A Roach is Still a Roach by Any Other Name…

A roach by any other name would smell as….well you get the gist.  In the United States, people have gotten creative with how to refer to a cockroach. Today, we’re breaking down those nicknames and misconceptions to help homeowners and residents identify insects in their homes.

What is a “waterbug”?

In the South, when people mention waterbugs, they are most commonly referring to the American cockroach. They are typically a reddish brown color and range from 1 1/4″ to 2 1/8″ in length. If your home is infested with American cockroaches, you may notice signs such as the roaches fleeing into dark areas, roach droppings with blunt ends and ridged sides, egg capsules, or a musty odor caused by roach pheromones.

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What is a “palmetto bug”?

Some people refer to these same American cockroaches as palmetto bugs. Another large roach commonly referred to as a palmetto bug, however, is the smokybrown cockroach. Smokeybrowns are closely related to the American cockroach and are similar in size. They are, however, more uniformly dark brown as opposed to the American roaches’ varied color. They are typically an outdoor pest but will retreat to warmer indoor areas during cold weather.
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What are German cockroaches?

German cockroaches are the only totally domestic roach, which means they require human interaction to thrive. It is also the most common species and the most difficult to control. They can breed up to six generations per year! They will feed on almost anything and can find their way into a home or structure by travelling in cardboard boxes, grocery bags, or used appliances. They require a warm, moist environment to thrive which is why they are typically found in kitchen and bathrooms.

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What makes cockroaches filth insects?

Cockroaches are disease carriers by nature. The rows of spines on the tarsi (the last segment of the leg) and spines along the tarsal pads pick up any filth they may walk across. Even their self grooming process is a way that they carry disease. They obsessively groom so one may thing they are a fairly “clean” insect, but in reality they are ingesting any filth that is on them when they groom. Then when they walk across surfaces in your home, the fecal matter they leave behind contains the filth that was removed from their antennae. They can spread diseases such as E. coli, Salmonella, and other kinds of human pathogens. Their saliva, urine, and fecal droppings also contain allergens which contribute to allergy and asthma symptoms.

What can I do to prevent them?

As with most unwanted pests, the best place to start is with prevention. Sanitary conditions inside the home with no food or pet food left accessible will create a less desirable home for pests. Sealing up entry points, addressing indoor and outdoor areas of excess moisture, and obtaining a regular pest management service are also ways of stopping an infestation before it becomes a problem.

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Sources:
http://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/cockroaches/american-cockroaches/
http://pestcemetery.com/the-smokybrown-cockroach/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokybrown_cockroach
http://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/cockroaches/german-cockroaches/

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