Cockroaches are mostly tropical insects. Those that are found in the colder climates, such as Winnipeg, are those that enter buildings. In buildings, cockroaches can become a serious pest. Fortunately, cockroaches are not known to carry a specific disease. However, they do feed on all sorts of things including human food, fabric and book bindings. Winnipeg has three species of cockroaches: American, German, and Oriental.
The German cockroach is small, 12 to 16 millimeters in length. It is pale to dark brown in colour and has two dark brown stripes behind the head. Immature cockroaches have stripes running the full length of its body. The German cockroach leaves an offensive odor wherever it has walked.
The Oriental cockroach is a medium to large-sized cockroach, 25 to 35 millimeters in length. It is black to very dark reddish brown in colour. The adult male has very short wings while the female has only wing stubs.
Adult female cockroaches may live a year or more when conditions are good. The female lays 12 to 25 eggs in rectangular cases. The female often carries the case before attaching it to an object in a sheltered location. It can take two to three months before the eggs hatch. It can take four months to one year for a cockroach to be fully grown.
Cockroaches are shy insects and like confined spaces. They prefer warm moist areas. You can often find cockroaches in drawers, cupboards and closets and under sinks and stoves. A favorite spot is a refrigerator’s motor area.
Cockroaches are very active and can easily move from one area in a building to another. You must control cockroaches throughout a building to have successful control.
To have successful long term cockroach control, do the following:
Reduce moisture levels by keeping bathroom and kitchen cupboards dry and clean.
Store food and garbage in containers with tight fitting lids.
Paint and caulk to reduce the number of cracks and crevices.
Check cockroach activity by placing traps in areas where cockroaches travel.
There are many products available for controlling cockroaches. Products considered environmentally friendly include silica aerogel, diatomaceous earth or boric acid powder. You can dust these products into areas where you find cockroaches.
Other products include permethrin and propoxur. Follow label directions. All Pest Control products purchased and used must be registered with Health Canada and contain a Pest Control Product (P.C.P. or PCP) Number on their label.
Due to the difficulty in successfully controlling cockroaches, many people hire exterminators. You should hire an exterminator that offers more than one visit in a package price. Repeat applications are necessary to successfully control cockroaches. Please see the Yellow Pages under exterminators.