3 Types of Cockroaches & How to Prevent Them

3 Types of Cockroaches & How to Prevent Them

It’s never ideal to encounter cockroaches in your home. If you do, it’s best to know what types of cockroaches you’re dealing with to help determine the best way to eliminate them. Failing to remove these pests can lead to unpleasant outcomes, like allergies, that can potentially increase your chances of getting asthma.

We have broken down the three most common cockroaches found in the south and how to keep them away; let’s check it out!

American Cockroach

This large out-of-the-house infesting roach can get up to 1.5 inches in length. These roaches develop wings towards the end of their life cycle, with males having some longer than their bodies. You can usually identify them by the yellow band located behind their head.

The American cockroach can typically be found where food is abundant.  They also prefer drains that aren’t used as often. In the wild, they prefer dark or damp wood piles.

German Cockroach

One of the most common species found worldwide, the German cockroach is generally light to dark brown and has two stripes near the back of its head. This species does have wings. They prefer dark, moist places. Since they don’t do well in the cold, they thrive in the southern climate.

Brown-Banded Cockroach

This species first entered the U.S. in 1903 and is now found nationwide. The brown-banded cockroach got its name from the two light brown bands that appear across its wings. They prefer warmer, drier, and higher locations in a room and can be found mostly in cabinets and behind picture frames. This species will typically hide its egg cases in or underneath furniture.

Prevention Tips

  • Focus on the Kitchen: Clean up any spills or crumbs immediately and take out the trash regularly.
  • Declutter: Remove old newspapers, utilize plastic containers over cardboard, and make sure clothing isn’t piled on the floor.
  • Limit Moisture: Roaches need water to survive. Be sure to fix dripping faucets and leaky pipes. If you have a basement, employ a dehumidifier to take care of any moisture. Also, consider getting your crawlspace enclosed to ensure no moisture is found.

While prevention can help keep cockroaches away, sometimes it’s best to get a professional involved. A local pest control company will be able to inspect your home and provide you with the best treatment and prevention plan going forward.

Cockroaches: Types and Prevention Tips

Cockroaches: Types and Prevention Tips

The cockroach might just seem like a creepy, annoying nuisance, but it can cause more damage than expected. Cockroaches transmit over 30 different kinds of bacteria – E. Coli, Salmonella, and more.   In  addition to this, they can also trigger asthma and allergy attacks as their droppings, saliva and shed skin contain allergens that increase asthma symptoms, especially in children.

As one of the most common household pests, it’s important to keep roaches under control to lessen the effects they cause. Here we breakdown the types of cockroaches you could be seeing in your home and how you can prevent them in the future.

Types of Cockroaches

  • American Cockroach: The largest of the house-infesting cockroaches, the American cockroach is found throughout the United States and worldwide. They are reddish-brown with a yellowish figure-eight pattern on the back of their head. They are often found in basements and sewers. These pests are attracted to moist surfaces and can also be found in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
  • Brown-Banded Cockroach: This species first entered the U.S. in 1903 and is now found nationwide. The brown-banded cockroach got its name from the two light brown bands that appear across its wings. They prefer warmer, drier, and higher locations in a room and can be found mostly in cabinets and behind picture frames. This species will typically hide its egg cases in or underneath furniture.
  • German Cockroach: The German cockroach is the most common species found worldwide and is found across the U.S. They prefer warm and humid spaces but are typically found in spaces where humans eat, such as kitchens. They can be identified by their light brown body with two dark brown stripes on their back.
  • Oriental Cockroach: The Oriental cockroach exhibits a dark reddish-brown to shiny black color and is found in the northern regions of the United States. They are commonly found in sewers and enter homes through drains or door thresholds. This species is considered the dirtiest of all cockroaches due to the strong odor that they create.

Prevention Tips

  • Seal Entrances: With cooler weather approaching, cockroaches are seeking warmer hiding places. Ensuring all openings in doors, windows, and foundations are sealed is the first step to take. Replace old weather-stripping and make sure there are no holes in window screens to help stop these intruders.
  • Focus on the Kitchen: One of the most effective ways to prevent cockroaches is to begin pest-proofing in the kitchen. Clean up any spills or crumbs immediately and take the trash out regularly to prevent roaches from wanting to stay. The pantry can also be included by this – consider storing your food in sealed containers.
  • Limit Moisture: Roaches need water to survive. Dripping faucets and leaky pipes will attract these pests inside your home. Look throughout the house for any loose pipes and seal them as soon as possible. To dry up areas in your basement, employ a dehumidifier to take care of that. If you have a crawlspace, consider enclosing your crawlspace to ensure no moisture is found.
  • Declutter: Cockroaches like to find hiding places during the daytime, but by nightfall they emerge. Decluttering and cleaning out items to limit their hiding spaces may help in preventing them in the long run. Some ways to declutter include old newspapers, utilizing plastic containers over cardboard, and making sure clothing isn’t piled on the floor.

While prevention can help keep cockroaches away, sometimes it’s best to get a professional involved. A  local pest control company will be able to inspect your home and provide you with the best treatment and prevention plan going forward.

Avoiding Cockroaches This Spring

Avoiding Cockroaches This Spring

While cockroaches are active year-round, the humidity and warm weather of spring make this a prime time of year for these pests to invade your home. Roaches prefer environments that are warm and contain moisture which is why they are most often seen in kitchens and bathrooms inside your house. They can also multiply quickly and can adapt to just about any environment, making them extremely difficult to get rid of. Cockroaches are dangerous to humans in that they are known to carry and transmit serious diseases, can contaminate food and other surfaces in your home, and trigger allergies and asthma.

The most common types of roaches in our area are the German cockroach, the American cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. What attracts roaches are food, water, and warm shelter, all of which can be found in your home. Roaches are commonly drawn to crumbs, spills, dirty dishes, garbage, pet food, open food containers, cardboard, paper, glue, and excess moisture. In order to keep cockroaches out of your home, the goal is to make it as unattractive to them as you can. Check out these tips to help prevent cockroaches.

1. Keep It Clean

Roaches are attracted to dirt and filth because they provide a source of food for them. Keeping your home clean helps eliminate these food sources, making them go elsewhere in search of something to eat. Wash your dishes and put them away after meals. Clean up any crumbs and spills. Empty the garbage before going to bed. Clean grease from your stovetop. Seal any leftover food in containers. Sweep, mop, and vacuum on a regular basis. Don’t leave pet food out overnight.

2. Clear It Out

The less clutter in your home, the fewer places roaches have to hide. Besides that, cockroaches love to breed in newspaper and cardboard. Keep your home as clutter free as possible. Dust regularly. Get rid of any old newspapers and magazines. Use plastic storage bins instead of cardboard boxes whenever possible.

3. Seal It Up

Roaches can squeeze through the tiniest of holes, especially around windows and doors, along foundations and roofs, in attics and crawlspaces, through vents, and into holes used for gas, electric, and plumbing. Inspect your home for any possible entry points and seal them up. For smaller holes seal with caulk; for larger holes seal with steel wool or foam; and for vents and chimneys cover with fine wire mesh.

4. Dry It Out

Roaches love moisture and need water to survive. Routinely check your home for leaks and plumbing issues, especially around faucets, sinks, refrigerators, and other appliances. Repair any leaks you find immediately. Keep basements and crawlspaces dry and well ventilated. Consider enclosing your crawlspace to help keep these pests at bay.

5. Go Green

Cockroach prevention doesn’t have to rely solely on chemicals. There are several natural roach repellent and elimination products available today. Some of the most common include:

  • Boric acid. Mix equal amounts of boric acid, sugar, and flour to make a dough. Roll out balls of dough and place them around your home. Roaches are attracted to the flour and sugar and the boric acid kills them. Use caution with boric acid – it is not recommended for use in areas with children or pets.
  • Fabric softener. Roaches don’t like the smell of fabric softener so it makes a good repellent. Mix with water in a spray bottle and apply where you see roach activity.
  • Fresh coffee grounds. Roaches are attracted to the caffeine but it is toxic to them. Place coffee grounds wherever you see roach activity.
  • Baking soda and sugar. This combination works the same as boric acid but is safer to use with children and pets. Mix equal parts baking soda and sugar and sprinkle in areas where you’ve seen roaches. The sugar attracts them and the baking soda kills them.
  • Cayenne, Garlic, and Onion Powder. Roaches hate the smell of each of these spices. Sprinkle it around your home for an effective roach repellent.
  • Essential Oils. The most effective essential oils to use against roaches are tea tree, mint, and clove oils. Dilute each of these with water and spray anywhere you see roaches in your home.

6. Leave It To The Pros

For the most effective preventative and ongoing roach control, have your home inspected and treated on a regular basis – usually monthly or quarterly – by a professional pest control company. These professionals can provide you with a thorough inspection to help identify what type of pest you are dealing with, the most likely points of entry they are using, and the most up-to-date treatment and prevention options available.

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

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How To Get Rid Of Nuisance Birds

Is That Spider Poisonous?

German Roaches vs American Roaches: What's the Difference?

German Roaches vs American Roaches: What's the Difference?

Roaches can vary significantly in size and color (some even fly!), so it can be difficult to know what kind of cockroach you’re dealing with. Identification is the first step in roach control since the type of roach will determine the best treatment methods. Here are the 2 most common cockroaches you’ll see in your home and tips for getting rid of and preventing them:

German Cockroaches

German roaches are one of the most common pest nuisances in residential structures, especially common in multi-unit apartment homes. They thrive in filth but even the cleanest homes can be at risk.
A german cockroach on a white background

What do they look like?

  • Brown with 2 longitudinal stripes running down the thorax
  • 1/2 to 5/8 inches long

Where do they live?

  • German cockroaches will live anywhere humans build heated structures
  • Usually found in kitchens in secluded areas (behind and under appliances, in cracks and crevices behind backslashes, at counter edges, behind and under cabinets, in void areas around plumbing, backs of drawer wells)
  • Will infest warm areas around appliance motors such as refrigerators and dishwashers

What are the risks?

  • German cockroaches will invade your home and leave fecal matter and other debris in and around food and food preparation areas
  • Can enter homes when boxes or products are shipped moved from one location to another
  • Reproduces at a high rate, completing a life cycle in 30 to 45 days
  • Produces 30-48 eggs at a time
  • Difficult to get rid of once infested

How do you get rid of them?

  • German roaches are most commonly treated inside a home with baits, sprays, or an aerosol product (baits preferred)
  • Roaches disperse the bait back into their refuge sites when they ingest it
  • Most have a secondary and even a tertiary killing effect, meaning roaches that die in the harborage site from a bait are cannibalized by their fellows, causing additional mortality
  • Sprays are applied to surfaces that roaches crawl across or into harborage areas
  • Often mixed with insect growth regulators (IGR) will reduce or eliminate egg production and cause mortality in immature forms of the German cockroach
  • Aerosols are referred to as crach and crevice treatments; forces roaches out of their harborage sites with a product that excite their nervous system (flushing agent)
  • Then sprayed directly with a contact product
  • Residual aerosols may be applied into harborage areas and onto surfaces where roaches crawl in the same manner as sprays (commonly sold as over the counter remedies for homeowners, but typically has a short life span)
  • Professional pest control is recommended

American Cockroaches (Palmetto Bugs)

American roaches, also known as palmetto bugs or waterbugs, are large, sometimes fly, and usually only come indoors in search of warmth, food or water.
An American Cockroach with a gray background

What do they look like?

  • Reddish brown in color and have a yellowish margin on their body
  • 1.5 to 2 inches in length
  • Largest cockroach in the U.S.

Where do they live?

  • American cockroaches usually lives in dark, damp areas such as sewers, storm drains, steam tunnels, and outdoors in landscaping and tree holes
  • Prefer warm, dark, humid environments in homes such as wall voids, crawl spaces, basements, utility rooms, or attics
  • Typically feed on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods

What are the risks?

  • Not commonly seen in homes
  • May move indoors during colder months seeking warmer temperatures and food through openings in the foundation

How do you get rid of them?

  • Granular baits in attics and crawl spaces
  • Dust in attic and crawl spaces
  • Perimeter spray treatments
  • Perimeter granular bait treatments
German Roaches vs American Roaches: What's the Difference?

German Roaches vs American Roaches: What’s the Difference?

Roaches can vary significantly in size and color (some even fly!), so it can be difficult to know what kind of cockroach you’re dealing with. Identification is the first step in roach control since the type of roach will determine the best treatment methods. Here are the 2 most common cockroaches you’ll see in your home and tips for getting rid of and preventing them:

German Cockroaches

German roaches are one of the most common pest nuisances in residential structures, especially common in multi-unit apartment homes. They thrive in filth but even the cleanest homes can be at risk.

A german cockroach on a white background

What do they look like?

  • Brown with 2 longitudinal stripes running down the thorax
  • 1/2 to 5/8 inches long

Where do they live?

  • German cockroaches will live anywhere humans build heated structures
  • Usually found in kitchens in secluded areas (behind and under appliances, in cracks and crevices behind backslashes, at counter edges, behind and under cabinets, in void areas around plumbing, backs of drawer wells)
  • Will infest warm areas around appliance motors such as refrigerators and dishwashers

What are the risks?

  • German cockroaches will invade your home and leave fecal matter and other debris in and around food and food preparation areas
  • Can enter homes when boxes or products are shipped moved from one location to another
  • Reproduces at a high rate, completing a life cycle in 30 to 45 days
  • Produces 30-48 eggs at a time
  • Difficult to get rid of once infested

How do you get rid of them?

  • German roaches are most commonly treated inside a home with baits, sprays, or an aerosol product (baits preferred)
  • Roaches disperse the bait back into their refuge sites when they ingest it
  • Most have a secondary and even a tertiary killing effect, meaning roaches that die in the harborage site from a bait are cannibalized by their fellows, causing additional mortality
  • Sprays are applied to surfaces that roaches crawl across or into harborage areas
  • Often mixed with insect growth regulators (IGR) will reduce or eliminate egg production and cause mortality in immature forms of the German cockroach
  • Aerosols are referred to as crach and crevice treatments; forces roaches out of their harborage sites with a product that excite their nervous system (flushing agent)
  • Then sprayed directly with a contact product
  • Residual aerosols may be applied into harborage areas and onto surfaces where roaches crawl in the same manner as sprays (commonly sold as over the counter remedies for homeowners, but typically has a short life span)
  • Professional pest control is recommended

American Cockroaches (Palmetto Bugs)

American roaches, also known as palmetto bugs or waterbugs, are large, sometimes fly, and usually only come indoors in search of warmth, food or water.

An American Cockroach with a gray background

What do they look like?

  • Reddish brown in color and have a yellowish margin on their body
  • 1.5 to 2 inches in length
  • Largest cockroach in the U.S.

Where do they live?

  • American cockroaches usually lives in dark, damp areas such as sewers, storm drains, steam tunnels, and outdoors in landscaping and tree holes
  • Prefer warm, dark, humid environments in homes such as wall voids, crawl spaces, basements, utility rooms, or attics
  • Typically feed on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods

What are the risks?

  • Not commonly seen in homes
  • May move indoors during colder months seeking warmer temperatures and food through openings in the foundation

How do you get rid of them?

  • Granular baits in attics and crawl spaces
  • Dust in attic and crawl spaces
  • Perimeter spray treatments
  • Perimeter granular bait treatments

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