Cockroaches are not a pleasant sight; they immediately bring images of dirt and grime. You thought they were only in other people’s homes not yours. Cockroaches enter in a variety of ways such as on cardboard boxes, grocery bags, pipes in the basement and secondhand appliances like refrigerators and cable boxes to name just a few ways. Once they‘re in, Cockroaches can multiply quickly (females lay up to 50 eggs a month), leaving you with a huge problem. Is your first reaction when you see one to grab a can of roach killer and spray? Don’t! Each species of Cockroach is widely different in behavior and feeding preferences. If you don’t know exactly what you’re dealing with, you’ll make the problem worse. With over 4,000 varieties, identifying what you have can be an intimidating task. Thankfully, in the Northeast, we typically deal with four varieties; German, American, Oriental and Pennsylvania Wood Roaches.

German cockroachGERMAN ROACHES are the most common in the Northeast and are typically found in homes, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms. But, they can also be found anywhere you or your family eat (dining and living rooms, bedrooms, etc.). They’re the smallest of the roach species measuring between 1/2 -5/8 of an inch. They’re light brown in color with two, parallel, dark lines on their head. German Roaches have wings that cover most of their body but they can’t fly. They spend 75% of their lives in cracks and crevices; in your refrigerator motor, behind kitchen cabinets and underneath sinks. It can be difficult to determine where they are hiding. But, like all criminals, they leave clues, and that’s where our Pest Management Professionals can come in handy. In the corners where they live, German Roaches leave behind their feces or droppings, which appear as little black dots.

American RoachAMERICAN ROACHES, despite its name, they are not native to America but were brought here from Africa in the early 1600’s. These pests are Texas-sized, measuring 1 3/8 to 2 1/8 inches. They are reddish-brown with a brown-yellow band at the bottom edge of their head. Although they are most commonly found in commercial buildings, they can be found in residential areas. American Roaches live in moist climates, so they are most likely to make their homes in basements and crawl spaces but occasionally will find their way onto the first floor of your home, maybe even by climbing up your drain! American Roaches live in large numbers in sewers. So, if you have American Roaches, in addition of hiring a pest control company, it is a good idea to hire a plumber to determine if you have a sewage or plumbing issue!

ORIENTAL ROACHES get their name not from their place of origin (northern Africa), but because they look like something out of a kung-fu movie. They have a shiny black exterior that looks similar to samurai armor. Once they reach adulthood, they measure between 1-1¼ inches. Males have wings covering 75% of their body, but don’t fly. Females have tiny, stunted wings just underneath their head. Like their American cousins, Oriental Roaches spend a lot of time in sewers and are found most often in basements and crawl spaces. But unlike the previous two species, Orientals are just as comfortable living outside, spending their time under debris, stones and leaf litter. They have been known to survive 13 consecutive weeks of below freezing temperatures! Since they spend so much time outdoors, they often enter homes under door thresholds and along pipes and air ducts. Oriental Roaches also cause an extra headache because of their strong “roachy” smell which comes from a diet of starches and decaying matter.

PENNSYLVANIA WOOD ROACHES are what many people think of as a nightmare roach. They’re a chestnut brown color, measuring between 7/8- 1 1/8 inches. Their appearance is the same as the other roaches; however, they can fly! That’s a terrifying thought but let us put your fears at ease. If you spot one of these roaches in your home, don’t worry. Pennsylvania Wood Roaches are essentially as harmless as a common moth and usually flyswatters are just as effective as any pesticide. They are primarily an outdoor species and rarely survive inside. These roaches can cause quite a nuisance, however, because nymphs typically live underneath firewood over the winter. These nymphs are often brought indoors during the coldest days of the winter on firewood. And once mating season comes during May and June (if you haven’t noticed their presence by then) the females release a very strong pheromone which can attract more roaches into your home. Adults are attracted to light and often enter through exterior doors and garages. Once that happens, you may need to call Accurate Termite & Pest Control.

IF YOU SEE A ROACH IN YOUR HOME, you may have a bigger problem than you realize. One roach can be a sign of hundreds more living behind your cabinets or appliances. Simply spraying the roaches you see could just spread the infestation to new areas, making it much harder to solve the problem. So, put away the can of Raid and pick up your phone and call Accurate Termite & Pest Control immediately. Next, try to identify what kind of roach infestation you have at hand. Take a cell phone picture and e-mail it to our office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for identification. This will help the Pest Management Professional with treatment. And finally, before your first treatment (and until your problem is solved), focus your energy on cleaning the inside of your cabinets, under your sink and behind your refrigerator and stove, making sure to remove all dead roaches. Roaches are incredible survivors and can survive off of their own feces and the remains of other dead roaches. A clean house cannot prevent roaches, but it can greatly assist extermination efforts.

Pest Library

Professional Affiliations

QualityPro  Pest World for Kids Quality-Pro-Green Termidor  m-logo NEPMA sentricon-logo-EDIT 


You are here: Home Pest Library Cockroaches