General Overview
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.


Habitat
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.


Life Cycle
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
cockroaches.


 

Cockroach Life Cycle
The German cockroach is the most common cockroach 
species found in homes, apartments, restaurants, hotels, and other institutions. Adults are pale to medium brown and about 1/2 to 5/8 inch long. German cockroaches are easily distinguished by the two dark stripes on the top of the head.The American Cockroach or "palmetto bug" will grow to 1 1/2 inches or more. It is reddish brown with a pale yellowish border on the surface of the pronotum. They are found in yards, hollow trees, palm trees, shrubs, and woodpiles. This species can fly as well as glide for long distances.Asian cockroaches resemble  German Cockroaches in appearance, but have different behavior. They prefer shaded, moist areas in landscapes, lawns, and leaf litter. Asians are active at dusk and fly very well. They are attracted to bright colored surfaces such as TV screens, lamp shades, and walls.Brown banded cockroaches are the smallest species, growing to about 1/2 inch.  It is light brown and is easily distinguished by two lighter, transverse bands running from one side to the other across the wings.They are transported in furniture and spread rapidly throughought a structure.Smokey Browns are closely related to the American but are smaller in size being just more than 1 inch long, mahogany in color, and do not have a lighter coloration on their pronotum. They are usually found living in wood piles, gutters, or any other dark, moist areas with decaying organic matter.
German
American
Asian
Brown Banded
Smokey Brown
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