The only four cockroach pests that can be found in abundance within all states in the contiguous US are the American, German, Oriental and brown-banded cockroach species. While these four species are the most common cockroach pests found in Arizona homes, the Turkestan cockroach, which can only be found in the southwest, has become one of the ten most commonly managed cockroach species in the US. This is surprising, considering the Turkestan cockroach was first discovered in the US as recently as 1978, while the four most common roach species have all inhabited the US for centuries, with the exception of the brown-banded species. Despite its recent introduction into the US, the Turkestan cockroach is rapidly displacing the Oriental cockroach in urban and suburban areas of the southwest.
While the Turkestan cockroach is like most roach pest species in that it dwells primarily outdoors, the German and brown-banded species dwell primarily indoors. The brown-banded cockroach has only inhabited the US for a little more than a century, while the German cockroach has been a pest in North America since the colonial era. Due to centuries of habitat expansion, the German cockroach is encountered within American homes far more often than the brown-banded cockroach. The German cockroach is easily the most commonly encountered and difficult cockroach pest to eradicate from infested structures, and this is largely due to the species’ resistance to virtually all insecticide formulations.
Although cockroaches do not live in colonies like ants and termites, they are somewhat socially oriented, as they live in groups to maximize resources. Male and female adults also become rather choosy when selecting mates, and they are known to communicate by mutual antennae contact as a courtship ritual. Fertile males and females locate secluded areas, such as narrow cracks and crevices within wall voids, for a proper site in which to mate for a period of 80 minutes or so. German cockroaches proliferate within wall voids and other inaccessible indoor areas rapidly, and females carry their egg cases (ootheca) for days before eventually dropping them shortly before they hatch. This is why homeowners are unlikely to locate German cockroach eggs within infested homes.
Have you ever positively identified a German cockroach specimen within your home?