Cockroaches undergo gradual metamorphosis with three distinct stages, including egg, nymph and adult. The female produces an egg capsule, or ootheca, that is blackish-brown in colour. Approximately 16 eggs are laid in the egg capsule, arranged in two rows of eight eggs each. An average of at least 14 eggs can hatch per egg capsule. The female may deposit up to 18 egg capsules, with an average of eight per female. Usually the egg capsules are deposited in places where food is readily available. Eggs hatch in about two months.
Newly emerged nymphs are very light, but later change to a reddish- to blackish-brown
colour. Adults are glossy, with a dark reddish to blackish-brown colour. The adult
females may live from 34 to 181 days.
Cockroaches are omnivorous, but they prefer to feed on starchy foods. Their ideal habitat temperatures range from about 68 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They are typically found in dark, damp basements, areas between soil and the foundation, underneath pavements, in sewer pipes, floor drains and any other cool, moist place.
Cockroaches can infest residences, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, cruise ships, warehouses and many other places where sufficient food and water are available. They are of public health importance because they can mechanically transmit pathogenic organisms such as salmonella, and are a source of powerful allergens.
Insect identification, thorough inspection and assessment of the infestation, is the key
to successfully managing cockroaches both indoors and outdoors. The cockroach population can be substantially reduced non-chemically by denying food and water, maintaining proper sanitation, altering the harbourage and installing sticky traps.
Chemically, cockroaches can be treated by using appropriate pesticides.
Cockroaches are common in commercial premises and are associated with food handling.
During the day they hide in cracks and crevices around kitchen sinks, cookers, refrigerators, drains and cupboards, coming out at night to feed. They will use interconnecting ducts and pipes to move from one building to another. They need food, water and shelter. They are often found in kitchens and bathrooms near to the water source.