Is it a German or Asian…..Roach?

Do you know what this picture is of?  Yes I know they are roaches, but do you know what kind of roaches?  Are these the same or different roaches?  This is actually a picture of two different types of roaches.  The one of the left is an asian roach and the one of the right is the dreaded german roach.

For years we have battled the german roach.  They like to hang out in areas that are, how can I say it, not so clean.  They feed on grease, dirt, food, and love to hide in the smallest of areas.  Once you acquire these little pest, they can be fairly difficult to get rid of.  They are not one of my most favorite insects to run across.  So you can imagine what I was thinking when all of a sudden a few years ago we started seeing these little pest outside of people’s houses in leaves and brush.  Plus now they are starting to fly around.  I didn’t know a german roach could fly.  Oh crap I was thinking.  This is going to make my job even that much harder.  I started doing some research and realized that what I was seeing outside, wasn’t a german roach, but an asian roach.  They look almost identical in color and size and to the non professional I can see where people could mistake them.

A couple of things make the asian roach different from the german roach.  One big difference is where they are located.  German roaches like to  nest inside your house and feeding on your mess.  The asian roach nest outside under leaves and brush and rarely likes to come inside.  Or at least they won’t nest inside.  Another big difference is the asian roach has wings and is able to fly short distances.  The german roach also has wings, but does not fly.  A third difference is seen in the picture above.  You will notice the german roach on the right is with it egg sack.  They will hold onto it till the babies are hatched.  Now the asian roach is also with its egg sack but there is one major difference.  The asian roach on the left is almost hiding its egg sack under its wings where as the german roach has its out there for all the world to see.  Treating these two insects is totally different also.  The asian roach is easily eradicated by using conventional pesticides outside your home.  The german roach usually takes combinations of flushing agents, baits, gels, and residual sprays.  Oh and a little good luck.

I was pretty encouraged to figure out the difference and be able to explain to both my customers and employees that they were not going crazy and seeing german roaches outside in the elements.  There is also an oriental roach that lives outside that is different from the asian roach, but that is for another day and another blog entry.  Until next time I hope this helps.

Scott McGrath