ENTOMOLOGY, PUBLIC HEALTH
Definition A largely nocturnal insect that is a non-specific marker of poor sanitation.
Most common cockroaches (CR) in the USA
• American CR Periplaneta americana
• German CR Blattella germanica
• Asian CR Blattella orientalis
They are of medical interest as vectors for bacteria–e.g., Salmonella, Shigella, Proteus, Mycobacterium spp, E coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and hepatitis A virus.
97.5% of low income housing in the US has them, with an average of 33,600 per dwelling–!!!. They range from the itty-bitty 5 mm Attaphila to the attention-grabbing 10 cm Megaloblatta in length; 3500 have been catalogued.
Some species, e.g., Blatella germanica, have an elaborate social structure involving common shelter, social dependence, information transfer and kin recognition.