The American cockroach,
an intrusive cockroach
Native to tropical Africa, cockroaches, or cockroaches are found today on all continents. In Quebec, we have at least 16 species. The most common are Germanic cockroaches. There are also brown-banded cockroaches, oriental cockroaches, Pennsylvania cockroaches, Australian cockroaches and American cockroaches.
Once in our homes, they feed on our food, poison it, and transmit diseases to us.
What do we recognize the American cockroach by? What is its life cycle? What are his mores? How to prevent its intrusion? How to get rid of it?
Here are professional answers to these questions!
|Nom français||Blatte américaine|
|Nom anglais||American Cockroach|
|Nom latin||Periplaneta americana|
Description of the American cockroach?
Of the order of dictyoptera, the American cockroach is the largest of the domestic cockroaches. It measures between 27 mm and 45 mm in length. Also called cockroach, ravet, duck or cockroach, the American cockroach is the most widespread species on all continents.
The male and female have similar dorsal faces but the wings of the male are longer. They protrude beyond the tip of the abdomen while those of the female are about equal in length to the size of the abdomen.
The wings of the American cockroach are 4 in number and attached to the thorax, the anterior being thicker than the posterior, and covering them. They are red-brown in colour.
Although its wings are sufficiently developed, the cockroach does not really fly: it uses its wings to make gliding by letting itself fall. Most of the time, it moves on the ground, and very often, at lightning speed.
The American cockroach is ferruginous brown in color with lighter shades on the chest.
This insect has two large compound eyes as well as two large, long, filiform, mobile and very flexible antennae. Its mouthparts are of the grinder type, and have a pair of strong very toothed mandibles. Its six legs are equipped with thorns.
A reproduction that promotes their intrusion
In the cockroach, mating is usually done by parade. After tapping the back of the female with the help of its antennae, the male of this species remains glued to her for more than an hour.
Once fertilized, the female makes what is called an ootheca inside her abdomen. She leaves it after two days in a place under debris, away from light.
This ootheca, a dozen millimeters long, can hold up to 18 eggs. It takes about fifty days for nymphs to come out. Nymphs already resemble adults but they are smaller, have poorly developed wings, and still immature sexual organs.
The latter undergo 13 molts and finish their development about when they reach the age of six or nine months. After about 20 months, the larvae make 13 molts. Each time it undergoes molting, the body of the American cockroach becomes soft and whitish, and a little later returns to its normal appearance.
With each laying, the female can lay 9-10 ootheca. This means that during its life, it can lay about 80 ootheca. So, a single female can be the cause of 1440 other cockroaches.
Hantavirus, definition and mode of transmission
Hantavirus is a severe lung syndrome caused by a virus. It is secreted in the urine, feces and saliva of infected animals. Most often these are rodents. When humans come into direct or indirect contact with these secretions, the virus is transmitted to them. Ditto when they are bitten by infected rodents.
However, the virus is not transmitted from human to human, only from animal to human. This type of disease is called zoonoses because they can only be transmitted to humans through an animal. It has been found that domestic animals (apart from the domestic rat) and livestock cannot contract hantavirus so there is every reason to believe that only rodents can carry it.
Symptoms of hantavirus
Being a lung disease, one of the characteristic symptoms of hantavirus is difficulty breathing. At the beginning of the disease, the infected person begins to feel fever, chills, headache and muscle pain.
It is about two weeks after the appearance of the first symptoms that they are usually accompanied by a feeling of shortness of breath. Nevertheless, this last manifestation of the disease can be observed after two days as after six weeks; it depends on the organism of the individual.
Hantavirus can also lead to kidney disease or infection. And although they are rare and very few people are prone to them, there is currently no treatment to combat these ailments. It is therefore better to be careful not to contract them.
Customs of American cockroaches, how is their intrusion harmful to us?
The American cockroach likes warm and humid places. But this insect dies automatically when it is a little too cool.
When it comes to feeding, the cockroach (another name for this insect) is an omnivorous insect . Its eating habits range from decaying plant elements to animal carcasses.
When this insect besieges a dwelling, its diet changes. He then feeds on everything he finds like (meats, cereals, fruits, pasta, etc.)
The American cockroach even goes so far as to eat soap, hair and sometimes feces.
The cockroach also feeds on binding glue, clothing or its congeners when they are injured or dead.
This insect is a vector of parasites. When it comes into contact with food, it contaminates food by depositing pathogenic germs that have clung to its paws during its travels. After consumption of these contaminated foods, one can suffer from gastroenteritis, diarrhea and other types of intestinal diseases.
The American cockroach can sometimes cause allergic reactions. This allergy can be a skin reaction or breathing problems. It also happens that the microbes carried by cockroaches are sources of asthma attack.
How to prevent an infestation?
In order to anticipate an intrusion of cockroaches, it is necessary to:
- Use plastic bags rather than paper containers to transport food;
- Check, before introducing containers into your home, if they do not contain ootheca;
- Keep food in tightly closed containers. It is preferable that these containers are made of glass or plastic;
- Rinse all food containers and do not forget to throw organic waste in a trash can that closes tightly;
- Put dirty dishes in soapy water if you don’t have time to wash them;
- Move pet bowls to keep them out of reach of American cockroaches. For example, put them in a refrigerator; or use bowls with lids;
- Install fences at the openings that are in communication with the other rooms of the house;
- Avoid overheating the house because the heat promotes the proliferation of insects while the coolness slows them down;
- Vacuum regularly in order to get rid of the food sources of American cockroaches, the cockroaches themselves, and their eggs. Then immerse the vacuum bag in soapy water. Thus, you will make sure to exterminate all the American cockroaches that would end up there;
- Make everyone around you understand the importance of taking such precautions.
What solutions does the professional exterminator employ?
To eliminate American cockroaches, the expert exterminator in Montreal has several solutions: chemical treatment, traps, and steam cleaning.
- Chemical treatment
The professional exterminator will use pesticides registered by Canadian health services. Since some cockroaches have developed resistance to insecticides, the professional will know how to choose an insecticide that will destroy American cockroaches.
- Adhesive and poison traps
The professional exterminator will know how to use it to get rid of these unwanted bibittes.
- Steam cleaning:
The professional exterminator steam cleans all infested objects (furniture, handicrafts, etc.) while ensuring that nothing else is damaged.
The exterminator can freeze infested objects at -8°C for at least one day.
However, be aware that a professional exterminator must have:
- A permit issued by the Ministère de l’Environnement Durable du Québec marked CD5: Extermination;
- Certified professional extermination technicians;
- An effective working method: he quickly goes to the scene of the infestation. It detects the source of the invasion and offers you adequate solutions;
After the treatment, it informs you of the precautions to be taken to prevent a future intrusion of cockroaches;
- Uses unidentified vehicles and acts discreetly;
- Ensures the effectiveness of the treatment applied against the attack of American cockroaches;
- Chooses at its true value the pesticides to be used to eliminate American cockroaches.
And you, have you ever been a victim of an infestation of American cockroaches? If so, how did you proceed with their elimination ? Share with us your experience in the comments to follow.