Archive for the ‘Roaches’ Category

Why It Is Important To Accurately Identify Filthy Australian Cockroaches That Invade Homes Through Drains

In most US states, German, American, Oriental and brown-banded cockroaches are the most common home invading roach species, as all four are found throughout the contiguous US, and they are the only four roach pests found in much of the northern half of the country. However, in the southern states, several other cockroach species are well known for frequently establishing indoor infestations, some of which include Turkestan, Surinam, brown and Asian cockroaches. Of all cockroach pest species that inhabit only the southern half of the US, the Australian cockroach is the most common home invader.

A 2016 survey of pest control professionals in all US states found that the Australian cockroach was the fourth most commonly encountered roach within homes, which is surprising considering this species can only be found in the subtropical southeastern states. According to the survey’s results, the Australian cockroach was even more common than the brown-banded cockroach within homes. The Australian cockroach is the most common roach pests found in homes throughout Florida, and they are particularly abundant in southern Louisiana as well.

Australian cockroaches are of African origin, and they likely arrived in North America for the first time centuries ago by hitching rides on colonial slave ships. This species thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, and their lack of tolerance for cold weather motivates them to seek warm shelter within southeastern homes during the winter. Much like Oriental, smokybrown and American cockroaches, Australian cockroaches congregate in sewer systems where the warmth and abundance of food in the form of feces, dead skin, hair and rotting food scraps allow the pests to thrive. Unsurprisingly, Australian cockroaches are notable for thriving in pipes, sinks, septic lines, and they frequently appear in toilet bowls.

Residents of Louisiana often spot harmless non-pest cockroach species that accidentally wander indoors or fly toward artificial lights. It is important to avoid confusing Australian cockroaches with these non-pests, as Australian roaches spread numerous disease-causing microorganisms to human food sources and indoor surfaces by virtue of their filthy hangouts. Australian cockroaches resemble American cockroaches due to their relatively large 1 to 1 ½ inch body size and their reddish-brown to dark brown coloration. Unlike most cockroach pest species, Australian cockroaches are capable flyers.

Have you ever encountered cockroaches in your toilet bowl?

Why These Little-Known Cockroach Pests Are Becoming Increasingly Problematic In Louisiana

Since cockroaches are among the most commonly encountered insect pests within homes, many people likely assume that a relatively high number of roach species inhabit the US. Surprisingly, only around 70 cockroach species have been documented in the US, the majority of which remain outdoors and are not considered pests. More than 4,500 cockroach species have been documented worldwide, and most species dwell in tropical locations where the humid climate and abundant vegetation provide the insects with the nourishment they require.

Considering North America’s temperate climate, it is not surprising that a relative few roach species dwell on the continent. In fact, just about every roach pest species in the US is a non-native species that originated from a more tropical environment, mostly east Asia and Africa. While the most common and widely distributed cockroach pests in the US, like German and American roaches, first arrived in North America centuries ago, many exotic roach species are still inadvertently transported into the US today. In subtropical Louisiana many newly introduced cockroach species are thriving, and some have already become pests of homes and buildings.

While not the most recent non-native cockroach found in Louisiana, the pale bordered field cockroach was first discovered in the US in 1967 after specimens were collected from a clothing store in New Orleans. This cockroach is native to Mexico, and it is considered to be only a minor pest of homes. However, this cockroach species is attracted to artificial white lights within and on the exterior of homes, and they do not have to travel far to access the interior of homes due to their abundance in gardens and landscape mulch.

The Asian cockroach was first discovered in the US in 1986 near a shipping port in Florida, and today, these roaches can be found in the Gulf Coast states. This species is attracted to artificial white lights, and they can establish lasting reproductive infestations within homes. Another recently introduced cockroach species, the Argentine cockroach, is also attracted to artificial white lighting, and they are commonly mistaken for Asian cockroaches due to their similar appearance and pest behaviors. Switching common white light bulbs to yellow light bulbs can prevent the above mentioned roaches from invading homes.

Have you ever found green colored Cuban cockroaches within your home?


What Sort Of Indoor Conditions Allow German Cockroaches To Thrive Within Homes?

Having an infestation of cockroaches likely sits up at the top of most people’s list of worst nightmares. Cockroaches are generally greeted with a scream whenever they are stumbled upon by someone in the middle of the night. German cockroaches are unique in that they are one of a few insect species that has evolved to dwell solely within human homes as opposed to outside in the natural environment. This ties our two species inextricably together in a way that no humans can be happy about. We live side by side with these pests our entire lives, and spend much time trying to figure out how exactly to avoid dealing with them. This makes the understanding type of human habitat German cockroaches prefer to dwell inside paramount to keeping them from residing in your own home.

It probably not a surprise that German cockroaches are most commonly found in areas of the home where food is stored, such as the kitchen, pantry, and other storage areas. Readily available food sources, therefore, make for an important factor involved in where German cockroaches choose to settle down. Food must be abundant for German cockroaches to choose infest an area. This is rather disturbing, as the presence of German cockroaches has been shown to worsen allergies as well as asthma, and if an infestation is large enough, they can even transmit pathogens, germs, and bacteria they ingest or pick up to humans while they are out exploring and foraging in our kitchens and amongst the food we eat. Making sure you keep your house and especially kitchen clean and uncluttered will help control cockroach pests. Depriving them of the food they desperately seek out from our own kitchens can help keep them from infesting your home.

In addition to areas with an abundant food source, German cockroaches gravitate toward dark, warm, and tight areas, preferably where they can maintain constant contact multiple surfaces. Areas that are humid, warm, and have lots of food sources are where they will commonly be found. Keeping your home clean and free of clutter also helps reduce the kind of dark, humid, and tight areas they prefer. Sealing up cracks and crevices, as well as fixing any plumbing issues, will also help lessen these conditions throughout your home and keep cockroaches from using these cracks to enter your house from outside.

Have you ever had an infestation of German cockroaches?


Why Louisiana Has Become The Go-To State For Filming Cockroach Pests

Much like all other states in the contiguous US, the German, American and Oriental cockroach species are the three most common roach pests in Louisiana. However, due to Louisiana’s wet, warm and humid climate, the state is home to a diversity of cockroach species that are well documented as being pests within homes. The brown-banded cockroach species was introduced into the US over a century ago, and today they can be found throughout most of the country, but are most abundant along the Gulf Coast. Another pest species, the smokybrown cockroach, is rapidly increasing its population size in Louisiana, and less pestiferous roach species, such as Turkestan and Surinam cockroaches, are found on occasion within homes in the state.

Multiple surveys have found that New Orleans sees a higher rate of cockroach infestations than any other city in the country. For example, according to the American Housing Survey, a whopping 40 percent of households in the city reported roach infestations during 2015. Although New Orleans does not need any more roach-related publicity, a new horror film about killer cockroaches was naturally shot and set in the city, and a recent video showing massive numbers of roaches climbing over one another within a car in Calhoun has recently gone viral.

Since the video went viral on September 15th, people all over the world have been wondering how hundreds of cockroaches could possibly come to inhabit a parked car outside of a truck stop. However, once it was revealed that the footage was shot in Louisiana, the seemingly unusual footage began to make a little more sense to those who have visited the state. The footage was captured on a cell phone by a random woman who walked past the roach-infested car on her way into a truck stop restaurant. Needless to say, she lost her appetite.

Have you ever found cockroaches in your vehicle?


The Types of Cockroaches That Often Appear In Homes

Several cockroach species have been documented in Louisiana, a minority of which are pests. The most common cockroach pests in Louisiana include German, American, Oriental, brown-banded and smoky-brown cockroaches. These cockroaches are more than just a nuisance within a home, as they spread allergens and disease-causing organisms. Two species, the German and brown-banded cockroaches, dwell primarily indoors, making them particularly difficult to control. All other pest species invade homes occasionally where they often maintain a long-lasting presence. However, in a wet and humid state like Louisiana, not every cockroach/es a person sees indoors is categorized as a pest. This may come as a surprise to some people, as spotting even one roach indoors is often reason enough to assume that an infestation has occurred, and identifying the species of cockroach found indoors is not always considered necessary. That being said, there are four roach species often found in Louisiana homes that pose no health threat to humans, and are not looking to set up camp indoors. These four species are not pests, but a few of them are commonly mistaken for pest species, which may prompt unnecessary calls to pest control professionals.

According to the LSU Ag Center, the Cuban cockroach, the red-legged cockroach, the September cockroach, and multiple species of woods cockroaches are not pests despite being found indoors occasionally. Woods cockroaches can be found on trees during the nighttime hours, and they are often mistaken for German cockroaches when they appear in homes due to their dark exterior and .5 to 1 inch body length. The September cockroach is also similar in appearance to a few cockroach pest species, only the September cockroach is particularly well suited for flying and a red-colored patch can be found behind their heads. This species is abundant on lawns and leaf-litter, and they are highly mobile during the day and evening hours during the summer, sometimes bringing them into homes. The red-legged cockroach is one of the most common roach species in Louisiana, and they can be identified by their conspicuous red legs for which the species is named. The Cuban cockroach is not easily confused with roach pest species on account of its lime green exterior, but they may become a nuisance during the spring and early summer when they take flight toward porch lights.

Is it normal for you to notice multiple roach species in your home during the summer months?

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