In southeast Georgia, cockroaches are the most common pest that one will encounter. There are about 70 different species found throughout the United States, however, we will be focusing on five which are of the most concern to this area. These include the German cockroach, American cockroach, Brown Banded cockroach, Smoky Brown cockroach, and the Asian cockroach. Any of these can pose a real challenge when it comes to control, however, the German cockroach is the most problematic and of the most concern to people. Cockroaches have a tendency to produce an odorous secretion which, when cockroach populations are high, will cause a strong odor in the infested area. Also, cockroaches have been found to have disease producing organisms, such as bacteria, which have been know to cause food poisoning, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and dysentery. These organisms are carried on the legs and bodies of cockroaches and are deposited on food and utensils as they forage. Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain allergens to which many people exhibit allergic responses, such as skin rashes, watery eyes, and sneezing. For some people, and particularly for those who also have a lung disease such as asthma, allergic attacks to cockroach allergens can be serious or even life threatening. However, cockroaches are not usually associated with severe illness or disease outbreaks.
Cockroaches usually orient to protected cracks and crevices that provide a warm and humid environment. While they do have the ability to move around quite well, they are mostly carried into homes and businesses via hitchhiking. Therefore, it is usually necessary to inspect furniture, clothing, or other goods coming into your home or other facility for the presence of cockroaches which may be hiding in them.
Cockroaches develop by a gradual metamorphosis that consists
of three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The female produces a purse
shaped egg capsule, called an ootheca, which has two rows of eggs
inside. Nymphs hatch out of the egg capsule by working together to
break a seam along the top of the egg case. Once the seam splits
open, the tiny nymphs emerge to begin their life. The nymphs usually
resemble the adult in appearance as well as behavior but are smaller,
do not have wings or wing pads, and often have a somewhat different
color. Newly molted nymphs are white but will darken to the normal
color within a few hours. People often mistake them as albino