American Cockroaches

What is An American Cockroach?

The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting roaches and a major pest in the United States. It’s also commonly known as the water bug, the Bombay canary or the palmetto bug. Despite its name, the American cockroach is not native to North America. Some evidence suggested that American cockroaches were introduced via ships from Africa in the early 1600s.


Pest Stats

Color

American cockroaches are typically reddish brown with a yellowish figure 8 pattern on the back of the head

Legs

They have 6 legs

Shape

Oval

Size

Adults may range between 1 1/4” to 2 1/8” (32-54 mm) in length

Antennae

Yes

Region

American cockroaches are found worldwide


What Do American Cockroaches Look Like?

Adult American cockroaches average between 1.4” to 1.6” (35-41mm) in length, but they can grow to exceed 2”. American cockroaches are reddish brown in color with a yellow band that outlines the area behind their head. Both males and females have wings and can fly short distances.


Do American Cockroaches Bite?

American cockroaches have the ability to bite, although they rarely do. If a bite occurs, it should not be problematic unless it gets infected.

American Cockroaches

American Cockroaches

German Cockroaches

What is a German Cockroach? 

The German cockroach is the most common cockroach species found worldwide. While German cockroach infestations occur in a variety of human occupied spaces, they are most often associated with restaurants, food processing facilities, hotels, nursing homes and other institutional facilities. Keep reading to learn more facts and to get information on German cockroach control.


Pest Stats

Color

Light brown to tan, with two dark, almost parallel stripes located on their backs, just behind their heads

Legs

6

Shape

Oval

Size

½”-5/8” long

Antennae

Yes

Region

Found throughout the United States


What Do German Cockroaches Look Like?

Adult German cockroaches are recognized by their light brown to tan coloring with two dark, almost parallel stripes, located on their backs. Female German cockroaches tend to be darker than males. German cockroach nymphs are dark brown to black in color with the same dark stripes located on their backs. While German cockroaches have wings, they rarely fly. Instead, they prefer to run.


Signs of a German Cockroach Infestation 

German cockroaches prefer to live in warm, humid places close to food and moisture sources. They are frequently found in residential and commercial kitchen environments, and bathrooms, so these are the two most likely places for an infestation to occur. It is also likely to find German cockroach dropping in areas they frequent. Droppings may appear as small, dark, “pepper-like” material left on countertops or in drawers. There may also be fecal staining, which appears as dark spots or smears in the corners of rooms, along the tops of doors or around small cracks and openings into walls.


When German cockroach populations are present in large numbers, it may be possible to detect a mild, somewhat “musty” odor.

German Cockroaches

German Cockroaches

Brownbanded Cockroaches

Brown-banded cockroaches get their name from the two lighter bands they have across their dark brownish bodies. Male brown-banded roaches have full wings that reach beyond the tip of their pointed abdomens, but females have underdeveloped wings that prohibit them from flying. The brown-banded cockroach can live for about 206 days.


Pest Stats

 Color

Brown, with pronounced banding across wings

 Legs

6

 Shape

Oval

 Size

1/2" long

 Antennae

Yes

 Region

Found throughout U.S.

Brownbanded Cockroaches

Brownbanded Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroaches

What is an Oriental Cockroach? 

Believed to be of African origin despite its name, the oriental cockroach is one of the larger species of cockroach. These cockroaches are sometimes referred to as “waterbugs” because they hang out in damp areas, as well as “black beetle cockroaches” because of their smooth, dark bodies. Oriental cockroaches gain entry into households by going under doors and through gaps beneath siding, as well as following pipes, sewers and drains into a structure. 


Pest Stats

Color

Shiny black

Legs

6

Shape

Oval

Size

1" long

Antennae

Yes

Region

Northern regions of the United States


What Do Oriental Cockroaches Look Like? 

Oriental cockroaches exhibit a shiny black to a dark reddish-brown color. As adults, the male and female cockroaches, though both large in size, are quite different in appearance. Growing to only 25 mm in length, the smaller males have shortened, three-quarter-length wings. As a result, the last few abdominal segments of their bodies are exposed. In comparison, female oriental roaches reach a length of 32 mm and have no wings. Instead, they have large wing pads that shelter the first few segments of their bodies. While differing in appearance, neither males nor females can fly.


Signs of an Oriental Cockroach Infestation 

There are three telltale signs of an oriental cockroach infestation: sightings, egg capsules and odor.


Sightings: Especially during the warmer months of the year, oriental cockroaches may be seen outside near moist gutters, around landscaping beds, and coming in and out of sewers and storm drains during the night. During the day, Oriental cockroaches congregate in dark, moist and undisturbed spaces. 

Egg Capsules: Aside from sightings of the cockroaches themselves, egg cases ranging in size from 8 to 10 mm in length will appear during an infestation. Oriental cockroach egg cases are usually dark brown or reddish in color. Each egg case can hold about 16 eggs. 

Odor: Smells will also alert a homeowner to an Oriental cockroach infestation. Oriental cockroaches secrete chemicals to communicate with each other. The chemicals have a notorious musty odor.  

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroaches