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Cockroaches are probably one of the most common insects that you run across in your home and on your property. They have been around for millions of years and are located on almost every continent except for Antarctica (and I bet there are scientists on that continent that found one or two in the kitchens of the science facilities too!). They are adaptable and hardy creatures that many think will outlast humans.
The funny thing is, they can be hard to recognize. People often confuse beetles and water bugs and other things with roaches. So, what do cockroaches look like?
Cockroaches are flat. They are very flat for insects and they use that to their advantage. Have you ever wondered just how cockroaches got into the pantry, or into the house at all? They do it by being able to squish down into the smallest crack or crevice. This allows them to hide, get at the food they want and, as far as us humans are concerned, be a general nuisance.
Most cockroaches tend to have a singular color scheme: brown. Yes, there are differences depending upon the species. For example, Oriental cockroaches are generally dark, even black. Some species are brown, but have black around the edges. Banded cockroaches have different colored bands around their head and across their back and wings.
Cockroaches are true insects and have six legs. They have a hard-shelled body that provides them with some protection (have you ever stomped on one only to see it spring back up and scuttle off?). Their heads generally face downward so they are on a constant lookout for food, with the head protected by more of the armored shell. Most species have wings that fold down over their back.
They come in all sizes. Most of them are oval-shaped, but the length and even the weight can vary. For example, the German cockroach is just over a centimeter in length. The Madagascar hissing cockroach can be up to three inches long. The giant burrowing cockroach is 1.2 ounces, making it the heaviest cockroach in the world, but it also grows up to 3.1 inches.
Now that you know what they look like, here are some other things you should know about cockroaches…
There are several species of cockroach that do actually fly, and most species have wings. However, there is a strange quality to the insects in that there are many that have wings, but rarely fly. They are fast on their feet and tend to fly only when threatened. There are even a few, such as the Madagascar hissing cockroach, that don’t even have wings.
They eat pretty much anything they can get their mandibles on. They prefer things like meat and sweets, but they also eat dead flesh and other unpleasant things. This is what makes cockroaches such a problem – the fact that they often traipse through material loaded with bacteria and other things they can then transfer to your kitchen counter, cabinets and other areas.
Baby roaches, known as nymphs, look similar to adult cockroaches except they are smaller and adults of most species usually have wings. Also, nymphs can have a lighter color than adults, particularly if they have recently gone through a molt. Nymphs that have just molted are white to cream in color, but their exoskeleton becomes harder and turns darker.
The main concern with cockroaches is that just a couple of them can quickly reproduce and create an infestation, so these need to be eliminated as soon as possible.
Do you suspect a cockroach infestation in your property and are struggling to control it?
Our experts at Western Exterminator will:
Contact us today to get rid of the cockroaches once and for all!
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