Other than size, the general shape of a cockroach is quite similar among all the species. A pronotum (a shield-like covering) projects forward over the head. Their mouthparts are of the chewing type. They have specialized pads on the end of their legs which allows them to easily scale glass windows or walk on a ceiling.
Cockroaches ordinarily prefer a moist environment and relatively high degree of warmth. Cockroaches usually choose to live in protected cracks and crevices which provide a warm and humid environment. Unlike wasps, bees and ants, Cockroaches are not social insects. Even though they are often found in groups in their daytime hiding or resting areas (called “harborage”), and can be found feeding in groups at night, they do not share the food with each other.
Cockroaches that invade buildings will consume a wide variety of food and nonfood items, such as: starches sweets grease plant materials meat products cheese leather bakery products forms of glue hair dead animals beer flakes of dried skin starch in book bindings.
Cockroaches develop by a gradual metamorphosis that consists of three stages:
1. Egg; the female produces a purse shaped egg capsule, called an ootheca.
2. Nymph; nymphs hatch out of the egg capsule by working together to break open the capsule. When the egg capsule is opened, the tiny nymphs emerge to begin their life. The nymphs generally resemble the adults in appearance and behavior, but are smaller, do not have wings or wing pads, and usually have a different color. Newly molted nymphs are white, but will darken to the normal color within a few hours.
3. Adults; depending on the species, the wings of an adult may be long. Some species have very short wings, which appear to be “wingless”. The length of time required for the eggs to hatch, for nymphs to develop, and the life span of adults will vary due to temperature, humidity, the quality of their diet, and other environmental conditions.
Cockroaches are among the most common insects. Based on fossil evidence cockroaches are known to have been present on Earth for 300 million years. There are approximately 3500 species of cockroaches worldwide – about 60 species are found in the United States. Cockroaches produce odorous secretions from various points in their bodies which can affect the flavor of various foods. Although disease producing organisms such as bacteria have been found on cockroach bodies, the principal disease transmitted by cockroaches are gastroenteritis diseases. These include food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea and other illnesses. For the most part, however, cockroaches usually are not associated with severe illnesses or disease outbreaks.
Although cockroaches are able to move around quite easily, and some are able to fly, cockroaches are well known for moving to new areas via “hitchhiking”. Cockroaches are mostly active at night, during which time they forage for food, water and mates. They may be seen in the daytime, usually when a heavy population is present or when some other stress is placed on them (such as lack of food or water).
Since there are different species of roaches, there is different management services. The Turkistan and American Roach require “general pest management“, German Roaches require a “specialized service“. However, control of food, moisture and sanitation plays a part of general management.