Cockroaches are a severe and dangerous infestation that can cause serious illnesses like staph infections and respiratory infections. They travel through sewers and are coated in deadly bacteria and then track those bacteria into your food. They also moult, losing bits of carapace over their growth from nymph to adult. These pieces of the carapace are lighter than air and can drift like a feather or most of the dust in the air. They can be inhaled easily causing serious issues for anyone with a current respiratory issue like asthma. This is why it is so important to take action the moment you see a single cockroach. There are many species of cockroach, too many to count. The common varieties in Ontario, Canada include the german cockroach, the American cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach and the oriental cockroach. The American and brown-banded cockroaches are native to North America but the german and oriental cockroaches, as seen by their names, are not. All cockroaches are fundandamentaly the same in their structure. They have organs, unlike other insects that are filled with liquid and free-floating organelles, and give birth with egg sacks like spiders. They are not related directly to other insects and are a prehistoric species dating back to before the dinosaurs. They deviate by appearance and the number of eggs they can produce but are otherwise the same. The process they go through for mating is simple, like all insects, the male impregnates the female by backing up into them and depositing sperm. The female can then keep the sperm for a time and impregnate herself when she feels it’s appropriate. Because cockroaches lack a birth canal that is separate from their digestive tract the eggs must be protected from their powerful stomach acid.
This protective coating is called an Ootheca and contains multiple eggs. The cockroach gives birth through the same opening they defecate with which is a dorsal opening with flaps that can close the opening to protect it from bacteria. The eggs are usually laid in areas that seem safe like openings and holes or cracks and crevices. The eggs will then hatch often taking at least forty to sixty days. The egg sacks cannot survive cold temperatures below seven degrees celsius and so stop reproducing at that temperature which is one of the many reasons they infest human homes, the heat of the home helps them reproduce all year long. This and the search for food and water is why cockroaches do not stay in the wild and gravitate to cities. The different breeds of cockroaches can have different numbers of eggs. Larger cockroaches like the American have up to five eggs in a single ootheca while the german cockroach, which is much smaller can have up to sixty eggs in one ootheca. While it can take over a month for the eggs to hatch and hundreds of days for the nymphs to grow into adults the actual number of cockroaches produced by the german cockroach can number in the thousands while other cockroaches number in the hundreds. This is why the german cockroach is far more invasive and difficult to treat than others.