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Massachusetts is home to several cockroach species, but only four species are considered significant indoor pests in the state. These four cockroach species are commonly known as American, German, Oriental and brown-banded cockroaches, and each of these species is capable of establishing a reproductive presence within homes. Unlike American and Oriental cockroaches that dwell primarily outdoors, German and brown-banded cockroaches dwell primarily within manmade structures. The German cockroach is by far the most commonly managed roach pest species within homes and buildings throughout the US.

German cockroaches reproduce more rapidly than all other roach pest species in the country. Amazingly, one single female German cockroach and a few of her offspring can produce 30,000 individual roaches within one year. All four cockroach pest species in Massachusetts see females carry one egg sac (ootheca) at a time on their back for a period of time. The number of eggs in each egg sac varies depending on species, but around 30 eggs are contained within each German cockroach egg sac. Females of the American, Oriental and brown-banded roach species eventually deposit their egg sacs in protected indoor harborages where they remain for weeks or months until hatching. However, females of the German cockroach species continuously carry their egg sacs right up until the eggs hatch, or they may deposit their egg sacs no sooner than two days before hatching.

For a period of 30 days until eggs hatch, female German cockroaches remain hidden with their egg sac in dark and secluded indoor harborages. This is why pinpointing all indoor harborages is particularly important when managing German cockroach infestations. Large numbers of German cockroaches can also congregate in tight indoor harborages, most notably within wall voids. For example, an adult German cockroach can hide in a crack or crevice as narrow as 1/16 of an inch in width, and immature specimens can hide in smaller spaces where they remain well protected and hidden from humans. German cockroaches establish harborages in moist indoor locations, such as bathroom and kitchen wall voids, below sinks and beneath appliances.

Have you ever attempted to control German cockroaches in your home with sticky traps?