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Cockroaches and Their Control

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1 Cockroaches and Their Control
Dr. Richard M. Houseman Department of Entomology University of Missouri


3 Cockroaches Order Blattaria Incomplete metamorphosis Food Scavengers
3,500 species worldwide 55 species in U.S. Incomplete metamorphosis Food Scavengers Preferences vary by species Warm, moist habitats Domestic/peridomestic High reproductive capacity Oviparous, ovoviviparous, viviparous

4 Life History Life Stages Eggs Nymphs Adults
Normally produced in egg cases called ootheca Hatch within days, depending on species Some species lay no eggs, or they hatch internally Nymphs Most active feeding stage for molting and growth Live for days, depending on species Adults Intermittent feeding and reproduction Live for 2-52 weeks, depending on species

5 Cockroach Biology Habitats Active at night
Prefer warm, moist environments Near food and water sources Protected harborages are very important Domestic species occur indoors Peak feeding just after dark and just before dawn Peridomestic populations not limited to indoors Peak feeding after dark until middle of night

6 Cockroach Biology Feeding and Nutrition
Cockroaches are not proud…just hungry Chewing mouthparts Feed on a wide variety of things--starches, greases, sweets, decaying organic matter, feces, garbage, etc. Contamination Regurgitation and defecation on food Pheromone secretions (characteristic odor)

7 Cockroach Biology Reproduction
Chemicals and sound used to attract mates Female attracts male Antennal contact is essential Primarily on cuticle and antennae Copulation May last for hours Package of sperm deposited Males of some species seal vaginal opening

8 Missouri Cockroaches 5 Common Species Domestic and peridomestic
German Brown-banded American Oriental Pennsylvania wood Domestic and peridomestic Can be identified by the egg case or adult stage

9 Domestic Cockroaches German cockroach
(Blatella germanica) ½ inch; grayish-tan; two stripes pronotum; ootheca slender, 1/3”, light brown Ootheca carried for 3weeks 1 day; eggs; 4-8 ootheca Nymphs stage lasts days Adults live 4-6 months Variety of foodstuffs Mostly kitchens and bathrooms

10 Domestic Cockroaches Brown-banded cockroach
(Supella longipalpa) ½ inch; red-brown; light stripe across abdomen; ootheca small, ~1/4”, barrel-shaped Attached ootheca 40-60 days; 18 eggs; ootheca Nymph stage 3-5 months Adults 4-8 months Variety of foodstuffs Throughout homes Appliances, ceilings, walls

11 Peridomestic Cockroaches
American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) 1½ inch; red-brown; yellow margin of pronotum ootheca large, >1/3”, barrel-shaped Attached ootheca 30-50 days; 14 eggs; ootheca Nymph stage 6-20 months Adults months Decaying organic matter Moist, shady areas outdoors Drains, basements, boiler rooms inside

12 Peridomestic Cockroaches
Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) 1 inch; dark brown; shiny; no distinctive markings ootheca large, >1/3”, barrel-shaped Attached ootheca 40-60 days; 16 eggs; 6-8 ootheca Nymph stage 6-20 months Adults months Decaying organic matter, filth Moist, shady areas outdoors Sewers, drains, basements inside

13 Peridomestic Cockroaches
Wood cockroaches (Parcoblatta pennsylvanica) 2/3 inch; dark brown; slender; yellow margin on pronotum, wings Ootheca slender, curved, >1/3” Ootheca deposited under bark Rarely breed indoors Nuisance pests in May, June Decaying organic matter Incidental invaders Infested firewood often the cause

14 Cockroach Control Cultural Chemical (>200 products)
Sanitation is key Chemical (>200 products) Baits Most important part of roach control Should be placed near harborage Nymphs most susceptible Adult females less susceptible Don’t place in treated areas Can be transmitted via feces

15 Cockroach Control Chemical Liquids Crack and crevice spray
Directed at harborage Helpful to get females Quick knockdown Space sprays Gives some residual activity Shouldn’t use this during baiting program

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