Based on fossilized evidence, it is estimated that cockroaches have been present on Earth at least 300 million years, constantly to adapt in a changing environment. This unquestionable success allows them to colonize any habitat and place in the world.

What is more, they are specially adapted to survive successfully in human areas, specifically are specialists in finding a microclimate that favours its reproduction, development and survival in an environment that is hostile to them. They are essentially tropical and subtropical in origin and they have taken advantage of the heat of the buildings constructed by man, for his development in places with colder climates.

Insects known as cockroaches are insects belonging to the family Blatta; the taxonomic classification of these insects is as follows:

Phyllum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Dictyoptera

Family: Blattidae

Cockroaches, are generally omnivorous and can eat any type of food.

Worldwide has been identified nearly 3500 species of cockroach, of which 19 are of medical importance, and of these only seven can be considered truly a plague.

Present in our country only include 3 species regarded as plague: Blatta orientalis, Blatella germanica and Periplaneta americana

Control of these insects is important, since besides the toilet problem can cause great economic losses by pollution-causing food to defecate on them, which may cause serious illnesses.

Below are the main features of 3 species of cockroach plague in our country.



Blattella germanica or cockroach blonde:


Blatella germanica Linnaeus





  • 10 To 15 mm in length.
  • Dark brown color.
  • With two dark longitudinal stripes on the pronotum. .
  • The nymphs are dark with a clear line in dorsal midline.
  • Big eyes
  • 2 Antennas similar to whips.
  • 2 longitudinal markings on the upper part of the chest.
  • 2 pairs of wings in Females and males, but are not capable of flying
  • 3 pairs of legs
  • It has padding on his legs
  • It has its somewhat flattened body in order to introduce by grooves and slits.
  • These nymphs resemble adults, it differs by the size of the wings, which are smaller, at the same time present a much darker color, almost black.

Life cycle


  • Its life cycle has three stages: egg, nymph and adult, and it may take to complete 2 to 3 months in favourable conditions.
  • The female lays eggs in capsules of 5.5 mm in length, which leads under the body; one capsule contains an average of 40 eggs. These capsules in the cockroaches are called ootecas.
  • The female takes the ooteca during the entire period of gestation, the membrane lining the eggs is very thin and light brown.
  • The mother takes the ootecas until they are ripe for the exclusion of the eggs.
  • No. from ootecas that produces the female: 4-8.
  • Producen an ooteca every 20-25 days.
  • Incubation time: 1 month          
  • The nymphs come to exit the ooteca even when the female is a carrier of the same or when they deposit it somewhere where they have food and appropriate temperatures.
  • In the event the ootheca is detached from the female before time is very likely to die all the same members, unless the time is actually very short and that the environmental conditions are extremely wet.
  • The newborn can reach sexual maturity in only 36 days
  • The nymph goes through 6 stages as nymphs, then they reach maturity.
  • Ninfales States may increase depending on environment or loss of legs or antennae which can be regenerated,
  • Ninfales periods can reach up to 120 days, which can vary depending on the environmental conditions and food also (7 weeks to 6 months)
  • Adult insects mate 7-10 days after completing its growth and can live for 9 to 10 months.
  • Adult insects can only live 2-4 weeks without food or water.
  • Spawning potential: approx. 20,000 copies.



Habitat and behavior


  • It is one of the cockroaches most common find in private homes, hotels, restaurants, canteens, etc.
  • They live in cracks and crevices, under furniture, behind bottles and dishes in the kitchen, under sinks, drains, sewers, latrines, places of manufacture of food products and wherever that a high temperature and humidity should prevail in.
  • You can take refuge in very narrow spaces.
  • Feeds on anything, particularly of edible, especially is attracted by fermented foods or remnants of beverages, such as beer. Also feeds with adhesives, resins, clothes, cosmetics, paper, leather, hair, fabric, rubber, blood dries, excreta and other cockroaches.
  • It has a "clockwork mechanism" which makes them leave their hiding places every night at the same time, without influence of the light conditions.
  • The nymphs and adults have very similar habits, are most active at night and rest during the day,
  • They prefer wood or rough surfaces rather than metal or smooth surfaces,
  • Due to their legs 'pads', you can run by very smooth surfaces with ease and can reach the highest parts of a room, move to upper floors.
  • In case of presence of this species during the day means that the population in that sector is important either food conditions are not the best.
  • Adults can live for up to a month without drinking water while the nymphs do not more than 10 days, do not support more than two weeks without food.
  • When the population is important to not take more than one week in invading other places, transported by pipes, is for this reason that the isolation of the invaded area is extremely important
  • It is generally observed in enclosed structures and they pass from one side to the other for really small spaces, it is also common that move in boxes, bags and containers of different merchandise.


Public health importance


  • Mechanically spread the germs of cholera, typhoid fever, diarrhea, dysentery, salmonellosis, viral hepatitis type A, polio and leprosy; cause swelling of the eyelids and skin infections.
  • It produces a foul smell.




Oriental cockroach or black:


Blatta orientalis Linnaeus



  • Black dark brown or reddish.
  • Nymphs are lighter and can be confused with other species.
  • The female is wider and heavier than the male.
  • The female has approximately 30 mm they have wings, the male does not reach two centimeters and a half, and has wings that occupy the three fourth part of the abdomen, any of the two flying.
  • Long antennae
  • Body flattened and hard.



Life cycle

  • Ootecas (egg capsules): deposited by the female in little accessible and near food places.
  • No. from Ootecas that produces the female: 8-10.
  • They produce an ootheca each 25-50 days.
  • No. of eggs/Ooteca: 16
  • Incubation time: 1 month
  • Development from egg to adult: about 5 months.
  • The newborn can reach sexual maturity between 24 and 130 weeks.
  • An adult can live nearly half a year.
  • It has a life cycle of about two years.
  • They mate every 15 days.
  • Potential of reproduction: 2,000 copies approx.

Habitat and behavior


  • Lucifugos habits.
  • It is found in the subsoil and drainage system.
  • You prefer the cool places (between 2 and 29 ° C),
  • He settled in quiet areas, mainly on the ground floor of buildings, found in basements, cellars, garages, storerooms and in general in the structures of the buildings.
  • Over time, progress in vertical the footsteps of pipes and plumbing.
  • It normally comes from the sewage network, emerging through manholes and drains.
  • You can find on the outside of the buildings, even in the winter months.
  • Omnivorous par excellence, preferring food decomposition.
  • they can travel with goods and furniture, being possible infestation of a house or room to another.
  • Do not live so grouped as the cockroach blonde form, since they are less selective in terms of their habitat.
  • Exclusive adult indicates the existence of cockroaches immigrants in search of areas where installed.



Public health importance


  • It transmits mechanically the same diseases that we have detailed for Blattella germanica.





American cockroach or flying cockroach:


Periplaneta americana Linnaeus




  • Color between red and Brown.
  • It presents a spot of butterfly, clearer on its pronotum.
  • Size of 35 to 40 mm.
  • They have developed wings used for planning.
  • Both the male and female distinguish them is by the length of the wings, the first wings beyond the abdomen and in the second are almost the same length.


Life cycle


  • They are 14-16 eggs per ootheca.
  • No. from Ootecas that produces the female: 10-15.
  • Incubation time: 1 month
  • Hatch at 50 - 55 days
  • Female totally complete the ootheca formation and then deposits it in areas with food and wet, which are glued to the surface where are deposited, through oral secretions emanating herself.
  • These Ootecas are formed weekly, and can produce 15 to 90
  • Nymphs produced their first moult in their Ootecas, at that time still are called nymphs, which are brown.
  • They move 11 times before being ripe.
  • After the fifth moult begins to take a reddish brown
  • The newborn can reach sexual maturity at 23 weeks.
  • Development from egg to adult: about 5 months
  • It has a life cycle of about 14 to 15 months.
  • They mate every week.
  • Under optimum conditions the females can live for 14 to 15 months and the males a little less.
  • Spawning potential: approx. 3,000 copies.         

Habitat and behavior


  • Of tropical origin, this perfectly adapted in our country, in warm and humid climates zones.
  • Found primarily in infrastructure of buildings and we only found in our floors when it penetrates from the outside, not usual that you nest in the interior of the housing.
  • They penetrate our buildings through the sewer network mainly.
  • Prefer places warm and moist (between 21 and 33 ° C), found in basements, cellars, garages, storerooms, bathrooms boilers, cookers, hot areas in process of manufacture of foodstuffs, etc... and in general in the structures of buildings, such as: Foundation, blind wells, drains, pipes,...
  • You can find on the outside of the buildings, even in the winter months.
  • Omnivorous par excellence
  • They mostly feed on decaying materials, adhesives, papers, fabrics, syrups and sweets among others.
  • Adult species can live 2-3 months without food and 1 month without drinking water.
  • No viven de forma tan agrupada como la cucaracha rubia.
  • Son las cucarachas menos selectivas en cuanto a su hábitat.
  • Su capacidad de vuelo hace que puedan trasladarse rápidamente por el aire de una zona a otra, dificultando su control.


Importancia para la salud pública


  • Trasmite mecánicamente los gérmenes del cólera, fiebre tifoidea, diarrea, disentería, hepatitis vírica tipo A, poliomielitis y lepra; causa hinchazón de los párpados e infecciones cutáneas.
  • Produce un olor nauseabundo.
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To contact an English speaking technician please phone Michelle Zutter at 669933896