Image via flickr by t-mizo
Roaches are a massive part of the ecosystem. They contribute to the food chain for other animals and even humans in some regions of the world. The most significant benefit that roaches provide to the environment is their contribution to the nitrogen cycle, helping to maintain the health of forests worldwide.
For most people, the word “roach” incites pure terror. Roaches are synonymous with the word filth. Roaches also evoke such a sense of disgust, and if they happen to be seen in an eating establishment, often people won’t go there to eat in the future. When you find these creepy critters in your home, you should learn all you can about their behaviors and implement a plan to eliminate them and prevent future infestations.
Smoky brown roaches are some of the most resilient creatures and can thrive in just about any environment, including your home. They are nocturnal and are capable of hiding in tiny places. They will stay protected throughout the day to avoid predators and humans. Though they can breed inside of a residence, they prefer uninhabited structures such as nurseries, gardens, and greenhouses. Other places that you can find them living are around gutters, soffits, eaves, or other areas where moisture problems are inherent.
When night approaches, smoky brown roaches will venture out from their hiding places in search of food and water. Their menu of choice is decaying plant matter, but they are very opportunistic feeders. Smoky brown roaches are not picky, eating whatever food sources are available to them at the time, such as fecal matter, starches, dead insects, meats, and sweets.
Environmental conditions factor into the developmental timeframe of smoky brown roaches. The timeframe for them to mature from an egg to an adult varies greatly. It can take anywhere from 160 days up to 716 days for them to hatch and develop into adults. The average life span for adult smoky brown roaches is 218 days for females and 215 days for males. These averages aren’t set in stone, as ideal conditions may allow them to live up to two years or longer.
Adult smoky brown roach females are capable of producing up to 32 egg cases, known as an ootheca, in their lifetime. Each ootheca has an average of 20 individual eggs inside. The females will produce this egg case and attach it to what they consider to be a protected surface within a day.
Smoky brown roaches are a rather large breed of roaches and can grow to 38 millimeters in length. They are shiny and have a uniform color of mahogany and black. In their early nymph stage, they have a colored stripe on their thorax, and the tips of their antennae are whitish. In later nymph stages, smoky brown roaches have a coloration that is similar to the adults. Their smoky brown coloration seamlessly blends with mulch and leaf litter, providing them with active camouflage from predators when in their natural habitats.
Smoky brown roaches have two pairs of wings that extend beyond their bodies, and they are considered to be strong fliers as adults. Nymphs are incapable of flight. Adult males and females can fly, and they often exercise this ability if their habitat is threatened. They will fly in search of abundant food sources, moisture, and temperate climates. Though the ability to fly is possible for smoky brown roaches, outside of their natural habitat and in more metropolitan areas, their primary form of locomotion in search of food and shelter is crawling.
Geographically speaking, the smoky brown roach is typically found in the southeastern United States. That said, they have been reported in North Carolina, Indiana, Illinois, and Southern California. Major metropolitan areas such as Houston and New Orleans are a favorite stomping ground for these elusive pests.
Outdoor areas that are prone to warmth, high humidity, and have plenty of wooded sections are where smoky brown roaches like to live. It is not uncommon to find them under mulch or in tree holes. They are very susceptible to dehydration and prefer moist areas that are well protected from the elements and provide plenty of shade from the sun. Wet and humid areas are vital for smoky brown roaches to survive. When indoors, smoky brown cockroaches tend to breed in attics and can go unnoticed while their populations grow to astonishing numbers.
Smoky brown roaches are attracted to your home by stacks of wood, sewer openings, standing water, leaky roofs, or exposed trash. They can enter your home by squeezing through even the tiniest openings and will fly through open windows and doors.
With all of their positive attributes aside, they are large, and their appearance can startle those who aren’t used to them, especially when they are in flight. Proteins found in their saliva and skin can also cause allergic reactions and can trigger asthma. Smoky brown roaches are an unwelcome house guest. Once inside your home, smoky brown cockroaches will contaminate every surface they come into contact with and will spread bacteria that are capable of causing severe illnesses.
If smoky brown roaches have been breeding unnoticed inside your home, your best course of action would be for you to enlist the help of a professional pest control agency. They will be able to diagnose the problem and put a plan in place to eradicate the threat to your family and prevent future infestations.
If it seems as though you only have a few individual roaches bothering you, you should take measures to seal off any cracks and holes in your home where pests can gain access. You can also discourage them by repairing leaky roofs, water leaks, and other areas with moisture issues. Cleanliness will also help in preventing smoky brown roaches from infesting your home.
Smoky brown roaches and similar pests can be of great concern when they have invaded your house. Doing your homework when it comes to protecting your family and home is imperative when it comes to pests of any type. Learning all you can about how to eliminate and prevent smoky brown roach infestations will be of great benefit.