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Cockroaches (American Cockroach)
Cockroaches (American Cockroach)

Cockroaches (American Cockroach)


  • Color: red-brown; pronotum (i.e., shield like area behind the head) has a dirty-yellow band around its edge.
  • Size: 1 3/8 to 2 1/8 inches.
  • Fully developed wings which completely cover the abdomen.
  • Egg capsule (ootheca) purse-shaped, dark red-brown, 3/8-inch long, typically eight eggs per side.

Habits of Cockroaches:

  • Female produces nine to ten egg capsules each of which contains from 14 to 16 eggs.
  • Development (egg to adult): approximately 600 days.
  • Adult females live an average of 440 days; males about 200 days.
  • Large populations accumulate in secluded locations because of their long life span.
  • They typically are found in sewers and commercial facilities, e.g., groceries, prisons, restaurants, hospitals, and office and apartment buildings.
  • They prefer warm, damp locations, e.g., steam tunnels and boiler rooms.
  • They are strong fliers which easily migrate from building to building.
  • In the summer, large numbers accumulate in outdoor locations, e.g., in dumps, alleys, and yards, and in the fall, migrate into surrounding structures.
  • They prefer fermenting foods.

Damage From Cockroaches:

  • They are potential mechanical transmitters of many bacterial, fungal, viral and protozoan diseases primarily through contamination of food preparation surfaces.
  • Their body parts, excretions and secretions can cause allergies, asthma and hypersensitivity reactions especially in children.

Look for:

  • Egg capsules glued in protected locations.
  • Fecal deposits and brown secretory deposits.
  • Strong musk odor indicative of large population.
  • Potentially-infested products brought into structures.

How to Control and Kill Cockroaches:

  • Cardboard and plastic sticky traps should be used to pinpoint sources of cockroach infestation and to monitor areas of suspected infestation.
  • Visual inspections should be conducted at night using a flashlight.
  • Sources of food, water and harborage essential for their survival should be eliminated.
  • Clutter should be minimized because large cockroaches like to hide in stacked boxes, cartons, rolled carpeting and stored paper and cardboard materials, especially in dark, damp locations.
  • Vacuum cleaning can be used to physically remove exposed cockroaches.
  • Moisture sources should be eliminated by repairing leaks, improving drainage, and installing screened vents in order to increase airflow.
  • Caulk should be used to eliminate harborage and prevent entry into structures, e.g., especially eliminate cracks at which sinks and fixtures are mounted to the wall and/or floor; around all types of plumbing, baseboard molding and corner guards where shelves and cabinets meet walls and door frames; and cracks on or near food preparation surfaces. Cockroach access routes from wall voids into occupied spaces should be sealed with caulk or grout, especially around plumbing and electrical fixtures.
  • Basement floor drains should be protected with screens or basket inserts and cleaned regularly.

Innovative Pest Management serves the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland area. Call us at (240) 755-0077 to schedule a free quote or appointment.