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Of the four primary cockroach pest species that infest homes throughout the United States, the German cockroach (Blattella germanica) is the most common and hard to control. The German cockroach, and the much less common brown-banded cockroach, are the only two roach species that live entirely indoors where they rely solely on resources generated by human activity in order to survive. These resources include well protected shelter in wall voids and other dark indoor spaces, as well as food sources from trash, sinks, and crumbs that collect beneath appliances and furniture. Other than these two domestic cockroach pests, all other major roach pests in the country are peridomestic species, meaning that they alternate between indoor and outdoor habitats.
Surprisingly, every single cockroach pest that can establish reproductive populations within homes and buildings in the US are actually non-native species that originate from tropical regions. With the exception of the domestic German cockroach species, the most common cockroach pest species in Houston include American, Oriental, Asian, brown, smokybrown and Madeira cockroaches. The Asian cockroach is another indoor pest that has become well established in Houston despite the fact that they have only been living in the US for a relatively short period of time.
The Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai) is native to Japan, and it was first discovered in the US back in 1986 when numerous specimens were recovered from infested homes in southern Florida. By 2006, Asian cockroaches were documented as inhabiting Houston for the first time where they were already prevalent. These peridomestic cockroach pests can fly 120 feet in a single flight and they are often found around porch lights. Asian cockroaches also reproduce rapidly, as populations have been found to skyrocket to 250,000 individual roaches per acre of land. Their adaptability, mobility and rapid reproduction rates make Asian cockroaches a challenge to control. When they are not flying, Asian roaches are commonly mistaken for ½ inch long German cockroaches.
Have you ever found roaches flying around your porch light?