Cockroaches are the most abundant and troublesome pest. There are approximately 3,500 different species but only four species are commonly found in Iowa. Each species shares in general appearance, generally flat, oval, and tan, brown, or black in color. They have very long, threadlike antennae, large compound eyes, and chewing mouthparts.
Cockroaches are most active at night and stay in the dark whenever possible. They are general feeders and can survive on a variety of foods. Cockroaches have a simple life cycle that ranges from 1 to 12 months. Stages of the life cycle include egg, nymph, and adult.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Cockroaches prefer tight spaces, they are most secure when their front and back are touching something.
German Cockroach – About ½ inch long, tan with two dark stripes running lengthwise on the head, common in kitchens and bathrooms, high reproductive potential; 4-8 egg capsules (30-40 eggs per capsule) per female carried by female until eggs are ready to hatch. The majority of complaints involve this cockroach
American Cockroach – Largest at 1 ½ inch, is reddish-brown; margins of the head are lighter, prefers to live in warm, moist areas. Female produces 12 to 24 eggs capsules (14-16 eggs per capsule) which are dropped in out-of-the-way places.
Oriental Cockroach – About an inch, long and has a shiny black or very dark brown color, the female has very small wings; males’ wings cover about ¾ of the abdomen, found in damp places, may live outdoors during summer months. Female produces 8 egg capsules (16 eggs per capsule) that are placed in protected locations.
Brownbanded Cockroach – Adults are ½ to ¾ inches long, brown with two lighter bands across the base of the wings and abdomen. May infest an entire building and are less confined than other cockroaches to areas of food and water. Most commonly found in harbourages above floor level. Female may produce 14 egg cases (13-18 eggs per case).
Unfortunately, the only way to control a cockroach problem is to institute an Integrated Pest Management Program by a professional.
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