What is a Turkestan Cockroach?
The Turkestan cockroach (Shelfordella Lateralis) also spelled Turkistan, is an invasive species found throughout the southwest.
The Turkestan cockroach is sold as food for pet reptiles. It is quickly replacing the ever-present oriental cockroach. Both roaches tend to live outdoors in the same type of urban environment. However, the Turkestan cockroach breeds faster, leaving entomologists to believe the increase in numbers is why this roach is taking over our urban outdoors.
Another name for Turkestan roach is “red runner” or “rusty red” cockroach. In addition, it looks similar to the oriental roach except the female Turkestan has cream-colored markings and the male Turkestan appears slimmer than the male oriental roach.
Where Does The Turkestan Cockroach Come From?
Turkestan cockroaches are believed to have originated in Central Asia, making their way to America via military personnel and equipment. This species was first found in 1978 at Sharpe Army Depot in Lathrope, CA. Like oriental roaches, Turkestan roaches embrace the city life by making their home in water meters, irrigation systems, and electrical boxes.
Additionally, they live in cracks of concrete and hollow block walls as well as leaf litter, ground cover, compost piles, and potted plants. In tropical climates, Turkestan cockroaches are known to be an indoor pest.
Turkestan Cockroach Life Cycle
There are three developmental stages of the Turkestan cockroach; egg, nymph, and adult. However, Turkestan cockroaches have a shorter developmental period in comparison to Oriental cockroaches and the females produce considerably more eggs than the Oriental cockroach females as well.
Each female and her offspring can produce nearly 200 cockroaches in one year. Development from a newly emerged nymph to adult can take from 1 to 2 years or more.
In many locations, the Turkestan roach has been able to out-compete and replace the Oriental roach population given their biological characteristic differences.
Why Do I Have Turkestan Cockroaches In My House?
You may wonder what draws these unwanted invaders to your home. The simplest answer is “food”. Most homeowners will keep their homes free of discarded food and keep their home goods sealed. But, that may not be enough.
Roaches require starch and protein in their daily diet and if they can’t get in your kitchen, they will get it in other places. Paper is a favorite source of food which includes magazines, wallpaper, cardboard, and books. Turkestan roaches eat other things as well, like glue, some cloths, and even human hair and nails.
During the peak summertime when population and the weather are at the highest, the Turkestan roaches will come inside, but thankfully they typically stay outdoors.
How do I Get Rid of Turkestan Cockroaches?
When dealing with a Turkestan cockroach infestation, the best thing to do is contact your local pest control company ASAP.
It takes a professional to get them under control once an infestation has occurred. However, homeowners can prevent both Turkestan and oriental roaches by making sure there´s no standing water on the property.
Cockroach Inspection, Control & Removal in Sacramento, California
Finally, homeowners know they have an infestation because these roaches are not shy, and fly around at night time, especially being drawn in by lights. In other words, Turkestan cockroaches can be very difficult to control once they have entered in or around your home.