Cockroaches in Vancouver

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Where do you find cockroaches? A restaurant? A downtown apartment? A factory?

For the most part very few cockroach species inhabit human dwellings at all. Of the 4,000 species of cockroaches identified to date, there are less than 30 bothersome to structures as pests. The majority of roaches go unseen in the outdoors in caves, forests, and ponds. Roaches are beneficial to the environment as they consume nearly anything, aiding the ecosystem. Fewer still are the typical roaches invading homes and businesses in the lower mainland. These are the American, German, Asian, and Oriental cockroaches.

When the temperature is greater than 70 degrees Cockroaches become the most active. If you see a few in the daytime there's a strong possibility of many more lurking behind appliances and cabinets. Cockroaches detect approaching threats by sensing changes in air currents. In very heavy infestations it is not uncommon for roaches to bite humans and attempt to ingest food residues on the faces of those sleeping.

Did you know? A Cockroach can live 3 months without food, 1 month without water, and 1 week without it's head!

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Vancouver Cockroaches

Cockroaches have many negative consequences for human health because certain proteins (called allergens) found in cockroach feces, saliva and body parts can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children. Cockroaches can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including pathogens that are potentially dangerous to humans. Cockroaches have been implicated in the spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella species, six parasitic worms and more than seven other types of human pathogens.

Having a clean and sanitary home will make it less inviting to cockroaches. Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors clean
and free of clutter. Clean dishes, crumbs and spills right away. Store food in airtight containers, and always avoid leaving any food (pet's food or other) out. Have a sealed garbage can.

Cockroaches get their vitamins from bacteria that live in their bodies. For millions of years, cockroaches have carried on a symbiotic relationship with special bacteroides carried within their own bodies. This arrangement allows the cockroach to dine on just about anything it finds, without concern for its lack of nutritional value.

Vancouver Cockroaches


German cockroach

Oriental cockroach

American cockroach


11 to 16 mm

25 to 30 mm

28 to 43 mm


Heated buildings, optimum 32 °C (90 °F)

20 to 29 °C (68 to 84 °F)

Heated buildings, optimum 32 °C (90 °F)

Nymphal development time

6 to 12 weeks

6 to 12 months

4 to 15 months


6 to 9 months

1.0 to 1.5 years

1.0 to 1.5 years

Able to fly




The most common Cockroach to have a run in with is the German cockroach. They have three life stages typical of insects with incomplete metamorphosis: the egg, nymph, and adult. The entire life cycle is completed in about 100 days. German cockroaches breed continuously with many overlapping generations present at any one time. Under ideal conditions, population growth has been shown to be exponential. Actively growing field populations are composed of 80 percent nymphs and 20 percent adults. Cockroaches eggs incubate inside a capsule called an oothecae. As many as 40 eggs will be protected inside.

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