildings.
Brown banded cockroaches are about the same size as German cockroaches but are not as widespread. Males are golden tan; females are darker brown. Both have light-colored bands on their abdomens.
They seek out warm areas and favorite locations include near the warm electrical components of appliances. Brown banded cockroaches prefer starchy food including the glue on stamps and envelopes.
We have also found brown banded roach infestations in kitchens and hospitals. Females glue light brown egg cases to ceilings, beneath furniture, or in closets or other dark places where eggs incubate for several weeks before hatching.
The oriental cockroach is a larger cockroach, over an inch long, and is sometimes referred to as a water bug or black beetle. It lives in dark, damp places like indoor and outdoor drains, water control boxes, woodpiles, basements, garages, trashcans and damp areas under houses. It is most likely to occur in single-family dwellings that are surrounded by vegetation. It is also common to find them in ivy, ground cover and outside locations where people feed pets.
Oriental roaches prefer cooler temperatures than the other species do and populations of this species often build to large numbers in masonry enclosures such as water meter boxes. At night, oriental cockroaches may migrate into buildings in search of food. Females deposit dark red-brown egg cases in debris or food located in sheltered places.
The American cockroach prefers warm and humid environments. They are also common in sewers, steam tunnels and masonry storm drains. Occasionally they forage from sewers and other areas into the ground floor of buildings. Adult females carry the egg cases around for about 6 days and then cement them to a protected surface where they incubate.
The Pennsylvania wood cockroach can be brought inside eastern homes when firewood is brought indoors or when it moves into homes from surrounding wood. Adult males are about 1 inch long and the females only grow to about ¾ inch. Once indoors, they wander around, looking for a food source. They can also be found in rain gutters, under shingles (especially cedar) and in garages. If the home or building is near a wooded area, the Pennsylvania wood cockroach may see a cedar-shingled home as a fallen tree and a new, potential nesting area.
Cowleys Pest Services proudly offers pest control services throughout the Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex County area, including Trenton, Toms River, Edison, Brick, Brick, Lakewood, Freehold, Piscataway, New Brunswick, Princeton, Jackson, and nearby in New Jersey. Call or contact us today to schedule a Free Estimate or to learn more!