Cockroaches are overall the most hated pest in the world. In addition to their large size, and frightening appearance, cockroaches are very hard to kill, and get rid of. They are capable of surviving for weeks without food, and can be very hard to exterminate. Furthermore, due to their role as an insect, cockroaches tend to infest unsanitary areas and spread germs and bacteria, and they can even transmit diseases through their fecal matter. They can also produce very strong and unpleasant odors, and their feces can carry pathogens and viruses as well, making them highly undesirable from a health perspective. In rare cases, American cockroaches have even been known to bite due to having large chewing mandibles. A bit from the American Sewer Roach can often lead to infection. All cockroaches are primarily nocturnal; most cockroaches prefer damp cold area, or warm damp areas. . Cockroaches are quite susceptible to light, and constantly seek secure dark areas for refuge, which is why they may seem to scatter, run and hid, when light switches are turned on. In the Phoenix area, there are four prominent species of cockroaches:
American (Sewer) Cockroach
The American cockroach is the biggest. It often exceeds 2 inches in length, and is commonly found on the exteriors of Phoenix area homes. American cockroaches are identified by their reddish-brown color, which darkens as they mature. Adult American cockroaches develop wings and are usually the most “feared” type of cockroach, for their large size, quick speed, and tendency to fly short distances, particularly when startled. Although more resistant to the dry desert weather than other roaches, the American cockroach prefers moist shaded areas, where it can feed and breed undisturbed. American cockroaches still enter Phoenix homes frequently through unsecured pipes and voids in walls under sinks and behind toilets, drains, and opened doors and windows. Once inside homes, American cockroaches will descend towards food sources, such as the kitchen, scavenging for crumbs or other exposed forms of food (such as pet food), or the bathroom, seeking dark and grimy areas, where moisture and organic decay can be found.
The German cockroach is the smallest roach species in Arizona, hardly ever more than 1.5 inches in length, and is mainly found inside Phoenix homes, primarily in the kitchen. In fact, the German roach is the most common kitchen pest found in the Phoenix area. German cockroaches are light brown, with two black stripes just behind their head. German cockroaches do have wings, but hardly ever fly, and prefer to run or “scurry” around. In Arizona, German roaches are almost entirely found indoors, and prefer warm, humid areas of a home, and are most often found in the kitchen or the bathroom. German roaches are usually introduced into homes when they are brought in on the outside by unaware homeowners, often in boxes and bags of food and other goods, and then infest locations where food is prominent. German roaches are also able of roaming and spreading through plumbing lines. German roaches can feed on a huge variety of food sources in addition to actual food, including toothpaste, glue, and even soap. Their ability to eat almost anything, paired with their small size and quick reflexes, makes them very difficult to eliminate. German roaches are well known for their ability to quickly reproduce and multiply. German roach infestations are characterized by their pepper-sized droppings, occasional egg capsules, and an unpleasant “musty” odor. German roaches in particular are also known for their ability to transmit and spread a variety of dangerous pathogens, including E. coli, Salmonella, and Typhus.
The Oriental cockroach, also known as a “water bug”, is about 1 inch in length, and is the most water-dependent of the roaches found in Arizona, and therefore are found in the moist areas of homes, and often come through plumbing lines into homes, they breed in the sewers and some irrigation boxes depending on the temperature. Oriental cockroaches are usually a dark-brown to shiny black color, and are incapable of flight, although males do have short wings. Oriental cockroaches mainly feed on decaying matter, such as garbage and or other filth, and are considered the dirtiest cockroach species, and can produce a strong mildewed smell, similar to that of German roaches.
The Turkestan roach is about an inch long, brown to black, and it actually prefers the outdoors. If it is inside, like any roach, it’s going to want a drink and will likely end up in or near a sink or tub. Turkestan roaches are an outdoor cockroach that feed on debris and other organic matter. Males are attracted to lights; finding them inside often exhibits a need to pest-proof exterior entryways. They prefer hot temperatures. Often found in meter and irrigation boxes, near sprinkler lines, and exposed debris piles, where they break down waste and other various forms of debris.
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