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American Cockroach

Body: reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head

The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting roaches. They are 1 and 1/2 inches long (38mm). American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 84 degrees Fahrenheit and do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings. They feed on a wide variety of plant and animal material. these cockroaches may move indoors, seeking warmer temperatures and food. Cockroaches may enter houses via sewer connections, under doors, around utility pipes, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation. Roaches can foul food, damage wallpaper, books and clothing, and produce an unpleasant odor. Some home owners are allergic to roaches, and the pests can contaminate food with certain bacterial diseases that result in food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea. Cockroaches can cause childhood asthma.

German Cockroach

Body: brown to dark brown in color with two distinct parallel bands running the length of the body

The German cockroach is the cockroach of concern, the species that gives all other cockroaches a bad name. It occurs in structures throughout Texas, and is the species that typically plagues multifamily dwellings. The German cockroach is found throughout the world in association with humans. They are unable to survive in locations away from humans or human activity. The German cockroach has three life stages typical of insects with incomplete metamorphosis: the egg, nymph, and adult. The entire life cycle is completed in about 100 days. Under ideal conditions, population growth has been shown to be exponential. German cockroaches adulterate food or food products with their feces and defensive secretions, physically transport and often harbor pathogenic organisms, may cause severe allergic responses, and in extremely heavy infestations have been reported to bite humans and feed on food residues on the faces of sleeping humans.

Water Cockroaches

Body: black or brown

This cockroach is a large species of cockroach, which usually grows to a length of 1½ inch to 2 inches. It has a wide, glossy body, and appears at first glance to be wingless, however it does have very short wings just beneath its head, which are useless for flying. The cockroach, when disturbed, often emits a strong, disagreeable odor, somewhat reminiscent of amaretto. The roach is slower moving than other species. It prefers damp locations, lots of moisture, and does well in warm, damp climates. It is found in its native habitats, such as Texas and the West Indies. The roach can wander indoors at times, especially into damp locations, such as bathrooms, however, it is found mostly outdoors and is not considered a major pest in the home. It is cold intolerant and requires a warm, sub-tropical or tropical climate. It can often be seen in sheltered outdoor locations