Explain Common Types Of Cockroaches.

Explain common types of cockroaches. Different species of cockroaches have different living habits. There are an estimated 3,000 species of cockroaches found worldwide, and about 50 are found in the US....

There are an estimated 3,000 species of cockroaches found worldwide, and about 50 are found in the US. However, only about five qualify for the title of pest.

Of the five, the most problematic is the German cockroach. This is usually the roach most people encounter.


Stoy Hedges an entomologist and Director of Technical Services at Terminix International describes the German cockroach, "It is small; about a half-inch long, but also it is most commonly found in commercial buildings and homes. It gets around by being carried inside through food goods, old furniture, and things like that. It gets spread around by people-carried into their buildings. In apartment buildings it goes between the units by following the plumbing pipes normally, and it reproduces very quickly."

How quickly can the German cockroach reproduce? Hedges elaborates, "One pair of German cockroaches is good with plenty of water and shelter. They can quickly reproduce to somewhere around 20,000 cockroaches in a year, if left unchecked. So they breed pretty quickly. They are pretty serious pests."

The German cockroach is light brown with two dark brown stripes on the body. They like temperatures similar to humans, around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Since they favor places that are humid, they tend to show up in kitchens and bathrooms, or food storage areas, places with sufficient water and food sources.




Another common cockroach pest is the Oriental. "They live outside , or in sewers, and come into homes. They are generally found first in either the attic or the basement. People often call them water bugs," says Hedges.

The Oriental cockroach likes damp places and is more prevalent in single-family homes rather than apartment complexes. They are rather slow moving compared to other species, and not the most adept climbers. They are active at night, and are known to migrate into buildings foraging for food, especially during winter. They are dark reddish brown to black and approximately 1 and 1/4 inches long.

The American cockroach is about 1 and ½ inches long, colored reddish brown with yellow markings. They prefer humid environments and can be found in places like kitchens, basements, bathrooms, around drains, and can at times grow to huge numbers in the sewers. From the sewers they can move into homes, usually on the ground floor. They also like to settle in at zoos and other animal facilities.


The Brownbanded cockroach is about ½ to 5/8 of an inch long, are light to glossy dark brown with two lighter colored bands on their bodies. They prefer a warmer environment than the German cockroach, so look for them near appliances that give off heat. (Radios, TVs, computers, telephones) However, they don't need as much moisture as some other species, so they tend to frequent homes not air-conditioned. Since a favorite food stuff is starch, they are likely to be found where paper products are stored, such as offices. The males can fly, but the females do not.

The last of the five most frequently found cockroach pests in the US is the Smoky Brown cockroach. It is up to 1 and ½ inches in length and dark brown in color. It is a flier that can travel from trees to houses. They usually are found in greatest numbers in the attic or crawl space. Providing good ventilation may discourage them from setting up house in those preferred areas. Another favorite entrance to the home is by the deck or patios of the home, where they are attracted by pet food or improperly maintained trash containers.

Identifying the type of cockroach is on your property is extremely helpful for removing them. The type determines where they are likely to hide, and how best to exterminate them.

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