German, American & Oriental Cockroaches in the Kitchen
September 29, 2014
When we hear the word cockroach, we can just about feel our skin crawling and we feel the need to clean and disinfect every surface of our homes. Bugs of any kind are generally disgusting when it comes to our everyday lives, but cockroaches make the top of that list, especially when it comes to restaurants and commercial kitchens. Many restaurants will experience a bug problem at least once, but knowing what to look for, the types of roaches that primarily invade and how to get rid of them will aid in keeping them at bay and your kitchen will be cleaner and healthier for all.
The three most common types of roaches that are found in commercial kitchens and restaurants are German cockroaches, American cockroaches and Oriental cockroaches. What are the differences and how can you figure out which one is which? German cockroaches are between one and one and a half centimeters long, are usually tan or almost black, and have two lines that run from the base of their heads to the ends of their wings. American cockroaches average around one and a half centimeters long at adulthood, and are reddish to yellow brown. They also have wings like many other species of cockroaches. Oriental cockroaches are a larger species, usually between one and a half and two inches and are dark brown (nearly black) with glossy bodies. The females are larger than the males and have small wings, while the male’s wings are larger.
German cockroaches are typically found between northeast Africa and southeastern Europe. The American cockroaches are generally found in both North America and South America, and were thought to originate from Africa in the early 1600s. Oriental cockroaches are found throughout the land between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea as well as many areas of Russia. Due to migration of people cockroaches have traveled across the nations, though many are unable to live in certain climates and the environmental change eradicates them before they can spread. However, the species that have adapted to their environments are an epidemic in certain regions, but can be controlled.
You might wonder why kitchens tend to house cockroaches and make breeding grounds for them. First of all, cockroaches cannot survive in the cold. Colder climates don't generally see cockroaches, while warmer clients see many more. Kitchens are ideal places for cockroaches to live in and breed because of the warmth they offer. Coils on the back of your refrigerator, the pilot from your stove light and a still warm oven or heating grate are all areas they will go directly to in your kitchen. Kitchens are also homes to moisture. Water in sinks, moisture on the floor, damp towels and heat moisture are all found in kitchens and make a sustainable environment for roaches. Cockroaches also prefer dark spaces, so cupboards, pantries, and cabinets all make good hiding spots and homes.
The number one culprit of cockroaches though s food. Even if you clean thoroughly and there are no open food containers and no crumbs left lying around, cockroaches will still find their way into food sources. Gaps in packaging, such as cardboard food containers or opened plastic bags, are prime real estate for a hungry cockroach. Containers that ship and store food, if not recycled properly and in a timely manner are also easy ways for a cockroach to start an infestation. Those warm coils and the underside of your fridge where crumbs tend to accumulate are just invitations for more bugs to infest.
Be sure to check for gaps and cracks in your walls and floors. Any way to and from the outside to your kitchen will allow them to get in easier and infest. Making sure that you clean thoroughly under and behind all surfaces as often as possible to avoid accumulation of crumbs and food will eliminate the amount of pests. Don't forget that liquids can dry and leave a sticky or dusty residue that will also attract them. Don't give them any way in or reason to be there. Once they are there, they can breed at an astonishing rate: more than a thousand per year!
Once you open food, think about what type of food it is. Anything that contains sugar or anything sweet will attract them, so put leftover or unused potions into pest proof containers. Anything that produces crumbs, such as bread and chips, should be put into bug proof containers or sealed in airtight baggies. Make sure to wipe down bottles and containers that have drips or are dripped on to reduce the chance of stickiness and sweetness attracting them.
One of the main reasons it is hard to eradicate cockroaches, especially the German, American and Oriental cockroaches from your kitchen is that once a breeding ground is established, they multiply by the thousands at an incredibly accelerated rate. In addition, the chemicals used to kill cockroaches can be very harmful to people, especially in a food facility. Myths such as a cockroach being able to survive for days without head have been proven to be true and they can live for more than 30 minutes under water. Factors like these are often not considered when trying to eradicate them.
Ensuring good healthy sanitation habits is the best way to eradicate them and treating as soon as you spot just one is the best step in prevention. If you think you may have a roach problem developing, call our team at Alliance Pest Services your local roach expert for homes and commercial kitchen roach removal and prevention programs.