Garden Talk

with Rebecca Jordi


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Q: What kind of roaches are these?

 

German cockroach

German cockroach

A:   The bad kind – German cockroaches, Blattella germanica. While none of us like to have cockroaches in our house, the German cockroach is a true pest and the kind of insect that gives all insects a bad name.  It can be found in most any type of building throughout Florida especially multifamily dwellings (apartments). In Florida, the German cockroach may be confused with the Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai Mizukubo. While these cockroaches are very similar, there are some differences that a practiced eye can discern. The German cockroach is found throughout the world in association with humans. They are unable to survive in locations away from humans or human activity. The major factor limiting German cockroach survival appears to be cold temperatures. Studies have shown that German cockroaches were unable to colonize inactive ships during cool temperatures and could not survive in homes without central heating in northern climates. The availability of water, food, and harborage also govern the ability of German cockroaches to establish populations, and limit growth. Insecticides in the organophosphorous, carbamate, pyrethroid, amidinohydrazone, insect growth regulator, inorganic, microbial, and botanical classes are available for controlling German cockroaches. Insecticide treatments are available in a wide variety of formulations including baits, sprays (emulsifiable concentrates, wettable powders, microencapsulated), dusts, and powders. Non-toxic and low toxic alternatives for German cockroach control are available. Sticky traps can be used to monitor or reduce population size. Improving sanitation by eliminating food and water sources and clutter can have a significant impact on reducing the chances of infestation population size. Finally, exclusion practices such as sealing cracks and crevices will reduce harborage space and also negatively impact population size. For more complete information, consider reading the University of Florida publication titled, “The German Cockroach.”  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in028

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