Roaches 101

Cockroaches are among the most common pests in many residential and commercial properties. Their presence is a huge problem for many people, mainly because they carry so many health risks. They cause allergies and spread nearly 33 different types of bacteria. In addition to that, they often crawl on your dishes and silverware making the chances of getting sick that much higher.

Roaches are nocturnal creatures, searching for food in storage areas, sewers, and garbage cans. Since they prefer warm environments that provide easy access to water and food, they are often attracted to homes and businesses. Are you dealing with roaches in your home or business? Call us for a free quote. We provide quality pest control solutions with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

cockroach infestation

Facts About Cockroaches

  • Cockroaches are nocturnal and have white blood. If you see any roaches during the day, that’s a sign of overcrowding and infestation.
  • Cockroaches can eat just about anything but are also capable of surviving long periods without any food at all.
  • Roaches are known carriers of a wide range of diseases and bacteria like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever.
  • Modern cockroaches can live for several weeks without their heads. This is because they breathe through the little holes in their body segments.
  • The debris from cast-off skins, dead roaches, and droppings are known to cause and trigger allergies.

Common Roach Species

american cockroach on a rock up close

American Cockroach

American cockroaches are reddish-brown and are about 32 to 54 mm in length. They also have a yellowish 8-shaped pattern at the back of their heads. Just like other roaches, they mainly live outdoors, but it’s not uncommon to find them inside homes and businesses. They find their way inside structures when there are changes in climate, or if there’s a food shortage outside.

These roaches normally infest commercial establishments like bakeries and grocery stores. Homes are also easy targets since they can conveniently pass through open windows and garages. They invade basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and food storage areas.

American cockroaches, as well as other types of roaches, are known carriers of bacteria, including salmonella. The spines on their legs and bodies pick up germs as they move along, transferring them to food preparation surfaces.

brown banded cockroach on egg carton

Brown-banded Cockroach

Brown-banded cockroaches are some of the smallest types of roaches. They are about 11 to 14.5 mm in length, and dark red to dark brown in color. Both female and male brown-banded roaches have wings, but only the latter is capable of flying.

Unlike German or American cockroaches, they infest any room inside a home. Not just bathroom and kitchen areas. This is because they don’t need as much moisture as other roaches.

While they often enter structures on their own through various openings, that’s not the most common way of invading properties. It’s actually when people bring infested food items, electronics, and furniture pieces into their homes.

This species can live for an average of 206 days and can reproduce at alarming rates. Due to their small stature and nocturnal nature, infestations can easily go undetected. They can survive by eating not just starchy food, but also non-organic materials like nylon stockings.

german cockroach on leaf

German Cockroach

German cockroaches are light brown to tan in color, with two, almost parallel stripes behind their heads. They have wings, but they hardly fly, preferring to run. They’re good hitchhikers, often finding their way inside structures by riding in grocery bags, cardboard boxes, or even through your plumbing. These roaches also move from property to property during warm nights.

German cockroaches prefer to nest and live in humid, warm areas to gain access to food and moisture. They are often found in commercial and residential kitchens and bathrooms. From toothpaste and books to floury food, German cockroaches will eat anything and everything available to them.

oriental cockroach

Oriental Cockroach

Oriental roaches, also called “waterbugs”, are a bit bigger and darker compared to other species. They are around 1 inch long and prefer to live at cooler temperatures. Mainly an outdoor species, these insects are normally found in sewers, and under firewood, stones, and leaves.

Even though they usually live outdoors, they enter homes and businesses during summer to look for sustenance. Once inside, oriental cockroaches look for harborage in crawl spaces. As long as they can find decaying organic matter, garbage, or starchy food, they’ll survive.

It’s also noteworthy that these roaches can live for around a month without food. However, they can’t live for over two weeks without water. They are heavily dependent on water and can gather in huge numbers near water sources.

smokybrown cockroach on white background

Smokybrown Cockroach

Smokybrown cockroaches are strong fliers with wings that extend beyond their bodies. They are around 1 1/4 inches in length and are black or mahogany in color. These creatures are often found in leaf litters because their shiny appearance and coloration help them hide from predators.

Smokybrown roaches love to nest in decaying organic materials. They are also attracted to improperly maintained garbage cans and pet food containers. Moreover, they are drawn to leaky roofs, stacks of wood, and sewer openings.

Inside homes, they are typically found in dark areas that are directly beside the chimney or upper-level bedrooms. Their diets range from dead leaves and starches to dead insects, but wouldn’t think twice about eating the old papers in your attic.

Signs of Infestation

  • Droppings in dark areas such as the pantry, garage, or basement
  • Presence of dark-colored egg capsules in dark areas
  • Foul or musty odor
  • Sighting of adult roaches

Problems Caused By Roaches

  • They feed on human and pet food
  • Leave an unpleasant odor
  • Passive transporters of microbes on their body surfaces
  • Can trigger allergies and asthma problems

Cockroach Prevention Tips

  • Use bait stations with gels containing hydramethylnon or fipronil. You can also use boric acid powder and other pest control products with deltamethrin or pyrethrin.
  • Keep a clean, and organized kitchen.
    Repair dripping taps and other water leaks.
  • Store food items in sealed containers.
  • Seal off any potential entry points, like holes around baseboards. Apart from that, secure pipes, doors, windows, and kitchen cabinets using copper mesh and steel wool. You can also use some cement, putty, or silicone caulk.
  • Use garbage bins with tight lids.


How Did I Get Cockroaches?

Most of these cockroaches enter homes and businesses in search of food, warmth, shelter, and moisture. They can enter properties through sewer pipes, garages, under doors, etc. At times, they hitchhike on grocery bags or briefcases. This means that you can bring them into your home without knowing it. There are so many ways to get them that it can become hard to monitor. The best thing you can do is sign up for regular general pest control.

How Serious Is A Cockroach Problem?

Cockroach problems pose serious health risks to you and your family, as well as to your business’ clients and employees. 

How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Cockroaches?

If you act fast, and with the help of quality pest control professionals, you can successfully get rid of them in around a week. Most of them may be gone in one or two days. You may still see roaches coming out and dying after a few weeks but that’s normal and doesn’t mean the problem isn’t handled.  

Why Is A Do-It-Yourself Approach Not Effective Against Roaches?

Natural, do-it-yourself pest control solutions like peppermint oil are cheap, but can’t eliminate roaches in the long run. Furthermore, handling chemicals all by yourself is dangerous. At the end of the day, it’s best to seek the help of experienced professionals.