Elite Pest Management, LLC – Bed Bug & Termite Services

Extermination & Control of Cockroaches

Cockroaches have been long despised by homeowners due to their creepy appearance. Cockroach pest control and management are important for health and safety reasons, because 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. Visit one of our pest guides below to see various types of cockroaches, as well as find information on cockroach prevention and extermination.

Types of Cockroaches

American Cockroaches

American Cockroaches (Periplaneta americana (L.))

The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting cockroaches. Despite its name, the American cockroach is not native to North America, but was probably introduced via ships from Africa in the 1600s.

Color Reddish-brown, with a yellowish figure 8 pattern on the back of the head
Legs 6
Shape Oval
Size 2 inches long
Antennae Yes
Region Found throughout the U.S. and world.

Habits

American cockroaches often enter structures through drains and pipes. They are more active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, but they can survive lower temperatures with the right conditions.

Habitat

Although American cockroaches can be found in homes, they are also common in larger commercial buildings such grocery stores, food processing plants and hospitals. American roaches are also known to infest basements, yards and alleys.

Threats

American roaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause allergies and exacerbate asthma attacks, especially in children and those living in metro-city areas. As with other species of roaches, American cockroaches can pose a threat to individuals with allergies.

Brownbanded Cockroaches

Brownbanded Cockroaches (Supella longipalpa)

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.

Color Brown, with pronounced banding across wings
Legs 6
Shape Oval
Size 1/2 inch long
Antennae Yes
Region Found throughout the U.S.

HABITS

Brown-banded cockroaches can be found throughout structures, but show a preference for drier locations and warmer areas over 80 degrees. Brown-banded cockroaches often hide their egg cases in or under furniture.

HABITAT

Brown-banded cockroaches tend to prefer higher locations than most cockroach species and are often found in upper cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms.

THREATS

Brown-branded roaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause allergies and exacerbate asthma attacks, especially in children. And brown-banded cockroaches have been identified as a species of roach that can cause such reactions.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroaches (Blatta orientalis)

Oriental cockroaches are believed to be of North African origin, despite their name. Oriental roaches are sometimes called “waterbugs” because they come out of drains, and “black beetle cockroaches” because of their smooth, dark bodies. They are known for their strong, unpleasant, “roachy” odor.

Color Shiny Black
Legs 6
Shape Oval
Size 1 inch long
Antennae Yes
Region Northern regions of the U.S.

HABITS

The Oriental cockroach feeds on all kinds of food, especially decaying organic matter and starchy foods. This species of cockroach can survive outdoors in freezing temperatures for long periods of time.

HABITAT

Outside, Oriental cockroaches are often found in sewers and under debris, leaves, stones and firewood. They will enter structures through door thresholds, under sliding glass doors, along utility pipes and through floor drains. Once indoors, Oriental cockroaches find harborage in basements and crawl spaces.

THREATS

Cockroaches like Oriental roaches have been reported to 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 means that they are likely to pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces.

German Cockroaches

German Cockroaches (Blattella germanica (Linnaeus))

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The German cockroach is the most common species of the cockroach. German cockroaches can breed at a rate of up to six generations per year. The German cockroach can fit through an opening as small as 3/8 inch in width.

Color Light brown to tan, with two dark, almost parallel stripes located on their backs, just behind their heads
Legs 6
Shape Oval
Size 1/2 – 5/8 inch long
Antennae Yes
Region Found throughout the U.S.

HABITS

German cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including soap, glue and toothpaste. German cockroaches are good hitchhikers and often find their way into new structures via grocery bags, cardboard boxes, drink cartons and secondhand appliances.

HABITAT

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.

THREATS

In addition to being a nuisance, the German cockroach has been implicated in outbreaks of illness and allergic reactions in many people. Cockroaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Medical studies have shown that German cockroach allergens cause allergic reactions and can exacerbate asthma attacks, especially in children. This makes German cockroach control incredibly vital.

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