M.R. Smoker-Special News Correspondent-
Phoenix, Arizona: The German cockroach is the most common cockroach found in homes, apartments, restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals and other buildings where food is stored, prepared or served. They eat food of all kinds, (Omnivores), and may hitchhike into the home on egg cartons, soft drink cartons, sacks of potatoes or onions, used furniture, beer cases, in corrugated cardboard, etc. These cockroaches will move from building to building during the warm summer months. They can develop into large populations and live throughout the home, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. A significant number of people are allergic to cockroaches, and may exhibit chronic symptoms without realizing the cause of their watery eyes or runny noses. Cockroaches can also contaminate food with bacteria that can cause food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea.
Life Cycle and Habits
German cockroach females, unlike most other cockroaches, carry ootheca, egg cases, which protrude from their abdomen until the eggs are ready to hatch. The ootheca, egg case, is dropped in a secluded location, where the nymphs emerge within one day. A female may produce four to eight cases during her lifetime, each containing 30 to 48 eggs. Eggs hatch in about one month, and nymphs develop in 1-1/2 to 4 months. Adult female cockroaches live about 6-1/2 months and males live slightly less. The German cockroach produces more eggs and has more generations per year (three to four) than other cockroaches, thus troublesome infestations can develop from a few individuals. This cockroach has spread throughout the world by commerce and transportation. It is the most prevalent pest in apartments in the United States. During the day, these cockroaches hide in clusters behind baseboard molding, in cracks around cabinets, closets or pantries, and in and under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. The crevices behind kitchen drawers and beneath the sink are one of the primary cockroach harborages. If clusters of cockroaches can be seen during the day, the population is large. Both nymphs and adults are very active and capable of running rapidly. Without food and water, adults may die in two weeks. However, they can live with only water for up to a month.
German cockroaches are detected by examining the premises after dark with a flashlight and with sticky glue traps. During the day, probing hiding places with a thin wire or thin wood strip will expose cockroaches. Adults and nymphs usually hide clustered together. Household sprays when applied directly to hiding places will flush and kill cockroaches. Insecticide bait stations can also kill cockroaches. For severe or persistent infestations, Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination will provide the most cost-effective control.
In many cases, German cockroaches will move from one building to another; however, infestations are usually initiated through the introduction of infested materials, via electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures. Inspect for cockroaches and their egg cases in sacks, cartons, boxes, used appliances and furniture, etc., brought into the home. Sanitation is critical in cockroach control. (Unsanitary living conditions from housekeeping neglect are the major contributing factor of German cockroach infestations)
The key to controlling German cockroaches with insecticides is to place the insecticides directly where the cockroaches are hiding. Enter a dark room quietly, turn on the light, and watch where the cockroaches run. Spot-treat these hiding places and known pathways, especially beneath and behind loose baseboards or molding strips and around pipes or conduits along the walls and through them. Do not treat entire floors, walls or ceilings. Cockroaches may hide around the kitchen sink or drain board, in cracks underneath cupboards and cabinets, inside the motor compartment of mechanical refrigerators, behind window and doorframes, in radio and TV cabinets, and around closet and bookcase shelves. Surfaces used for food preparation, should never be treated with insecticide. Instead, seal cracks and crevices with putty, plastic wood, or other caulking material. Infestations in multi-dwelling housing usually require the treatment of adjacent units as well. There are numerous cockroach insecticide formulations. Those labeled "general use" for homeowner application and others are labeled "restricted use" for professional pest control or licensed, certified pesticide applicators, Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination.
Before using any insecticide, READ THE LABEL and follow directions and safety
precautions. Most insecticides available to homeowners come in aerosol cans and are sold in supermarkets, and hardware stores. Many of these products contain the same active ingredients used by professional exterminators. Moreover, most of the products are very similar in effectiveness if used correctly. In other words, it is not so much which insecticide is used, but how the insecticide is used. Concentrated liquid insecticides that must be diluted with water and applied with a hand-held sprayer are also available in hardware and farm supply stores.
When applying insecticides in kitchen and bath areas, all food, dishes, utensils, medicines, etc. must be removed and placed in an area away from the pesticide application. All drawers; should then be removed from the cabinet structure. In this way, the German cockroaches’
The use of "insecticide bombs" is not recommended for cockroach (or any other insect) control. These types of insecticides are not very effective in eliminating cockroach infestations, and can be extremely hazardous if used incorrectly.