To most homeowners, cockroaches are all the same. They can sneak into homes, contaminate food, and be a nuisance to your entire household. While we tend to lump all cockroaches into one category, it’s essential to recognize that there are many different species of roaches around the world. Cockroach control methods depend on which species you are dealing with. Two popular roaches in southeastern states that get easily confused with one another are the Oriental cockroach and the American cockroach.
The oriental cockroach is a common species in the South. With a glossy body and cherry to black coloring, these roaches measure 1 to 1.25 inches in length. While they can cohabitate with American roaches, they usually prefer the outdoors rather than the indoors. Oriental roaches cannot live without water for more than two weeks, which means they are on a constant search for both a water and a food source. They often feed on decaying organic matter, starchy foods, and garbage.
The American cockroach is quite a common species, especially in the state of Georgia. These roaches are chestnut to light brown color with a light-yellow band around the back of their head. Adults can get up to 2 inches in length and can live up to two years! Like the oriental cockroach, American roaches are in constant search of a water source and you will often find them near pipes, sewers, and basements. While they will feed on most foods, they particularly like fermenting material such as small insects, fungi, and algae. If they find themselves indoors, they will eat any crumbs or food found in appliances, kitchen cabinets, and floors.
Prevention is the key to keeping these pests from entering your house. Help prevent cockroaches by using these tips:
– Thoroughly clean your home each week.
– Store all food in tightly sealed containers.
– Clean up yard debris such as leaves or fallen tree limbs.
– Don’t let shrubs, trees, or woodpiles touch your home.
– Don’t forget to clean under forgotten spaces such as under the fridge, stove, and inside cabinets.
If you’ve done all the preparation you can but are still seeing roaches, consider contacting your local pest control company where they will help identify the roach, eliminate them, and keep them from coming back.