Common Types Of Cockroaches

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Here's What You Need To Know About The 3 Most Common Roaches

close up of an American cockroach

They skitter across the floor. They crawl up our walls at unnatural speeds. They zoom across tables and disappear underneath as if by magic. But, these are not the attributes that make cockroaches one of the most disturbing bugs that invade homes and businesses. It is their attraction to rotting things, and their ability to spread harmful bacteria, diseases, and allergens to every corner of a structure. In our service area, there are three cockroaches we see the most. Here's what you need to know.

German Cockroaches (Blattella Germanica)

You would think that the American cockroach would be the most common cockroach found in the United State, but it is the German cockroach that has earned this title. Perhaps it is because they are the smallest cockroach on our list and can get into places other cockroaches can't. That means easier access to food and more options for habitation.

Identification: The German cockroach is an almond-shaped, tan insect with two antennae and six legs. Its most distinguishable characteristic is the two parallel black lines on the back of its head. This roach has spines on its legs, but they are not as noticeable as the spines of the American cockroach, mostly because of the size difference between these two cockroaches. German cockroaches are only about 5/8 of an inch long when they are fully grown.

Diet: This is a cockroach that likes sweet things. It will be the first roach to run for a pastry or nibble on the toothpaste left on your toothbrush. It also enjoys starches from less recognizable sources, like books and wallpaper paste.

Where do German cockroaches live? These cockroaches prefer kitchens and bathrooms because of the increased moisture and warmth, but they can be found anywhere in a home or business.

American Cockroaches (Periplaneta Americana)

The largest cockroach on our list is the American cockroach. These roaches can get scary big. Perhaps not "big enough to ride," as some of our customers have suggested, but definitely bigger than all of the other cockroaches that get into homes and businesses.

Identification: American cockroaches range from 1 3/8 of an inch to 2 1/8 of an inch in length. They are oval-shaped bugs with reddish-brown, slimy shells, two antennae, and six legs that have noticeable thorn-like spines that are used for feeling surfaces. These roaches can also be distinguished by the light yellowish-orange, sideways eight on the tops of their backs, near the head.

Diet: There are very few things the American cockroach won't eat. It eats proteins (mostly dead bugs and animals), as well as vegetables and plants.

Where do American cockroaches live? These cockroaches like areas that are dark and warm. They are also attracted to wetness and locations that have high humidity. This will bring them into moist heated basements, humid storage areas, and warm areas in kitchens.

Oriental Cockroaches (Blatta Orientalis)

The Oriental cockroach, which originates from Africa, not Asia, is almost as large as the American cockroach, but not quite. If there were a scale of 1 to 10 for filth, the Oriental cockroach would be a perfect 10. This cockroach species is considered to be one of the dirtiest, probably because it frequents sewer lines and drain pipes.

Identification: Oriental cockroaches are large, pill-shaped, black, shiny cockroaches that look like they're wearing armor. Some Oriental cockroaches have developed wings that cover most of their back, but they don't fly.

Diet: While all cockroaches enjoy eating rotting organic matter, this is a roach that loves trash and wet organic matter.

Where do Oriental cockroaches live? These cockroaches prefer sewers, wet places, wet decaying things, and cold temperatures. They are usually found in wet or humid basements, crawlspaces, and under wet leaves and damp firewood.

If you're finding roaches in your home or business and you live in our extensive service area of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, take action and get Action. With our cockroach control services, we'll help you get those cockroaches out and keep them out.

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