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American Cockroach

Pennsylvania Woods RoacThe American cockroach's name is misleading, as they didn't originate here, and are found throughout the world. Of roaches that can be found in your house, this is the largest. They can be up to 2" long. They are colored red-brown, with a lighter yellow or tan band behind their head. Females lay a dark brown egg capsule around 1/3" long. These roaches can also run very fast, and occasionally the adults will fly. American cockroaches are more commonly found in areas like restaurants, bakeries, and food or pet stores. With a preference for warmer areas, they can also be found in sewers or even outdoors. They will eat just about anything, but have a strange attraction to fermenting items. These habits give them the ability to contaminate food, and spread disease.

american cockroach

Brownbanded Cockroach

The brownbanded cockroach is named for the lighter colored bands marking its body. Males and females vary somewhat in appearance, but are both around ½" long. Only male brownbandeds can fly. Females produce yellow-brown egg capsules around 3/16" long. These roaches commonly live in homes and apartment complexes. Attracted to warm and high places, you can find them in ceiling fixtures, showers, behind loose wallpapers or moldings, or almost anywhere hard to get to. Besides these areas, they also hide out in appliances, which can be a way for them to hitch rides to new locations. They can contaminate food, but also eat and damage many non-food items such as glues in book bindings, or even stockings.

brownbanded cockroach

German Cockroach

The German cockroach is well adapted to living in people's homes and reproduces quickly, making it the most problematic pest roach around. The German roach is around ½" long and tan colored, with two darker colored stripes starting behind their head. Female's egg capsules are lighter in color, and around ¼" long. Hiding mostly in small cracks during the day, they come out when it's dark to look for food and water. Roaches can spread various types of disease, and damage things like books and wallpaper by eating glues. Since they feed mostly on bits of leftovers and garbage, they are typically associated with unsanitary conditions. They have a couple different ways to get into your house. When it's warm out they can migrate from one home to another, crawling in through cracks or holes. Alternatively, they are very often brought in as hitchhikers. Since they hide in just about anything, they can be moved to a new location via things like equipment, food products, or cartons. This has made their distribution very widespread. Making their control even more difficult, this roach has the unique ability to build up a tolerance to certain pesticides.

german cockroach

Oriental Cockroach

The Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis is a shiny-black roach, around 2 cm long, with characteristically short antennae. Female has short wings, male has wings that extend half way down the body, with neither male or female being able to fly. The Oriental cockroach, despite its misleading name, is predominantly a pest of North America and Europe and is thought to have originated from North Africa. This species normally becomes active in spring, as it over winters as an inactive nymph. Mating occurs within 10-days of the female final moult. An egg case is produced about 10-days later, which the female will carry for 1-2 days before depositing. Often, the female will cover the case in partially chewed debris, to further protect the egg case. Egg case incubation lasts for 40-70 days. Female may produce 8-10 egg cases in her lifetime and there are around 16 eggs per case. Males develop faster than females with adults taking 7-8 moults and 5 months to mature. Females take 10 moults and 6 months.

oriental cockroach

Smokey Brown Cockroach

(1" to 1-1/4") The smokey brown roach is uniform in color, typically brownish black and very shiny. They are good flyers and are attracted to lights at night. Found in warm, dark, moist areas such as treeholes, ivies, mulch, woodpiles and soffits/eaves of attics with moisture problems, they are very mobile. The smokey brown roach has the reputation of being the most difficult to control because it is so active and has many habitat preferences. Very thorough methods and persistence are required for effective control.

smokey brown cockroach

Pennsylvania Woods Roach

The Pennsylvania woods cockroach (Parcoblatta pennsylvanica) is a species of cockroach, measuring about 1" long. Parcoblatta virginica and Parcoblatta fulvescens may also at times be grouped together with this species under this name since they are similar. It is dark chestnut or chocolate brown, with lighter brown wings. The thorax appears shiny dark brown or black. The male has wings that cover the abdomen, while the female has wing pads, which do not entirely cover the abdomen. The female tends to be shorter in length, about 3/8". The males and females look so different they were once considered two different species.

The Pennsylvania woods cockroach has a fairly wide distribution, being found in the northeastern, southern, and midwest regions of the United States quite commonly. They are usually found outdoors, but they can wander indoors, although they are not as common indoors as many of the other roach species. They may be found indoors more often in houses near woods. They are reported to be quite strong fliers and the males can be seen flying around outdoors. The males can be attracted to light, and if they come indoors at night, the females may follow. They can also be found wandering around in the day if they do wander indoors. They particularly like wood, such as trees, log, timber, and wood piles and may be brought inside with firewood. They survive in the bark of trees during the winter in cold climates as partially grown nymphs.

The Pennsylvania woods cockroach eats a wide variety of items. Cockroaches are usually scavengers, and thus can eat a wide array of items, often almost anything organic, including decaying matter.

pennsylvania woods cockroach


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