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German cockroaches Brown-banded cockroaches American cockroaches Oriental cockroaches

4 Major types of Cockroaches

  1. German cockroaches
  2. Brown-banded cockroaches
  3. American cockroaches
  4. Oriental cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common of all cockroach types found in America. Their high-speed capacity for breeding makes them a direct threat to your family and home. All it takes is one single female to get into your home. Between her and her offspring, more than 30,000 cockroaches can be produced in one year, though many of them won’t live very long. The ones that do survive are more than enough to cause disease and disgust. Each German cockroach egg case (ootheca) can hatch between 20 and 40 baby roaches, and unlike other types of cockroaches, the adult female carries the eggs with her until they are ready to hatch. This makes them extremely persistent and difficult to get rid of.

It’s important to determine which species of cockroach you have. Use a cockroach identification guide or contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for help identifying the cockroaches.
For example, limiting moisture can deter German cockroaches, but you might want to adjust both temperature and humidity to control American cockroaches.

Length: 0.6 inches; smaller than American or Asian cockroaches
Color: light-brown
Distinguishing features: two dark, parallel stripes on pronotum, from head to wings
Region: entire United States
Found: areas near water sources with food, such as kitchens, storage areas and bathrooms
Flight: barely, but can glide in a pinch
Entry: typically carried in via visitors, packages, clothing, purses, used furniture, etc., but also easily spread through walls in multifamily dwellings

 2. Brown-banded cockroaches
While German and brown-banded roaches might inhabit the same house, they rarely hide in the same spots. Brown-banded roaches prefer warmer, drier areas, especially up high and inside your electronics, television, refrigerator, etc. They tend to stay away from water.

Length: 0.5 inches; smaller than American or Asian cockroaches
Color: males are dark-brown at base and golden-tan toward wing tips; females have reddish-brown wings and dark-brown bodies
Distinguishing features: males and females have two light-yellow bands on wings, abdomen and sides of pronotum
Region: entire United States
Found: warm, dry indoor areas, ceilings, behind picture frames and clocks, in hollowed-out wood and clutter, inside electric devices
Flight: only males can fly, more likely to jump
Entry: like the German roach, typically carried in via visitors, packages, clothing, purses, used furniture, etc., and also easily spread through walls in multifamily dwellings

3. American cockroaches
Though not the most common cockroach in American homes, the American cockroach is the largest. They can survive up to two years, much longer than other cockroach types. These roaches are more commonly called “palmetto bugs” and spotting one can be particularly alarming.

Length: 1 to 3 inches; biggest
Color: brown to reddish-brown
Distinguishing features: light-yellow edges on pronotum
Region: entire United States
Found: prefer outdoors but love warm, damp areas, sewers, drains, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements and bathrooms
Flight: both adult males, and females, can fly
Entry: can come in under doors, basement windows, garages or sewer system

Smoky brown cockroaches
The smoky brown cockroach dehydrates very quickly so you will see these types of roaches in moist, damp places – if you see them at all. They are excellent fliers and extremely nocturnal, though they are attracted to light and will enter homes when they see it.

Length: 1.5 inches; a bit smaller than American roach
Color: uniform dark-mahogany, black pronotum
Distinguishing features: wings longer than bodies
Region: Southeastern United States
Found: gutters, attics and crawl spaces
Flight: both adult males, and females, can fly
Entry: plumbing, vents, where trees, vegetation, shrubs, etc., meet the house

4. Oriental cockroaches
More commonly called “water bugs”, the Oriental cockroach dwells in darkness and loves moist, damp spots that are out of sight and harm from humans. This makes them harder to get rid of without pest management professionals since pesticides might get washed away.

Length: 1.25 inches
Color: dark-brown or glossy-black
Distinguishing features: glossy appearance, male wings shorter than body, female wings underdeveloped
Region: Northwest, Midwest and Southern states
Found: areas with tons of moisture, decaying organic matter and below ground level (e.g., sewers, damp basements, etc.)
Flight: no
Entry: can come in under doors, basement windows, garages or sewer system

No matter what types of cockroaches you have, you don’t want them in your house or around your family. Roaches can transmit disease as they become contaminated with filth crawling on floors, into drain pipes or in other low places they may travel. Just a few minutes later, the very same roaches may be seen walking around on your clean dishes or on the food you’ve been preparing. The best way to make sure your home is roach-free is to call Outbreak Pest Control LLC and get a free pest evaluation.

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