Types of Roaches in Houston
Although there are approximately thirty different types of cockroaches in Texas alone, only about five of these thirty different types are generally found in the Houston area: the American cockroach, the German cockroach, the oriental cockroach, the brown banded cockroach and the smokybrown cockroach. These are the most common types of cockroaches for which Houstonians seek roach control. Read below to learn how you can identify each cockroach species, how to prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place, how to know if you need professional roach control in your home and finally, Natran Green Pest Control’s roach control solution.
The American cockroach usually appears to be dark red or brown in color with light yellow edges around its exoskeleton. This type of cockroach will measure from one to three inches in length and has wings. The wings of male American cockroaches are generally longer than its body while the wings of female American cockroaches will only overlap her abdomen. Because both male and female American cockroaches have wings, this type of roach is able to fly. Another way to determine that the roaches infesting your home are American cockroaches is to inspect the back side of their heads. If you can identify a figure eight like shape as you examine the cockroach’s head, it is likely that your home is being infested by American cockroaches.
Female American cockroaches can lay up to sixteen eggs at once into an ootheca. The ootheca is the case in which the cockroaches eggs are laid and carried. Once the female American cockroach lays her eggs into the ootheca, she will then carry the ootheca around with her for a few hours and up to a few days until she finds a safe location to deposit the ootheca. On average, it will take approximately eight weeks for the eggs inside of the ootheca to hatch into nymphs. These nymphs then take from six to fifteen months to fully mature into adult cockroaches.
Although American cockroaches generally live on trees, they can sometimes make their way indoors. It is at this point that you will usually need to seek professional roach control. If an American cockroach finds itself inside of your house, it will likely take shelter in an undisturbed area with high humidity and low light. Popular areas to find an American cockroach in your home are basements, roof voids, bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and under flooring.
2. German Cockroaches
The German cockroach has a more specific and identifiable appearance than the American cockroach which will make it easier for you to recognize if this is the type of cockroach infestation you are dealing with in your home. Adult German cockroaches are usually just over half of an inch long, are light brown in color and have two distinct dark strips running along either side of their backs. Although German cockroaches do have wings, it is rare that this type of cockroach will be found flying and if they do fly, it will only be for short distances.
Female German cockroaches will lay more eggs at once than the American cockroach. Approximately thirty-five to forty eggs will be laid at one time into the ootheca and the German cockroach mother-to-be will carry around the ootheca until her babies are ready to hatch. After about one month, the German cockroach nymphs will emerge from the ootheca and will then take from six weeks to six months to reach full German cockroach adulthood. At a female German cockroach’s peak reproduction stage, she will be able to produce up to two of these ootheca per week. This means that one female is able to lay up to 32 eggs per week which is why it is so crucial to seek roach control at the first signs of an infestation.
Because German cockroaches are primarily indoor pests, it is probable that you will need to seek professional roach control if you are dealing with German cockroaches on your property. Like the American cockroach, German cockroaches prefer to inhabit wet and humid locations inside of your home including the kitchen and the bathroom. When your Natran roach control technician visits your home to apply botanically based roach control treatment, these are areas that are sure to be serviced if an infestation is present.
3. Oriental Cockroaches
Commonly referred to as a “black beetle” or “water bug” in Houston, the oriental cockroach is shiny black or dark brown in color and approximately one and a quarter of an inch long. This makes the oriental cockroach larger in size than both the American and German cockroach. Male Oriental cockroaches have wings that are shorter than their bodies, while the wings of female oriental cockroaches are underdeveloped. However, even though this type of roach has wings, it is incapable of flight and uses its legs as its primary means of transportation. Interestingly, oriental cockroaches are known to exude a very distinct, foul and musty odor.
Like the American cockroach, oriental cockroaches will lay approximately sixteen eggs into an ootheca at one time. After two months, these eggs will hatch into nymphs and become fully grown oriental cockroaches in six to eighteen months time. The female oriental cockroach produces an average of eight ootheca in her lifetime. With each ootheca containing sixteen eggs, this means that the female oriental cockroach is able to produce up to 128 cockroaches. This number alone should encourage anyone dealing with an oriental cockroach infestation to seek professional roach control.
Fortunately, the oriental cockroach has adapted to surviving in its natural outdoor environment and will rarely be found inside of your home. If you do find an oriental cockroach in your home or on your property, it is likely because this type of cockroach prefers to feed on the decaying organic matter in your garbage cans or leaf piles. In the case that you come across an oriental cockroach in your home, you will probably find it lurking in dark, cool and damp areas including drains, sinks and basements.
4. Brown Banded Cockroaches
Another type of cockroach for which Houstonians commonly seek professional roach control is the brown banded cockroach. Similar to German cockroaches, brown banded cockroaches have distinct physical traits that make them more easily identifiable than other types of cockroaches. The most noticeable physical trait of the brown banded cockroach are the yellow to brown stripes which run across their abdomen and wings. Male and female brown banded cockroaches are dissimilar in appearance, as the male brown banded cockroach has a dark brown base color and a gold or tan hue near the end of their wings. In contrast, female brown banded cockroaches have dark brown bodies and red to brown wings. Only male brown banded cockroaches can fly, and they usually only do so in warmer temperatures, such as those we experience here in Houston.
The brown banded cockroach is different from other types of cockroaches in a various ways. One difference is that instead of laying up to sixteen eggs in her ootheca, the female brown banded cockroach will lay approximately eighteen eggs. The mother to be will then carry the ootheca with her for twenty-four to thirty-six hours. Brown banded cockroach eggs will generally take between one and three months to emerge as nymphs. These nymphs then take thirteen to forty-five weeks to become full grown brown banded cockroaches.
Another unique characteristic of the brown banded cockroach is that they will avoid the wet or moist areas that usually attract other types of cockroaches. The brown banded cockroach is attracted to warm environments, including appliance motors and will also seek shelter in the ceilings and attics of heated buildings. These roaches are generally active during night hours and will dine on almost anything including bodily fluids, decaying matter, glue, starch, stamps, envelopes, books and wallpaper. Their affinity to eat such a wide range of items might encourage you to seek roach control if you have a brown banded cockroaches in your home.
5. Smokybrown Cockroaches
The Smokybrown cockroach is another potential home invader in Houston. This type of cockroach is active during the night time and is attracted to light. This means that if the smokybrown cockroach sees light illuminating from your home during the night, it will likely be inclined to make its way to your property. This inclination makes the smokybrown cockroach a good candidate for professional roach control.
This particular type of cockroach is generally one solid color ranging from dark mahogany to black. As the largest of the common types of cockroaches found in Houston, adult smokybrown cockroaches are usually an inch and a half long. This makes these roaches even larger than the oriental cockroach. Both male and female smokybrown cockroaches have wings which extend past the length of their bodies. These long wings make these roaches superb fliers. This comes in handy for the smokybrown cockroach, as their flying skills allow them to fly toward and swarm light sources.
More than most cockroach species found in Houston, excluding the German cockroach, the female smokybrown cockroach will lay approximately twenty-four eggs in her ootheca at one time. These eggs will turn into nymphs within about fifty days and will reach full smokybrown cockroach adulthood within ten to twelve months.
Like most roaches, the smokybrown cockroach tends to be drawn to moist or damp locations. This preference is due to the fact that the bodies of smokybrown cockroaches are easily dehydrated. Fortunately for homeowners, the smokybrown cockroach will rarely make its way indoors, but due to the light coming from your home, will generally find outdoor shelter close by.
When To Seek Professional Roach Control
How do you know when it is time to see professional roach control? There are a few warning signs to look for when investigating whether or not you need to hire a roach control professional. Read below to learn more about some of these signs.
Perhaps the most obvious sign that you need to seek professional roach control service is seeing live roaches in your home or on your property. As most cockroaches are nocturnal, the best time to spot these critters is during the night hours. If you walk into a dark room in your home and see roaches scatter when you turn on the light, this could mean that you are facing an infestation. If you see roaches scurrying around your home during the day, this is an even more dire sign that infestation is occurring or imminent.
2. Finding Roach Feces In Your Home
If you are finding substantial amounts of roach droppings in your home, this is another sign that you are most likely facing an infestation. Roach feces can appear in many forms, including tiny black specs, brown stains and even oval pellets. It is a good idea to look behind your refrigerator, stove, sinks and inside of pantries or cupboards for roach feces, as these are generally high traffic areas for roaches. If you find a substantial amount of feces, it could be time to seek roach control.
3. Finding Oothecae In Your Home
As mentioned, oothecae are the egg sacs where females will lay her eggs until they develop into nymphs. Because roaches breed aggressively, infestations can become severe in a short period of time. These egg sacs will be brown and oblong. Since female cockroaches tend to conceal their ootheca in safe spaces, check for full or empty oothecae in your pantry, behind furniture, cracks in walls or any other well protected areas.
How To Prevent A Cockroach Infestation
Preventing a cockroach infestation is a similar process to preventing any type of insect infestation in your home. The first step you should take is to eliminate any food sources that can attract cockroaches and make sure all stored food is sealed tightly. Secondly, keep your kitchen and other areas where food is eaten or prepared tidy and debris free. Remove any pet food or litter boxes from the ground and rinse your cans and bottles before chucking them into the recycling bin. Try your best to keep your home clutter free, as clutter provides shelter for cockroaches. Roaches will even release a pheromone in their feces that lets other cockroaches know they have found some good digs. Lastly, seal any known entry points where cockroaches might be coming into your home from outside.
Natran Green Pest Control Roach Control Services
Once you have established that you need professional roach control, contact Natran Green Pest Control for sustainable and botanically based services that will rid your home of the annoyances of a roach infestation. We will make sure that your family, pets and our planet are not exposed to the harsh chemicals and toxins found in traditional pest control products. Your Natran technician will use a solution which combines thyme, rosemary and wintergreen oils to create a barrier outside of your home to prevent roaches from crawling inside.
During your first visit from a Natran technician, all roach entry points will be sealed and any infested areas will be thoroughly treated. We will also make sure to find any areas that may be compromised or that need improvement. Once your home’s interior is secured, your technician will then treat the exterior of your home on a regular basis. This provides an invisible twenty foot barrier around your home that will deter roaches from coming near.
If you fear that you are facing a roach infestation, call Natran Green Pest Control today!