What Do I Need to Know About Asian Cockroaches?

What are Asian Cockroaches?

In the 80’s, pest control companies began having trouble exterminating the common German cockroach. These roaches didn’t behave like they should: they didn’t scuttle away when you turned on a light. They seemed to stalk people in their homes. And, worst of all, they flew around like crazy!

These new mutant German cockroachs certainly didn’t look like American cockroaches (which also fly) or any other known species. But when the pest control community began looking closely, they realized that these uber-roaches were not—in fact—German cockroaches (blattella germanica) but a closely related species; they were Asian cockroaches (blattella asahinai).

Their similar appearance wasn’t the only thing that made identification difficult; the Asian cockroach had barely been discovered in Okinawa, Japan in 1981. It was introduced to Lakeland Florida by 1986 and has since spread as far west as Texas, and as far north as South Carolina.

Asian cockroaches can be differentiated by their longer wings, which aid in their flight. While German cockroaches will only rarely fly, Asian cockroaches are strong flyers, able to cover distances of up to 150 feet. The odorous body oils are also different in Asian and German cockroaches, though this usually requires a laboratory to test.

Asian Cockroach Ecology

Asian cockroaches prefer to live outside in shaded, moist areas where they can eat leaf litter. However, they will take up shelter indoors if the opportunity arises. Unlike most roaches, Asian roaches are attracted to light. This will cause them to fly towards human habitation and to enter through cracked doors and windows. As lights are turned off, they continue deeper into the house, following the trail of light as they seem to stalk people in their homes. Asian roaches can be seen on TV screens, lamps, and other sources of light. So, if you turn your light on and the roach doesn’t immediately scamper away, it’s probably an Asian Cockroach.

Asian Cockroach Control

Their only redeeming quality is that Asian cockroaches can eat the eggs of insects that are harmful to crops, such as moths and butterflies. But because Asian cockroaches can carry disease, they are pests like most other roaches. They pick up these diseases in their moist environments and can deposit them on food storage and preparation areas.

So, a roach is a roach; what kills one should kill another, right? Well, as pest control agencies discovered in their first encounters, what works against German cockroaches doesn’t always work on Asian cockroaches. The chemical barriers that keep German cockroaches out don’t work on Asian cockroaches. These barriers don’t penetrate into mulch piles and can be easily flown over. However, Asian cockroaches are not as resistant to insecticides as German cockroaches, so bait pellets can be very effective. As usual, keeping your house clean will put up a big “No Vacancy” sign out for any roach species. However, Asian cockroaches are usually forced indoors by overcrowding: they are such prolific breeders, that they can reach population densities of up to 200,000 per acre!

If you see an Asian Cockroach roaming your home, or any other pest, give Preventive Pest Control a call today to schedule a consultation and services!

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