Although at least 6 varieties of cockroaches live in North America, the German cockroach is by far the most common and the most likely to be seen as it prefers humid indoor locations, especially those with access to food and water.
Adults are light brown, about 1/2 inch long, sport long antennae and the 2 stripes on their back are usually covered by a pair of thin wings. The teenaged nymphs are slightly smaller and do not have wings.
Warm weather accelerates egg laying but a female and her offspring can produce a roach stadium of 30,000 individuals in 1 year. Fortunately for human co-dwellers, cannibalism and lack of sufficient food, water and shelter help to regulate the cockroach population.
Cockroaches travel along the edges of walls mostly at night, preferring to congregate in the tiniest of cracks where as much of their body surface can contact safety as possible.
Prevention and Management
Sanitation and exclusion are the keys to controlling or preventing cockroach infestations. The homeowner must clean up, dry up and seal up all likely hiding places like cupboards, stoves, unkempt outdoor vegetation and utility entrances. Water drips and leaks, indoors and out must be repaired and all refuse, human and pet foods must be sealed in hard plastic or metal containers.
The Battle is Not Over
Extraordinarily resilient, cockroaches can live in the cold of a refrigerator and the toxic fumes of an auto gas tank, so their populations must be closely monitored with sticky or baited traps for signs of resurgence.