They are opportunistic scavengers that are mostly active at night, feeding on what food they can find. Often this is human and pet food or garbage in our homes. Since they do not care about hygiene, they can passively move pathogens from the dirty sink or garbage can to the plate of cookies that you left on the counter. The American cockroach lays egg cases on out-of-the-way surfaces that contain many eggs.
Size: 1.6 inches in length on average.
Habitat: Moist warm areas, basements, sewers, crack and crevices.
Food: Scavenges on decaying organic matter, food on dirty dishes, unsealed food containers, unsealed garbage cans, pet food. Can live a long time without food and water.
Danger: There is no active danger from roaches, other than hygene issues.
Other: While American cockroaches do have the ability to have many young over their lifetimes, they take 6 – 12 months to mature, so true household infestations are rare. Most American cockroaches that you see inside your house came in from outside. They can get into your house through sewer connections, unsealed doors, outside plumbing connections and other openings to the outside left unsealed.
Name: German Cockroach
Size: 0.5 to 0.6 inches in length.
Habitat: Their small size makes it easy for them to hide in dark cracks and crevices.
Food: Scavenge on decaying organic matter, food on dirty dishes, unsealed food containers, unsealed garbage cans, pet food. They like starch, sugar, grease and meat and can also eat soap, glue, toothpaste and each other.
Danger: The German cockroach can become a hygenic problem fairly quickly because of their fast reproductive cycle.
Other: German cockroaches do not lay egg cases like American cockroaches. The mother carries around 30-40 eggs with her until right before they are ready to hatch. Her young mature in 3-4 months. In a year, a female German cockroach can have over 300 young.
Some Links to Information about Cockroaches:
- Cockroaches University of Minnisota Extension.
American Cockroach – Gary Alpert (GNU Free Documentation License), Roach Egg Cases – Fonke Leif Selber and Carsten Selber (GNU Free Documentation License), German Cockroach – David Monniaux (GNU Free Documentation License),