There are four species of cockroaches commonly found in Texas: The German Cockroach, the Brown-Banded Cockroach, the Oriental Cockroach, and the American Cockroach. Their different habits and biology requires proper identification and specialized treatment for effective control.
Cockroach extermination is most effective when conducive conditions (such as moisture problems, sanitation issues, and harborage areas) are corrected first.
The German cockroach is the most common cockroach encountered by exterminators in Texas. Adult German Cockroaches are about 5/8 of an inch in length, have full wings (but don't fly), and have two dark bands running lengthwise down their pronotum.
German cockroaches are vectors of many serious diseases. They are known to be involved in the transmission of food poisoning, salmonella, dysentery, and typhoid. They also are known to trigger asthmatic reactions, and some people are highly allergic to their secretions and shed skins.
Brown-banded cockroaches are smaller than German roaches, usually about a half inch in length as adults.They have two cream-colored bands across their backs, which are hidden under the wings in adults. Adult males are slender, with longer wings. Adult females are broader, with shorter wings. Adult males can fly short distances; females cannot fly..
Brown-banded cockroaches prefer drier environments than German roaches and are usually found in furniture, closets, cabinets, behind wallpaper, in trash storage areas, in electrical or electronic devices, or infesting corrugated cardboard boxes. They can survive on almost any type of food, so proper sanitation is necessary for long-lasting control.
Also known as "waterbugs" or "palmetto bugs," American Cockroaches are large roaches that can grow tolengths of one and a half inches. They are brown in color, with a yellowish or brownish margin around the edge of their bodies.
American cockroaches favor warm, dark, moist areas and frequently are found in basements, utility areas, under bathtubs, in sewers and utility chaseways, and sometimes in outdoor areas (especially around garbage cans or dumspters) during warm weather.
The oriental cockroach is dark-brown to black in color and reach about one inch in length. Males has fully-developed wings, and females have wing stubs, but neither sex flies. They are usually found in dark, damp basements and plumbing chaseways. They also commonly travel outside in warmer weather, often nesting in garbage storage areas or other places where food and moisture can be found.
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