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A source for information on roaches

Asian Roach      Blattella asahinai

As its name suggests, the Asian cockroach is most commonly found in Southeast Asia. However, the Asian cockroach has spread significantly and is now known to infiltrate houses worldwide. First introduced to the United States in the 1980′s, the Asian cockroach has since spread through most of the Southeastern United States. Like other species, the Asian cockroach is omnivorous and feeds on any available food source. They have been known to carry germs carriers of germ and can spread diseases to humans. Asian cockroaches are prolific breeders and reach peak populations in spring.

Asian cockroaches appear similar to German cockroaches. Adults are about ½” long. They are light brown and have two parallel lines behind their head on the pronotum. However, the Asian cockroach has longer, narrower wings than its German counterpart and is typically lighter in coloration. Asian cockroaches are capable flyers, while German cockroaches are not. Asian cockroaches also live primarily outdoors, while German cockroaches tend to infest human dwellings.

Asian cockroaches are typically located in shaded, moist areas. While they are more likely to infest outdoor areas, they do sometimes enter homes. Asian cockroaches are most active at dusk and fly long distances toward sources of light. You may see an Asian cockroach attracted to your television screen or perched near lamps and other sources of illumination.

Asian cockroaches are tan to brown in color, and have wings. Asian roaches are often confused with German roaches as they are very similar in appearance. The wings of the Asian cockroach are longer and slimmer than those of the German cockroach and are also lighter in color.

Ranges from ½-inch to 5/8-inch in length.

The Asian cockroach is a strong flier, and is both a wild and peridomestic species, meaning it is not domesticated but live in close proximity to humans. Adults take flight even during the day if disturbed; at dusk they are very active and canbe found in grass or mulch. They climb to the tips of grass and take flight, and are capable of sustained flight for up to 150 feet. They are attracted to light-colored or brightly lit surfaces, where they tend to land.

Asian cockroaches will invade any opening in a house or building, such as a lighted doorway or window. Once inside, they will crawl on an illuminated television or computer screen and on walls while the lights are on during the evening. When the lights are turned off they will move to the next lighted room. They feed on starchy and sugary foods, as well as chese, meats, pastries, flour and breads.

The primary habitat of the Asian cockroach is outdoors in shaded mulched or composted areas, such as landscaping and gardens, where fresh plant litter accumulates. Populations of 30,000 to 250,000 cockroaches per acre have been reported. They can also be found in patches of thick grass and in the ground cover of abandoned citrus groves. The adults have been found feeding on the honeydew of aphids on citrus trees, and on flowers of other plants during the night.

Medical/Economic Significance:
The feeding behavior of the Asian cockroach appears to be similar to other cockroaches, in that they are omnivorous. Thus, they may be capable of carrying the same pathogenic organisms as the other peridomestic species of cockroaches. Their ability to produce large populations coupled with their likelihood of entering homes, pathogens associated with animal droppings and soil microorganisms can be transmitted by this cockroach when it enters the home. People sensitive to allergens of German cockroaches are also sensitive to allergens of Asian cockroaches.

Control of Asian cockroaches is difficult due to their mobility and abundance of population sites. Adults enter homes through windows and doorways, avoiding areas typically treated for control of German cockroaches. Sodium vapor lamps for security lighting and yellow incandescent bulbs for porch lighting are both less attractive to adults and would thereby reduce attraction of adult insects to lighting near buildings.

Because this species is a strong flier, it may be attracted to a home from neighboring fields or property. Changing exterior lighting to yellow "bug" lights can help reduce the number of cockroaches attracted to a home, as can simply keeping lights turned off. It is also important to seal as many exterior cracks as possible, and to ensure that all foundation and attic vents have tight-fitting screens. Granular cockroach baits have been successful when applied to areas where this cockroach harbors outdoors. Unfortunately, sometimes the harborage is not on the affected property but on a neighboring property, so treatment without that property owner's permission is not possible.

You should also disperse any grass, leaf piles, mulched areas, compost piles or other such vegetation where these roaches are most likely to crawl, feed or hide to discourage nesting.

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-- Duggan Cooley, former CEO- RCS

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