When indoors,they can be located in dark, moist areas like basements and crawl spaces. Other likely areas indoors would be around bathtubs, floor drains,and sewers. Outside the American roach can be found in moist, shady areas like:yards, hollow trees, woodpiles,and mulch. At times they can be found under roof shingles or attics. Usually they will live outside,but will wander inside in search for food and water or during extremes in weather conditions.
Adult German cockroaches are 1/2 to 5/8 inch long and tan to light brown. Although they have fully developed wings, they do not fly. Nymphs are similar in appearance to adults except that they are smaller and lack wings. The German cockroach is best identified by its small size and by two dark parallel lines running from the back of the head to the wings. It is usually found in kitchens (near dishwashers, stoves, and sinks) and in bathrooms of homes.
German cockroaches usually prefer a moist environment with a relatively high degree of warmth. The insects are mostly scavengers and will feed on a wide variety of foods. They are especially fond of starches, sweets, grease, and meat products. In many locations, garbage is a principal food source. As with other species, German cockroaches are mostly active at night, when they forage for food, water, and mates. During the day they hide in cracks and crevices and other dark sites that provide a warm and humid environment. Their relatively wide, flat bodies enable them to move in and out of cracks and narrow openings with ease. They may be seen during the daytime, particularly if a heavy population is present or if there is some other stress, such as a lack of food or water or an application of pesticides.
The German cockroach is the most successful of the species infesting buildings. There are several reasons for this cockroach’s persistence and the difficulty of controlling it. German cockroaches produce a larger number of eggs per capsule and they undergo the shortest time from hatching until sexual maturity, resulting in a rapid population growth. A greater number of nymphs hatch successfully because the female carries the egg capsule during the entire time the embryos are developing within the eggs. Also, and most importantly, German cockroaches are smaller than most other cockroaches and can conceal themselves in many places inaccessible to individuals of the larger species.
Woods roaches are very similar in appearance to the American roach; flat, oval body, long antennae, spiny legs, chestnut brown color. They are slightly smaller than the American Cockroach, about 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch long. The adults, especially the males, appear tan because of the color of their wings. Adults and large nymphs of the wood roach can be recognized by a pale, creamy white or transparent stripe on their outer edge. The pale edge extends onto the first 1/3 of the front wings of the adults.
Woods Roach Diet: They prefer decaying organic matter
Habits and Biology of Woods Cockroaches:
The Woods roaches are attracted to light, much different than the other roaches. Females deposit their egg capsules outdoors under old logs, stumps and firewood. Females produce about 30 capsules containing up to 32 eggs each. The egg incubation period is about one month, with nymphs hatching in the summer and maturing the following spring (May or June). There is one generation per year and, in some cases, the life cycle takes two years. At dusk, males may begin taking short flights and are often seen in the headlights of the automobiles by persons driving through wooded areas. Woods cockroaches are active during the winter and can be found in firewood after pulling the bark away. These cockroaches are usually found in groups. Compared to domestic roaches, woods cockroaches are less likely to flee when approached and do not survive indoors. Over wintering occurs outdoors as a partially grown nymph. When disturbed, nymphs are active even in freezing weather. Adults are present May through early October.
It is not practical to treat firewood or other areas away from the dwelling because males can fly in from a distance. Also, to limit the risk of exposure to toxic chemical fumes when burning firewood, non-chemical preventive practices are preferred. Occasionally, populations can build in crawl spaces under the house.