Bullet Cockroaches


Cockroaches live in a wide range of environments around the world. Pest species of cockroaches adapt readily to a variety of environments, but prefer warm conditions found within buildings. Many tropical species prefer even warmer environments and do not fare well in the average household.

Cockroaches leave chemical trails in their feces as well as emitting airborne pheromones for swarming and mating. These chemical trails transmit bacteria on surfaces.

Common California Roaches

American Roaches: Photo depicts in-star stages from ootheca-adult


1. Largest of the domestic species

2. Uniformly reddish to light brown color with a lighter pattern on the pronotum

3. About one to two inches long

4. Both sexes are winged and are good and active fliers

5. Female drops or glues ootheca one day after formation

6. Nymphs mature in one to two years; live about one year as adult

7. American roach droppings are often confused with mouse droppings due to size; roach droppings

have grooves while mouse droppings are smooth with pointed ends

Oriental Roaches: Photo depicts in-star stages from ootheca-adult


1. Dark brown to black color with no markings

2. One to one and one-half inches long

3. Neither can fly, female is wingless

4. Female drops or attaches ootheca shortly after formation

5. Generally regarded as the filthiest of cockroaches; lives in sewers and septic tanks

6. Nymphs mature in about one year; live less than six months as adults

7. The source of an infestation may be inside or outside, SOS carefully for control

German Roaches: Photo depicts in-star stages from ootheca-adult


1. Reddish brown to tan in color

2. Two dark brown longitudinal stripes are visible on the entire body of nymphs but only on the

pronotum of the adult

3. About three-quarters to one inch long

4. These roaches have the greatest reproductive potential of the domestic species

5. The female carries the ootheca (egg capsule) in her body until one day before hatching

6. Both male and female are winged but do not fly

7. Nymphs mature in one to three months; lives six months to one year as adult

Brown Banded Roaches: Photo depicts in-star stages from oothecae-adult


1. Light brown color and slightly smaller than the German roach

2. Two lighter colored bands across the body

3. Both sexes are winged but do not fly

4. These roaches are often found in places not typical of cockroaches; inside furniture, inside stereos

and televisions, behind pictures and draperies on the wall

5. Female glues the ootheca to hidden surfaces

6. Nymphs develop in three to nine months; live about six months as adult

You can help control cockroaches

  1. Indoor trash containers should be emptied frequently, kept clean both inside and out. Plastic bags lining trash containers can be kept closed with twist ties. This will prevent cockroaches from being attracted to the garbage area.
  • Filled indoor garbage containers should be removed from the dwelling immediately and placed in outdoor containers with tight fitting lids or dumpsters.
  • Keeping the area around dumpsters or other outdoor garbage storage areas clean and free of debris will also prevent cockroach infestations in the area.
  • Frequent emptying of sink strainers and running of the garbage disposal and will prevent food build up in the sink drain.
  • Washing dishes immediately after a meal will prevent cockroaches from consuming food residue on dishes. Unwashed dishes are a major source of food for German cockroaches.
  • Kitchen appliances (toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, ovens, stoves, and refrigerators) should be kept clean and free of food particles and grease. Additionally, the areas underneath and behind these appliances should be kept grease and crumb free.
  • If pets are present, dry food should be kept in resealable containers. Do not leave food and water out all the time.
  • Feed your pet at particular times and clean up after every meal.
  • All foods products should be resealed after opening, stored in plastic snap-lid containers or kept in the refrigerator.
  • Regular sweeping/vacuuming of floors and furniture where people eat (i.e. kitchen table or in the living room in front of T.V.) help to eliminate cockroach food sources.
  • Any small gap or hole that leads to a void is a prime cockroach harboring area. Cracks and crevices of this kind should be sealed with a tube of caulking.
  • Removing clutter (boxes, bags, clothing, toys, food, books, papers etc.) eliminates cockroach harborages and breeding areas. It is essential to keep all areas of the home, especially the kitchen and bathroom, uncluttered and free of useless debris.
  • Outside, remove debris and trash from around the house.
  • Stack firewood far away from the house, as this is a prime harborage area for cockroaches.
  • Keep shrubbery and ornamentals well trimmed.
  • Keep palm trees free of loose and dead palm branches and remove all palm debris.

Least Toxic Cockroach Management Strategies

After exclusion and sanitation measures have been taken the next step is to decide on a treatment strategy. The most effective cockroach management strategies rarely eliminate the use of pesticides altogether but try to reduce the need for pesticide treatments by employing other less toxic methods.

Cockroach baits consist of a toxicant mixed with a food source. Some baits also contain attractants or feeding stimulants that are supposed to make the bait more attractive to cockroaches than the other food sources. Indoor bait formulations are applied as dusts, pastes and gels. Gel and dust bait formulations that are formulated for injection into cracks and crevices, but not accessible to people are considered reduced risk tactics.

Insect Growth Regulators

Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) are a group of compounds which disrupt the normal growth and development of insects. The IGRs are considered reduced-risk tools. They have very low toxicity to mammals because they act by disrupting the hormonal processes that are specific to insects.



One of the non-chemical tactics for reducing a cockroach infestation involves the use of traps. Sticky traps can be placed, indoors, near the garbage, under the sink, in the cabinets, under and behind the refrigerator, and in the bathroom.

Inorganic Dusts

Inorganic dusts, such as boron (DOT) and boric acid, have been used frequently for indoor cockroach control. The dusts are applied with a squeeze-bulb duster into cracks and crevices under sinks, stoves, behind refrigerators, along baseboards, in electrical outlets, cabinets and wall voids.