Many urban entomologists agree that Texas has the highest cockroach population of all US states. Back in 1975, an Austin home was found to be infested with at least 50,000 individual roaches. At the time, national news reporters described this home as meeting the world record for the most roach-infested dwelling in recorded history. The national news coverage of this roach-infested home helped to establish Austin’s current reputation as a cockroach paradise.
According to urban entomologists at the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, the most commonly controlled cockroach pests in Texas include the German cockroach (Blattella germanica), the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), the Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) and the smokybrown cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa). Of these cockroach pests, the German cockroach is the only species that dwells solely indoors, which makes it the most commonly controlled roach pest in all US states.
The American cockroach is the most commonly controlled roach pest in commercial buildings, especially restaurants, and they are also known for their preference for living in sewers. Smokybrown cockroaches are becoming more common as indoor cockroach pests throughout Texas, and they are notable for their relatively large size which ranges from 1 ¼ to more than 1 ½ inches, making them comparable to American cockroaches in size. Oriental cockroaches are often mistaken for German cockroaches, and they are generally the least well known of all Texas’ common roach pest species.
Like most cockroach pests, Oriental cockroaches prefer to remain outdoors, but they are fully capable of establishing reproductive populations indoors. Adults of this species are around 1 ¼ of an inch in length, and they are most prevalent during midsummer before dying off during the late summer and early fall. When this occurs, nymphs remain prevalent, and they enter homes to secure warm shelter in response to cooling fall temperatures.
Although they are often mistaken for other cockroach species, Oriental cockroaches are fairly easy to recognize due to their noticeably sluggish movements and their inability to scale vertical surfaces. These roaches have become well known for being more malodorous than other roach pests, especially within heavily infested homes. Due to their heavy dependence on high-moisture conditions, and inability to climb, Oriental cockroaches are almost always found in harborages located in first floor kitchens, bathrooms, and in basements.
Have you ever caught a whiff of a cockroach odor?