Missy Henriksen: Hi! I am Missy Henriksen with the National Pest Management Association. Today, I am discussing the most common cockroach species that can infest your home.
American cockroaches are the largest species found in the United States. At about two inches long they are reddish brown with yellow markings behind the head. American cockroaches can be found all over the United States.
They usually live in damp areas like basements and sewers, often near pipes and drains. They can also be found in food storage areas and are especially active at temperatures about 70 degrees.
Brown-banded cockroaches are much smaller at about half an inch. They are dark brown with lighter bands on their wings. Males have full wings and can sometimes fly when indoors.
When brown-banded cockroaches infest a home, the females have been known to glue their egg cases to surfaces, such as underneath furniture. Brown-banded cockroaches live in drier areas than American cockroaches, preferring spaces like high cabinets but they can still be found all over the US. Oriental cockroaches are shiny black or dark brown at about an inch in length. They are found in northern regions of the United States. Due to their preference for damp habitats like sewers and pipes, they are sometimes called water bugs. But you may also find them outside in leave piles or under firewood as they prefer slightly cooler temperatures than other cockroaches.
German cockroaches grow to be between half and inch to an inch in length with light brown coloring and two dark stripes down their back. Found all over the world they are most common species of cockroach. German cockroaches have been linked with the spread of disease and they are known to trigger allergies and asthma, especially in children. German cockroaches prefer warm and humid environments and they often live in kitchens and bathrooms, close to food and water sources.
Make sure you know what cockroach species live in your area and take steps to keep your house clean and well-maintained to avoid pests. If you suspect you have a cockroach infestation find a local professional who can properly identify the species and treat your home.