When it comes to pest control, one of the most common household pests are cockroaches. If you have roaches in your house, proper identification is key. Not all roaches behave the same, and different treatments affect species differently. Here are the most common household roach species.
Despite their name, American cockroaches are actually native to Africa and the Middle East. It is believed they were brought to the New World in the 17th century, possibly as early at 1625, as American ships began to trade with other continents. These roaches now thrive in tropical areas, but can be found almost anywhere.
Of the common cockroach species, the American cockroach has the largest body size, around 1.6 inches long. They move extremely fast, with one experiment clocking them at a top speed of 3.4 miles per hour, or 50 body lengths per second. The human equivalent would be a human running at 210 miles per hour!
American cockroaches have three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. After hatching from the egg, the young nymphs go through 13 moultings before becoming adults. Once they reach adulthood, American cockroaches can live up to a year. During that time, one cockroach produces an average of 150 young.
These roaches are omnivores, and will eat almost anything, but are particularly drawn to fermenting foods.
This species of cockroach gets its name from the two lighter brown bands that run across their darker brown bodies. Their bodies are about 1.5 inches long. Adult males have fully formed wings, and will fly when disturbed. Adult female wings are much shorter, making them less competent flyers.
The life cycle of the Brown-banded cockroach is similar to the American cockroach. Once these roaches reach adulthood, adult females will live 13-45 weeks, producing up to 600 offspring in a year.
Brown-banded cockroaches prefer warm, dry locations such as near refrigerator motors or inside pantries or closets. They are more commonly found near the ceiling than the floor, and will be away from water sources. Identification is crucial to controlling Brown-banded cockroaches, as other roach controlling methods will not affect them.
German cockroaches are believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. This is supported by the species’ sensitivity to cold. They are often found in human dwellings, and would die outside on their own in cold temperatures. The German cockroach is closely related to the Asian cockroach. However, the Asian cockroach is attracted to light and can fly like a moth, while the German cockroach cannot.
These roaches are a smaller species, with bodies roughly 0.4 inches long. Their colors vary from light brown to almost black, and their bodies have two dark, parallel streaks running down their backs. German cockroaches can barely fly, but may glide if disturbed.
This species is one of the fastest reproducing residential roaches, and grows from egg to adult in roughly 50 days.
German cockroaches are most commonly found in restaurants, food processing facilities, hotels, and institutional establishments such as nursing homes. They are omnivores, but are especially attracted to meats, starches, sugars and fatty foods. When they cannot find food, they will eat glue, soap and toothpaste.
Oriental cockroaches are also known as “waterbugs” or “black beetles”. These roaches prefer dark, moist places such as sewers, drains, damp basements, porches. Both males and females are flightless, despite having wings.
If you have roaches in your house, contact a professional. DIY pest control may kill your roaches, but may also be harmful to your family’s health. Our trained and licensed technicians will inspect your home, identify which type of roaches have taken up residence, and create a custom plan to treat the area. Schedule your free inspection today.