Cockroach Control

Type of Cockroach Species

  • American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
  • German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
  • Brown Banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
  • Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)

Cockroaches do not have a specific dietary preference, they consume a wide variety of food and items. They eat almost anything and everything

Facing any Cockroach issues?

reasons WHY COCKROACH is CONSIDERED A PEST:

1. fOOD CONTAMINATION

The main concern over cockroach as a pest is that they are vectors for bacteria, virus and fungi. Besides being able to spread Salmonella, a pathogen which causes food poisoning, they are also a carrier to StreptococcusClostridium and others that cause deadly diseases. These diseases can be caused via contamination of food.

Contamination of food can occur through their excrement. Cross-contamination can also occur when bacterial organisms get deposited onto food. These bacterial organisms can be picked up while they were scavenging for food (trash, sewage, etc.) or from other raw food sources.
In addition, cockroaches do not have a specific dietary preference, they consume a wide variety of food and items. They eat almost anything and everything! Other than the food that we eat, they also consume things like soap, glue, leather as well as animals, animal fecal and dead plants. This significantly increases the chances of cross-contamination.

CR5

2. aLLERGIES/ASTHMA

We may develop allergic reaction towards cockroach due to the presence of allergens in their saliva secretions and body parts. This can trigger an undesirable reaction that results in skin rashes, watery eyes and sneezing.
These allergens may cause severity in asthmatic people or even life-threatening. Whereas people who are non-asthmatic can still develop cockroach asthma when inhaling allergens cockroach.

3. Cockroach Bites

Getting bitten by a cockroach is really rare but some species do bite. As mentioned above, cockroach eats almost anything which hence includes fingernails, soft part of the skin and even strands of hair!

life cycle of cockroach

LC of CR

eggs

Female cockroaches do not lay their eggs individually, they reproduce egg cases which are also known as ootheca. Ootheca contains many eggs depending on the type of cockroach species. (E.g. German Cockroach ootheca can carry approx. 30 – 40 eggs while American Cockroach can carry approx. 16-20 eggs)

Nymphs

Newly hatched nymphs are wingless and white in colour. Shortly after birth, they will turn from white to brown and the exoskeleton will harden. Nymphs have to undergo several molting processes before turning into adults. After the final molting, the nymphs (depending on the species) will develop wings. The duration of the process from nymph turning into adult varies depending on the species. Some may take only a few weeks while others may take up to a year. For example, German cockroach takes approx. 3 months to turn into adults after molting six to seven times while Oriental cockroach can take one to two years to turn into adults after molting for seven to ten times.

adult

The lifespan of adult cockroaches varies depending on species. It averages around the period of one year. However, factors like temperature and other environmental conditions also determine the survivability of cockroaches. Cockroaches by nature are nocturnal creatures. They scavenge at night for water and food. They are also able to reproduce very rapidly, and because of this, when overcrowding occurs, some roaches are forced to scavenge during the day.

signs of cockroach infestation

Droppings

Cockroach droppings are one of the definite signs of cockroach infestation. Cockroach droppings can be the size of a rice grain or coffee ground depending on the size of the cockroach. Colour of droppings are typically dark, ranging from black to dark brown.
House mouse droppings and cockroach droppings may look similar in size, but they differ visually. House mouse droppings have pointed ends while cockroach droppings are in cylindrical shape with ridges along the sides.The volume of the droppings also acts as an indicator of the amount of cockroaches you are dealing with.

odour

One of the signs of cockroach infestation is through odour. The odour is often described as musty and oily. This odour is due to the pheromones produced by the cockroaches. Pheromone is a chemical signal which acts as a form of communication between cockroaches for two purposes:

(i) Aggregation Pheromone
Although cockroaches live as a group, unlike termites’ colonies who have an organized social structure where different members play different roles, cockroaches do not have an organized social structure, they just prefer to live in groups. Therefore, when a cockroach finds a good place to live, it marks the site with pheromone odours to attract others.
(ii) Attraction for Mate
Pheromones are also used to attract males for mating. Female cockroaches emit pheromones which attract swarms of male cockroaches to it. Humans are able to smell these pheromones, but to us, it is just a nasty odour. Dead cockroaches also emit another type of scent which is called death stench. The death stench is due to the oleic acid produced by cockroach’s carcass. The scent can act as a warning signal to the other cockroaches that there is a threat of death around the area.

ootheca

Ootheca is also typically considered a sign of infestation. This is because the presence of ootheca indicates there are cockroaches harbouring nearby.

cockroach reproduction methods

There are three reproduction methods in which eggs are hatched depending on cockroach species

1. Oviparous
(American, Brown Banded & Oriental Cockroach)

Oviparous species extrude their ootheca and deposit it near to food sources. Sometimes, shortly after the egg formation (brown colour), the female sticks it to a surface using saliva secretion from her mouth. One or two days after deposition, embryogenesis (development of eggs) continues and the ootheca will turn from light brown colour to black colour as the ootheca hardens. Oviparous species’ ootheca are usually hard and rigid as it helps to protect the eggs from desiccation (dehydration) American, Oriental and Brown-banded Cockroaches are oviparous species.

2. Ovoviviparous
(German Cockroach, Madagascar Hissing Cockroach)

In contrast to oviparous, ovoviviparous keeps their ootheca inside the female cockroach abdomen until it is ready to hatch. Ovoviviparous are characterized into two categories due to the slight difference in the process of embryogenesis:

(a) False ovoviviparity
False ovoviviparous species will extrude the ootheca first to rotate it and resorb it back into the uterus. This has to be done in order for embryogenesis to occur. During the embryogenesis, the eggs will have sufficient yolk to develop and they receive water from the mother. When the nymphs are ready to hatch, the ootheca will fully extrude out. If not extruded, the nymphs will then emerge out from the female abdomen. Therefore, false ovoviviparous species’ ootheca is relatively thin, less rigid and are permeable to water as compared to oviparous ootheca.  One of the common species that use this oviposition mechanism is the German Cockroach.

(b) True ovoviviparity
True ovoviviparous species do not develop ootheca, instead, the eggs are deposited directly from the oviducts into the brood sac in a random manner. During embryogenesis, the eggs have sufficient yolk for development and will obtain water from the mother. Example of a true ovoviviparous species is Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.

3. Viviparous
(Pacific Beetle Cockroach)

Unlike oviparous and ovoviviparous, viviparous is a highly evolved oviposition mechanism within the cockroach species. Reason for this originates from the highly nutritious “milk” that is produced by the mother to the embryo; which is an uncommon phenomenon in cockroach species.
Viviparous species tend to have small ootheca and are usually partially extruded and retract into the uterus. The eggs are enveloped by an incomplete membrane. During embryogenesis, eggs do not have sufficient yolk and water to be fully developed. However, during the gestation period, the embryo is able to get “milk” that is high in protein from the mother via the wall of the uterus called pleuropodia. Using this highly evolved oviposition mechanism is the Pacific Beetle Cockroach.

Did you know?

A cockroach can live a week without its head as they have open circulatory system that allows them to breathe through little holes in each of their body segments. Therefore, they do not depend on the mouth or head to breathe. The cockroach dies a week later because without a mouth it can’t drink water and will die of thirst.