Common Cockroach Species

There are over 4,000 different species of cockroaches, which only about 40 species are considered pests while others are beneficial in their natural environment.

In India, German cockroach and American cockroach are commonly found. Knowing more about cockroach life cycle and habits can help us identify the most effective cockroach control methods.

German Cockroach

(Blatella germanica)

Appearance

  • Adult is 10 – 15 mm in length.
  • Pronotum (head shield) has 2 dark longitude stripes.
  • Male is light yellowish brown in colour with longer tongue shaped body.
  • Female is darker in colour with plump abdomen.

Lifecycle

  • Female produces 4 – 9 oothecae (egg case), each oothecae contain 37 – 44 eggs.
  • Nymphs take 30 – 60 days to mature into adults.
  • Adult life cycle is more than 100 days.

Habits

  • Major pest in restaurants, hotels and apartments.
  • Prefers dark and secluded areas to harbourage such as under the cupboard and behind a refrigerator.

American Cockroach

(Periplaneta americana)

Appearance

  • Adult is 35 – 40 mm in length, one of the largest pest cockroaches.
  • Shining red to chocolate brown in colour.

Lifecycle

  • Female produces 10 – 90 oothecae (egg case), each oothecae contain 14 – 28 eggs.
  • Nymphs take 150 days to develop into adults.
  • Adult life cycle is 100 days to 3 years.

Habits

  • Prefers warm and humid environment such as drains and sewers.

Brown Banded Cockroach

(Supella longipalpa)

Appearance

  • Adult is 10–14 mm in length, one of the smallest pest cockroaches.
  • Yellow-brown stripes across the abdomen.

Lifecycle

  • Female produces up to 13 oothecae (egg case), each oothecae contain 16 eggs.
  • Nymphs take 55 days to develop into adults.
  • In ideal temperature conditions (30°c), adult lives 90 – 115 days.

Habits

  • Prefers warm and humid environment such as drains and sewers.

Oriental Cockroach

(Blatta orientalis)

Appearance

  • Adult is 25-32 mm in length. 
  • A dark brown species. 
  • The wings are undeveloped in the females and cover 3/4 lengths of the abdomen of the male.

Lifecycle

  • Female produces up to 14 eggs in an ootheca. 
  • Nymphs take up to 1 year to develop into adults. 
  • Adult lives up to 180 days.

Habits

  • They rather run than fly and can tolerate lower temperatures than other cockroaches.