American cockroaches (scientific name Periplaneta Americana – Linnaeus) are easily recognizable; they are usually 1-3/8 to 2-1/8 inches in length. Cockroaches have a reddish brown color and have fully developed wings that span their abdomen. Cockroaches reproduce in dark places, mostly hard to reach or see without proper inspection. Female cockroaches lay eggs in capsules; these capsules are laid once each week. The capsules containing the eggs are placed in a protected area and secured by a secretion produced by the female cockroach. A female cockroach can lay between 9-10 egg capsules during her life span; each capsule can contain an average of 16 eggs. Female cockroaches usually outlive the males averaging 440 days while males live for an average of 200 days; secluded living environments would lend to lengthier life spans.
Though cockroaches are more commonly found in commercial facilities such as storage facilities, restaurants, apartment buildings, prisons etc. they sometimes make their way into the common household. Cockroaches are disease carriers since they come into contact with an array of surfaces, food items and waste products just to name a few. To prevent cockroaches from invading your space you can do the following:
- Ensure that garbage is disposed promptly and bins are kept clean.
- Check all boxes and other containers that have stored items for a prolonged period of time.
- Keep all food surfaces, utensils and equipment clean (counters, refrigerators, pantries, cupboards, stoves).
- Inspect your space for any cracks and ensure that these are sealed.