Cockroaches have been an insect pest for about four million years with more than 3,500 species that exist worldwide including the Brown-banded cockroach, the Oriental cockroach, the American cockroach, the Smoky brown cockroach, the Wood cockroach and the German cockroach.
The German cockroach is one of the most common household cockroaches in the world. They are particularly fond of inhabiting restaurants, food processing facilities, hotel rooms and nursing homes. Although not very tolerant of the cold, this cockroach has been found in buildings as far north as Alert and Nunavut . Measuring about 1.3 cm to 1.6 cm (1/2 to 5/8 inch) long, it is tan to light brown with two dark parallel streaks running from the head to the base of the wings. Roaches have wings, but are unable to sustain flight.
Cockroaches will inhabit any area where food, water and shelter are available. They are attracted to buildings because of the warm, damp conditions offered by kitchens, bathrooms, basements and plumbing areas. Their presence does not necessarily mean unsanitary conditions exist. Roaches and their egg cases can hitch a ride into your home on various objects including used furniture, food items, empty beer and soft drink bottles and shipping cartons. Once inside a building, they travel quite easily. Because cockroaches are most active at night, they may go unnoticed for some time. Cockroaches are attracted to food sources which contain starches, sugars and protein, but will eat almost anything when hungry.