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Pests/german cockroaches

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Question
Everything I read says these can't live outdoors. Last year I saw one after cleaning parts of my grill inside. I immediately called an exterminator and he identified the dead bug as the above but was puzzled-there was no evidence of any others, nor were any dead ones found after he exterminated. I live in a woodsy suburban area, private home. Today I saw one in the recycling bin, which is outdoors. Can they live outside (btw, I live in Connecticut) and how can I make sure they don't come in?

Answer
Maria,

Those species that infest homes (peridomesitic species) do not generally live outdoors in temperate climates like Connecticut. They can, however, live outdoors in semi-tropical climates such as the Southeast and Southwest (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/cockroaches.html for biology and control of peridomestic cockroaches). There are several species that do live outdoors in temperate climates such as the wood roach but these do not infest buildings. These species can be inadvertently brought into homes on firewood and can be mistaken for the peridomestic species. I suspect you found one of the "outdoor" species which had been carried into the house on the grill. No treatment is needed since these won't multiply indoors.

Jack DeAngelis

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects such as aphids and spider mites, insects that bite and sting such as ticks and wasps, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Organizations
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html Fine Gardening magazine

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology (the study of insects)

Awards and Honors
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

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