The hot summer weather has arrived and so have the bugs! This includes cockroaches, and according to the Smithsonian, there are 4,500 different species of cockroaches in the world! Fortunately, we don’t find all of them in the United States! Where we live, there are seven species that are most common.
- American Cockroach: This group is commonly referred to as “Palmetto Bugs” and is the largest of the roaches infesting homes. They have reddish-brown wings and are good flyers. They often invade from sewer systems and heavily mulched areas. They can be found nearly anywhere in a home and can contaminate food, carry disease, damage book bindings, fabrics and wallpaper.
- German Cockroach: This roach has two dark stripes running from front to back on its body. They can be found throughout the world, thriving wherever man lives, eating the same foods and sharing the same habitats. Populations build rapidly from egg capsules being produced about every 20-25 days. Each capsule contains about 35 eggs, with the young maturing in about 100 days. German roaches contaminate food, leave stains, create foul odors and carry diseased organisms.
- Asian Cockroach: These roaches are nearly identical in appearance to German roaches. Adults are light brown to tan in color and possess two dark stripes on the top rear portion of the head. They are strong flyers and prefer to live outdoors. They can be found in places such as horse trailers containing hay, strawberry flats, mulch and ornamental plants.
- Brown Banded Cockroach: Easily recognized by alternating light and dark bands across its back and about the same size as the German roach, these roaches can be found in any structure. They can be harder to control because they tend to be scattered all over the structure. They are often found high on walls, in picture frames, behind molding, near appliance motors, in light switches, closets and furniture.
- Florida Woods Cockroach: This roach is often called the “stinking cockroach” because of the foul smelling fluid it produces to protect itself from predators. They are mainly found in North and Central Florida and are commonly found in leaf mulch, wood piles and under rotting logs.
- Australian Cockroach: These roaches are large and reddish to dark brown with yellow bars on the front edge of their forewing. They are good flyers and enter homes through windows, doors, soffits and gables, especially where moisture problems exist. They breed and live in moist, decaying vegetation outdoors.
- Smoky Brown Cockroach: This roach is uniform in color, typically brownish-black and very shiny. They are good flyers and are attracted to lights at night. They can be found in warm, dark, moist areas such as tree holes, ivy, mulch, woodpiles and soffits/eaves of attics with moisture problems. These pests have the reputation as being the most difficult to control because they are so active and have many habitat preferences.