Cockroach Identification

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are insects that are identified by their large size, oval-shaped body, and a large antennae. Cockroaches come in a variety of colors, and each species has distinct nesting preferences and exhibit there own unique behaviors.

The five most common species of roaches in our area include:

american cockroach

American Cockroaches

  • Color: Reddish-brown, with a yellowish figure 8 pattern on the back of the head
  • Shape: Oval
  • Size: 2 inches
  • Region: Found throughout the U.S. and the world
  • Habits: While American cockroaches can be found in homes and larger commercial buildings, they are known to infest food storage and food preparation areas, as well as basements, yards and alleys. They are also very common in sewers and often enter structures through drains and pipes.
  • Threats: It has been reported that cockroaches can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. As with other species of roaches, these cockroaches can pose a threat to individuals with allergies.
  • Prevention: The best advice for American cockroach control is to practice good sanitation. Seal all entrances around utility pipes and ventilate crawlspaces to prevent moisture buildup. Most cockroaches come into a building through the pipes. Keep drains clean and free of food.

a brown banded cockroach

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

  • Color: Brown, with pronounced banding across wings
  • Shape: Oval
  • Size: 1/2 inch
  • Region: Found throughout the U.S.
  • Habits: Brown-banded cockroaches prefer dry locations and warmer areas over 80℉ but can be found throughout structures. These cockroaches prefer higher locations and can often be in upper cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. Brown-banded cockroaches glue their ootheca (egg cases) to surfaces, often in or under furniture.
  • Threats: It has been reported that cockroaches can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Studies show that cockroach allergens are leading trigger of allergic reactions in children and have been known to cause asthma.
  • Prevention: Keep a spotless kitchen and make sure to dispose of garbage regularly. Vacuuming often will help reduce harmful cockroaches allergens. Pay close attention to hanging picture frames, ceilings and wall moldings, as these areas are vulnerable to infestations. Air out basements and crawlspaces to prevent moisture buildup.

a german cockroach

German Cockroaches

  • Color: Light brown to tan with two dark stripes
  • Shape: Oval
  • Size: 1/2 – 5/8 inch long
  • Region: Found throughout the world
  • Habits: Being the most common species of cockroach, German cockroaches can be found all over the world. These cockroaches prefer to live in cracks in warm, humid places close near food and moisture sources. German cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including soap, glue, and toothpaste. They are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. They are also known to hitch a ride into new structures via grocery bags, drink cartons and cardboard boxes.
  • Threats: It has been reported that cockroaches can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Studies show that cockroach allergens are leading trigger of allergic reactions in children and have been known to cause asthma.
  • Prevention: The best advice for German cockroach control is to practice good sanitation. Keep a spotless kitchen and make sure to dispose of garbage regularly. Vacuuming often will help reduce harmful cockroaches allergens. Pay close attention to appliances and sinks in the kitchen or bathroom as these are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations. Air out basements and crawlspaces to prevent moisture buildup.

an oriental cockroach

Oriental Cockroaches

  • Color: Shiny black
  • Shape: Oval
  • Size: 1 inch
  • Region: Found in the northern parts of the U.S.
  • Habits: Being able to survive well outdoors, Oriental cockroaches can be found under porches, leaves, stones, debris and wall voids. They can enter homes through sliding glass doors, along air ducts and utility pipes and through door thresholds. These cockroaches can feed on all kinds of food, particularly starchy foods and decaying organic matter. Oriental roaches are sometimes called “waterbugs” because they come out of drains.
  • Threats: It has been reported that cockroaches can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Oriental cockroaches’ habit of feeding on filth causes them to pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through sewage or decaying matter and then carry these onto food or food surfaces.
  • Prevention: Keep food sealed and stored properly. Keep a spotless kitchen and make sure to dispose of garbage regularly. Seal cracks around the home, as well as entry points for utilities and pipes. Air out basements and crawlspaces to prevent moisture buildup.

Smokey brown cockroaches are also common in our area.

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches are scavengers and feed on whatever they come across, any decaying plant or animal matter is up for grabs. Their feeding habits cause them to pick up a lot of bacteria and parasites on their body and legs. Some diseases cockroaches spread that make people ill include salmonellosis, E. coli, and dysentery.

As cockroaches grow, they shed their skins. Their shed skins and excrement trigger allergies and asthma attacks in those susceptible. When living inside of homes, cockroaches are also damaging pests. As they move around looking for food, they stain or chew through things like boxes, books, clothing, and upholstered furniture.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Cockroaches can become an issue in any home or business. They are attracted to the scent of decaying food, and are mostly attracted to starches, sugars, grease, proteins, and cheeses. Things like open trash containers either inside or outside of your home, compost bins, pet food, gardens, and outdoor eating areas will attract hungry cockroaches to your property.

Where will I find cockroaches?

Where cockroaches live, either inside or outside of our homes or businesses, depends largely on their species. It is important to note that roaches are highly adaptable to different living conditions, which is why they are such tough pests to avoid and control.

American Cockroaches

The largest variety of home-invading cockroaches prefer to live outside on trees or in garden areas but often move into homes and businesses. They like to nest near water pipes, sinks, bathtubs, toilets, sump pumps, and other sources of moisture.

German Cockroaches

These are the most common type of cockroaches that invade structures. Their small size allows them to move easily into and throughout homes and businesses. These roaches prefer to live inside and cause significant problems in homes and restaurants.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

Brown-banded cockroaches like to avoid light, so indoors they congregate in the darker areas of a structure, preferring warm, dry areas. Brown-banded cockroaches live in the upper levels of homes and other structures. They nest in the uppers parts of cabinets, upholstered furniture, behind doors frames, and in attics.Oriental cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches enter homes through cracks in foundations, under doors, and through drains. They prefer to live in dark, very damp areas like crawl spaces, basements, and bathrooms. Areas near pipes, sump pumps, and drains are common places you will find Oriental roaches.

Smokey Brown Cockroaches

Attracted by outdoor lights, smokey brown cockroaches gather around doorways, windowsills, and porches. After making their way inside, these roaches hide during the day in attics, bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Homeowners also often see them gathering and flying around indoor lights and the television. 

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

If you are ready to get rid of cockroaches from your property, reach out to the local pest control experts at Patriot Pest Management. Our customized services performed by our knowledgeable and friendly experts eliminate pests and stop them from coming back.

At Patriot Pest Management, we won’t hesitate to go the extra mile to ensure that our customers are happy and their properties are free of pests. For exceptional home pest control or commercial pest control services in the Greater Bay Area and surrounding counties of California, contact Patriot Pest Management today!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

Below are some easy to follow tips that will help you keep cockroaches from taking over your home and yard:

  • Wipe down and sanitize food prep areas regularly.
  • Pull out large appliances from the walls and clean up any crumbs under them.
  • Regularly empty trash cans and sanitize them.
  • Seal up gaps or cracks that develop in your exterior walls. Replace torn or loose window screens. Place covers over vents and drains leading into your house.
  • Moisture attracts cockroaches. Eliminate moisture around your home by repairing leaky pipes, ventilating crawl spaces, and using dehumidifiers.
  • Cockroaches get into homes inside items like appliances, boxes, and furniture. Always inspect new items for cockroaches before bringing them into your home.
 

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