Cockroaches are one of the most adaptable and successful insects. They can infest any type of structure from homes to commercial establishments. They can be brought in with purchased merchandise and can travel freely within a building along wires and pipes. While they are mostly a nuisance pest, they are capable of carrying disease pathogens as well as causing allergic reactions or asthma attacks.
German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)
The German cockroach is the most common species in the Lower Mainland. It is generally described as a small cockroach, 1 to 2.5cm in length. They are a light brown to red brown color with 2 dark brown longitudinal stripes on the thorax. Nymph stages resemble the adults but are wingless and tend to have pale areas on the thorax. The ootheca, or egg capsule, is about 1cm in length, slightly curved, and is a yellowish brown color. Female cockroaches carry the egg capsule until 1 to 2 days before the nymphs emerge. However, the egg capsules may be dropped prematurely if the female is threatened with danger. On average, there are 30 to 40 eggs per capsule. Development time from egg to adult is on average 103 days butw can range from 54 to 215 days.
German cockroaches are not social insects but many individuals will occupy a harbourage area together. Harbourage areas include cracks and crevices in walls, cabinets, or floors. They are generally nocturnal but will be seen in the daylight when the cockroaches are under stress or the infestation is very large and acceptable harbourages are overflowing. In general, they spend about 75% of their time in harbourages. They are omnivorous and will feed on almost anything from crumbs or scraps of food to glue or toothpaste. While food is important for long term survival, they can live approximately one month on water alone.