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Cockroaches are a real scourge in many tropical and subtropical regions. They live on leftovers that fall on the kitchen floor or left unprotected food. In addition, tropical species are sometimes several inches long and their sight triggers a disgust in many people. Cockroaches are particularly feared as disease transmitters, as they are inter alia for salmonella and nematodes. You can also transmit various bacterial and viral infections such as cholera and hepatitis.
But not all cockroaches are "evil": the light brown colored, about one centimeter long amber forest cockroach, for example, has a completely different way of life than the commonly known storage pests. It lives in the great outdoors, where it feeds on dead, organic matter and can not transmit any diseases to humans. In the course of climate change, the woodcock species originating from southern Europe has spread further and further to the north in recent years and is now also quite common in southwestern Germany. The flyable insect is attracted by light and therefore gets lost on balmy summer evenings sometimes in the houses. There it understandably causes excitement, as it is considered a cockroach. However, amber woodcrackers (Ectobius vittiventris) are not viable in the house in the long term and usually find their way back into the forest by themselves.
The German cockroach (Blatella germanica) prefers to feed on starchy foods
Woodcocks are not afraid of light
From a purely optical point of view, amber woodcrackers are not that easy to distinguish from the common German cockroach (Blattella germanica). Both are about the same size, brownish colored and have long feelers. A distinguishing feature are the two dark bands on the breastplate, which are missing the amber forest cockroach. With the "flashlight-sample" they can be clearly identified: Cockroaches are almost always flies of light and disappear under the closet in a flash, if you turn on the light or it lights up. Woodcocks, on the other hand, are attracted by the light - they therefore remain relaxed or even actively move towards the light source.