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Cockroach Types

Ratnashri Dutta
Not many people are interesting in knowing more about cockroaches. Since you are, you obviously are. So let's get to know more about these notorious pests.
Cockroaches are marvels of evolution, and can survive virtually anything. It is often said that cockroaches will inherit the planet if humans go extinct, and there is a certain amount of truth in that assertion.
There are many types of cockroaches, all experts at exploiting their native environment and extending the future of the species.

Types of Cockroaches

Did you know that there are about 4500 species of cockroaches in the world today. They have populated the earth since the time of the dinosaurs. Yes, these creatures are that old. They belong to the class 'Insecta', and the phylum 'Arthropoda'. They are among the hardiest insects living in the world today.
They can survive without air for 45 minutes, and without food for days on end. Sometimes they can survive on minimally nutritious stuff, such as the glue behind the stamp that we use (next time you lick the stamp, remember this).

American Cockroaches

This is the largest species. On its head you will see a yellow band. Some of these have wings and usually feed on grains or sweets. They sometimes also feed on plants. Changes in temperature usually force them to enter people's homes.
They prefer a warmer temperature to survive. These cockroaches are also known as water bugs. It's simple to eliminate American cockroaches.

German Cockroaches

These are among the most persistent types, as they multiply pretty fast. They carry their eggs with them, and only release them when the nymphs are ready to emerge.
They are considered to be a pest (as are all cockroaches) and unlike the American ones, they do not live outside domestic households. Unfortunately, they are resistant to most pesticides, and it's very difficult to get rid of them.

Oriental Cockroaches

Like the American, these are also called water bugs. They have wings, but can't fly. They are usually found on leaves, or crawl into flower beds.
They can also be found underneath people's homes. Droughts and winters force these cockroaches to becomes pests in people's homes. They are dark brown in color and at least 1.25 inches in length.

Asian Cockroaches

They are similar to German cockroaches. These prefer to stay in shaded and damp areas. They are active at night.
They have wings, and can cover long distances via flight. Keep in mind that these cockroaches are attracted to bright lights. If you do not want these pests to bother you, you should turn off bright lights at night.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

These are wingless. They are shiny brown, and oval-shaped. They come from the island of Madagascar. Unlike the other members of their family, hissing cockroaches are quite clean, odorless, and pretty harmless to humans.
They also walk slower than the other cockroaches. They can grow to a length of 2-3 inches, and are excellent climbers. They derive their name because of the sound they produce.

Australian Cockroaches

In spite of their name, these mainly originate in Asia. They prefer warm conditions, and during winters, when the temperature is cooler outside, they enter people's homes as pests.
They have yellow markings on their thorax and near the base of their wings. They grow to a size of at least 30-35 mm. They have a hard covering around their head, called the pronotum. Their antennae are longer than their body.

Brown Banded Cockroaches

This is the smallest of all the species, though they can grow up to one and a half inches long. But do not go by their size. These are the most troublesome pests of all cockroaches.
They are glossy, dark brown in color, with two light bands which run horizontally down their bodies. Unlike other cockroaches, they do not go looking for moist places to hide. They can thrive anywhere.
Phew! That was a lot of information about various cockroaches, right? And to think that the moment we (mainly girls) see this insect, we go screaming and shouting and jumping, not resting till our slippers firmly clamp down on it.