Cockroaches 101

Cockroaches are creepy nuisance pests that have been despised for ages. There are around 70 living species of cockroaches in the U.S. and approximately 4,000 species in the world. These pests that can survive freezing temperatures and a week without its head pose serious health risks to humans if they get into your home. Cockroaches are known to cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. They also spread nearly 33 kinds of bacteria including E. coli and Salmonella.

Pest control and prevention is key to keeping your home and family safe from a cockroach infestation. These creatures that are bound to outlive us will most likely find a way inside the home. Thus, being aware of the signs of an infestation and taking action are essential. This guide below can be useful in determining which type of cockroach has become an unwelcome guest. However, if you suspect or discover an infestation, you should contact a licensed pest control professional who will be able to inspect your home, confirm the species, and recommend a proper course of treatment.

American Cockroach

The American Cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting roaches and a major pest in the United States. They are typically found throughout the U.S. in sewers, pipes, and drain. They also gather in kitchens or bathrooms in search of food and water. In general, this species prefers warm, moist, and dark environments.

Brown-banded Cockroach

The Brown-banded Cockroach is one of the smallest cockroaches as the adults only grow to about half an inch. Their coloring helps them blend in among furniture, cabinets, and food. These roaches are found throughout the United States in higher altitudes such as upper cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom as well as near ceilings. This species moves away from sources of water as they prefer warm and dry locations. Brown-banded cockroaches are nocturnal and most active at night. Additionally, these roaches will feed on virtually anything – even other cockroach species!

German Cockroach

German Cockroaches are found throughout the United States, and they are the most common species found worldwide. This pest prefers warm and humid places, such as the bathroom, but are also found where people eat and drink, like your kitchen.  While German cockroaches have wings, they prefer to run and rarely fly.

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental Cockroaches are one of the larger species of cockroaches and are commonly found in the northern regions of the United States. This species prefers damp and cool locations, often found in sewers and under debris, leaves, stones, and firewood. They tend to invade homes during the summer and find harborage in basements and crawl spaces. In some areas, they are referred to as “waterbugs” because of the regions they hide in.

Next Steps

The best advice for cockroach control is to practice good sanitation. Remember to keep counters, sinks, tables, and floors clean and free of clutter. Clean dishes, crumbs, and spills, and store food in airtight containers. It is important to seal cracks and gaps in walls, floors, and openings around or inside cabinets. If you know where to look, you can keep an eye out for signs of cockroaches. Pay extra attention to kitchens and bathrooms – especially under appliances and sinks. If you suspect or discover an infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional to inspect and treat the cockroach problem.