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A recent survey indicated that the cockroach was the most despised creature, beating out snakes, rats, bats, and spiders.

The German cockroach or Blatella germanica is consider it to be a pest because it invades where we live, eat and sleep. There are between 4,000 to 7,500 different species of roaches. Of this amount, only one percent are considered to be a pest. Some of the other more common species are: 

They have pathogens or bacteria on their bodies, but none have been known to be transmitted to humans. Their mouths are used for chewing, not biting. Most roaches are nocturnal, that is, they prefer the night and are sensitive to all forms of light except for the red spectrum. They are most active right after dusk and right before dawn. They seem to appear according to a biological clock. This activity may be a response to a genetic defense because light may indicate the presence of humans, their most dangerous predator. They prefer to live in warm, moist places and are more abundant in tropical areas. However, they can live in almost any environment and they have been found in the North and South Poles.

Cockroaches Facts

German Cockroach

The German cockroach is the most common cockroach in Canada. Its’ distinguishing features are a flattened oval body with long spiny legs and measures 15 mm when fully grown, and both the male and female have wings. Its’ color is light brown with two dark stripes running lengthwise on the thorax. Other species that can be found are the American Cockroach, the Oriental Cockroach and the Brown-banded cockroach.

American Cockroach

Adults are approximately 1-1/2 inches long and reddish brown, with fully developed wings that cover the entire length of the abdomen. Both male and female are fully winged. The wings of the male extend slightly beyond the tip of the abdomen, while those of the female are about the same length as the abdomen. Nymphs are similar in appearance but are smaller and do not have wings. American cockroaches are capable of flying but rarely do in northern areas of the United States and Canada. The American cockroach can be identified by its large size and reddish brown color with faded yellow edges on the thorax. This the largest cockroach found in houses. Females can hatch up to 150 offspring per year. Cockroaches don’t get their wings until they become adults.

Brown-Banded Cockroach

Brown-banded cockroaches get their name from the two lighter bands they have across their dark brownish bodies. In addition to the distinctive banding, males have full wings, which reach beyond the tip of their rather pointed abdomens, but females have underdeveloped wings, much shorter than their broad, rounded abdomens. The lighter band markings are much more distinct in nymphs than in adults of either sex. Both adults and nymphs can be distinguished by the two brownish, broad bands across the body at the base of the abdomen and at mid-abdomen. Both males and females are quite active; adult males fly readily when disturbed. They are light brown, about 1/2 inches long, have two light, irregular bands along their wings. The German Roach has two dark, distinctive bands behind their heads.

They don’t require the same moisture resources as the German Roaches, so they are commonly found in furniture, or on the walls and ceilings.


Development from eggs to the adult takes from three to four months and the cockroach can live for up to one year. Female cockroaches can produce an egg capsule that may contain up to 40 eggs which are dropped prior to hatching. Each female may produce up to eight egg cases in her lifetime.

Damage Caused by Cockroaches

Cockroaches do not cause any structural damage to buildings or to vegetation, and are second only to house flies in spreading disease. Cockroaches are capable of transmitting diseases to man, including salmonella bacteria, polio and many forms of viruses because of their movement through assorted habitats, including refuse heaps and sewers. They are a major problem in many hospitals, hotels, restaurants, bakeries, butcher shops, multi-unit residences and homes, and are found around sinks, behind stoves and refrigerators, in drains and cracks. Cockroaches are active year-round and are attracted to food, water, warmth and shelter. They eat anything and in particular products containing starch. They are nocturnal insects which mean that they are most active at night and any sudden light will cause them to scurry for shelter. Cockroaches can be found under the cleanest of conditions, wherever food and warmth are present.

Where to Look for Cockroaches

Cockroaches hide in dark, sheltered places during the day and come out to feed at night. They may be found around the kitchen sink or drain board, in cracks around or underneath cupboards and cabinets or inside them (especially in the upper corners), behind drawers, around pipes or conduits (where they pass along the wall or go through it), behind windows or door frames, behind loose baseboards or molding strips, on the underside of tables and chairs, in the bathroom, and in radio and TV cabinets. The German cockroach is usually found in the kitchen and bathroom, although it may be found all over the house.


The elimination of cockroaches is an extremely difficult and time consuming project. There are several developed products that Ecopest Inc. has available for application, and due to the nature of cockroaches an Ecopest Inc. professional may need to be consulted for complete elimination.

Additional Information

The biggest roaches’ problems are a result of poor sanitation. Unclean living condition from housekeeping neglect is the major contributing factor for cockroaches’ infestation. More importantly, roaches are highly transportable pests that can easily travelling though wall voids and along the plumbing lines from one unit to another. For this reason, we highly recommend doing inspection and necessary preventative treatment to the adjacent units in apartment buildings or townhouses units.

DIY - Do It Yourself Tips

Methods of Cockroach Control 

– An integrated pest management approach is the most effective method of cockroach control.

– Spraying

– Baiting

– Prevention

– Sanitation

Prevention and Sanitation

– Prevention and sanitation can be divided into four categories:

– Exclusion

– Elimination of food

– Water

– Harbourage.


– German cockroaches can initially infest a structure when infested grocery bags are brought inside. Inspect groceries for cockroaches before storing. Keep grocery bags in outside storage areas.

– Cockroaches breed prolifically in corrugated cardboard boxes. Discard unnecessary boxes immediately.

– Dwellings such as apartments that are separated by a common wall are particularly difficult situations. An infestation can migrate between apartments via the plumbing encased in a common wall. Therefore, cockroaches from one apartment can easily migrate to another apartment, infesting a “clean” dwelling. To help prevent this, caulk holes in common walls and around plumbing.

Elimination of Water Sources

– Water is the most important factor in cockroach survival. German cockroaches can survive only 12 days with food but no water. However, if only water is present with no food, cockroaches can survive for about 42 days.

Eliminate water sources by doing the following:

– Tighten or patch leaky pipes in kitchen and bathroom areas.

– Do not let water stand in sinks for long periods of time.

– Do not over water indoor plants because accumulated water will be available to cockroaches.

– Empty pans under refrigerators used to catch water from condensation.

– Be aware that pet drinking dishes, aquaria, and pipe condensation (under sinks, in wall voids) can also be sources of moisture.

Elimination of Food Sources

– Cockroaches do not need large amounts of food to survive, especially in the presence of water. Furthermore, food sources can compete with cockroach baits, decreasing their effectiveness.

Elimination of food sources includes:

– Store and dispose of garbage properly. The highest concentration of cockroaches in a home is usually around the garbage can and around the refrigerator.

– Seal garbage can lids to prevent cockroaches from accessing food sources. Also, keep garbage areas clean by wiping frequently.

– Dump sink strainers frequently to prevent food build up.

– Wash dishes immediately after use. Dishes left unwashed are a major source of food for a kitchen infestation.

– Keep kitchen appliances such as toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, stoves, ovens, and refrigerators free of crumbs and other food debris. In addition, clean the areas around these appliances.

– Reseal all food after opening or store in the refrigerator.

– Seal pet food tightly. Do not leave food and water out all the time.

– Regularly vacuum or sweep under and around furniture where people eat, such as the dining room table. Vacuuming can also remove cockroach egg cases that will not be killed by insecticides. Remember to promptly dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in an outdoor container.

Elimination of Harbourages

– In addition to food and moisture, cockroaches require a place to live. The cockroach harbourage is critical to its survival. Cockroaches prefer dark places that are warm and moist. Places that provide tight spaces such as stacks of newspaper or cardboard, piles of clothing, or cracks and crevices in structures are ideal.

Eliminate harbourages by doing the following:

– Seal cracks and crevices. Adult cockroaches can fit into cracks only about 1/16 inch and prefer spaces of about 3/8 inch.

– Keep clutter such as newspapers, bags, and clothing from accumulatin

Frequently Asked Questions - Cockroaches

Q: Why we should know how to get rid of cockroaches?

A: We need to get rid of cockroaches in our house because this is very annoying, unpleasant and not good to our health. This kind of pests brings different kinds of diseases which harms our kids or our family. This is very common problem in our house and very dirty if contaminate into our food it could cause food poison.

Q: Are cockroaches dangerous to our health?

A: Yes, it is very dangerous to our health because this kind of pest brings different kinds of diseases to our body.

Q: Why I can’t find cockroaches hiding place in the morning?

A: It is very hard to look for the hiding place of the cockroaches in the morning because cockroaches are nocturnal pests. Cockroaches are nocturnal which means that they will only start showing in the night.

Q: Where do cockroaches usually stay?

A: Cockroaches are always hiding in the very corner in our house that is dark. This is could be found always in the corner of the cabinet, and also in the kitchen sink that is why we need to clean our kitchen every after we use it to prevent cockroaches in contaminating our kitchen tools.

Q: What is the best way to kill cockroaches?

A: The best way to kill cockroaches is to consult pest control professionals. If you want to do it yourself then you find the hiding place of the cockroaches and use pesticide to get rid of roaches, if you want you can also call Ecopest and ask advice on how to get rid of cockroaches or buy pesticides at Ecopest store.

Q: Is cleaning help how to get rid of cockroaches?

A: Yes, this is the best way how to get rid of cockroaches naturally in our house. We need to clean our house always in order to prevent not only cockroaches but also other pests in the house. Also we are not only preventing pests in cleaning but also we can prevent different kinds of diseases.

Q: What disease we can get from cockroaches?

A: Disease that we can get from cockroaches is usually a food poisoning which the cockroach contaminates the food or the utensils that we are using. This is also one of the reasons why our children are easily got sick because cockroaches bring different kinds of bacteria which lower our immune system.

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