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Source: D. H. Gouge, C. Olson, (University of Arizona); M. Rehm-Bowler, N. Enriquez, J. M. Rodriguez (AZ Dept. Environmental Quality).
In Arizona there are five common cockroaches in Arizona:
- Desert cockroaches
The German cockroach is commonly found in kitchens and favors hot, humid places. American and Turkestan cockroaches can be excluded from buildings by pest proofing, both species are attracted to lights and enter under doors and via dry floor drains. Desert cockroache males are also attracted to lights and most often if after dark lighting draws the flying males into areas with open access. In general, daytime sightings of most cockroach species, indicates a significant infestation.
The single most critical step in cockroach management is careful monitoring. Filth and poor sanitation may help sustain cockroaches, but even clean environments can harbor roaches.
An approach that integrates several strategies is required to deal with cockroaches, beginning with regular monitoring. Only monitoring can give you the information needed to efficiently and effectively deal with the situation, i.e. which cockroach is present, how are they arriving (as invaders from outside, or in food supplied from a distributer), how many are there, and are they breeding – as indicated by the presence of both adults and nymphs? Regular monitoring will let you know early on if you have cockroach invaders, and the problem can be dealt with before it becomes extensive.
Some cockroaches do not move extensive distances. German cockroach nymphs will only move a few feet from where their egg case hatched. Finding nymphs in a monitoring trap indicates that you are exactly where the cockroaches are infesting, this is the location that needs to be cleaned, uncluttered, and possibly treated with a bait.
Exclude and sanitize
Next to monitoring, exclusion and sanitation can especially help in preventing outdoor species (Turkestan, desert, and American) from entering. The German and brownbanded species are mostly indoor pests, and the most difficult to get rid of; they enter as hitchhikers on corrugated cardboard, clothing, backpacks, etc. Once inside, the German and brownbandeds will feed on food items not typically addressed by improved sanitation (Germans are notorious feeders of leather, wallpaper paste and book binding; brownbandeds dine on starchy glues found on envelopes and art supplies).
The best approach to managing both indoor and outdoor cockroaches is to replace corrugated cardboard with plastic bins, educate people as to their role in reducing clutter and improving sanitation, monitor, exclude and sanitize. Good exclusion and sanitation include:
- Place (metal) baskets in all floor drains, and keep drains super clean
- Check exterior doors have intact door sweeps that seal against the threshold
- Outdoor lights should have yellow/bug bulbs instead of white bulbs (the yellow bulbs do not attract insects)
- During periods when the facility or building is empty, arrange for someone to run water once a week in all toilets and sinks.
- Fix outdoor water leaks (leaky faucets, irrigation, etc.)
- Remove vegetation and debris that is against buildings
- Do not use cardboard boxes to store things in (German cockroaches thrive in cardboard boxes).