Cockroaches are one of the most resilient pests and once they have invaded your structure, they can be extremely difficult to control. Cockroaches are known to carry diseases and can cause allergic reactions. Knowing why these insects are present and implementing the proper control procedures is of utmost importance to the health of you and your family.

Cockroaches prefer warmer, humid places and are always in search of food and water. Therefore, they are found primarily in kitchens and secondarily in bathrooms. If found in or around your food, discard the food source immediately. Remember, they carry disease.

Cockroaches are transported into your dwelling so inspect all packages brought into your home, gym bags, luggage, backpacks, and secondhand items purchased like sofas, refrigerators, or televisions.

The best way to rid your home of a cockroach outbreak is to implement good sanitation and food storage practices, correct any leaking water issues, and refrain from using over-the-counter pest products.

Take back your kitchen and call Apex today. We will identify the species involved and implement a complete and effective treatment solution.

Call Apex Pest Control Today! 1-800-MUG-A-BUG (1-800-684-2284)
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Cockroach Identification

The first step in treating a pest is identification. The German roach, American roach, oriental roach and Pennsylvania wood roach are common cockroaches.

German Cockroach

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Light brown to tan with two dark lines on pronotum
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: Adults range from 1/4 to 5/8 inches long
  • Identifying Characteristics: Oval shape; spiny legs; long, filamentous antennae; have wings, but rarely fly; young roaches (nymphs) are wingless, completely black with a single light stripe, separating 2 black bands, running down about halfway of the middle of back

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Females carry egg capsule (ootheca) protruding from abdomen until eggs are ready to hatch. Ootheca is dropped in secluded location and nymphs (approx. 40) emerge within one day
  • Produces more eggs and more generations per year (three to four) than any other roach. That is why a few German cockroaches turn into a major infestation
  • This insect is transported from place to place via commerce and transportation
  • If seen throughout the day, infestation is considered large

American Cockroach

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Reddish-brown, except for small pale mask-like patterns behind head
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: Adults range from 1 3/8 to 2 inches long
  • Identifying Characteristics: Pale mask-like pattern behind head; largest species of winged roach-fly short distances in North, but are fairly good fliers in the South; one of the fastest running insects

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Females drop egg capsule (ootheca) in about one or two days after formation. Ootheca is dropped in secluded location and nymphs (approx. 16) will emerge. Nymphs can take 6 to 21 months to mature depending on environmental conditions
  • Egg capsules deposited in open are an indication of high populations
  • Adults commonly live for more than one year
  • Prefer warm, moist areas and may be found: inhabiting sewers, subpavement gaps, boiler rooms, basements, tunnels or other shelter with sources of heat, steam pipes, floor drains, and water sumps

Oriental Cockroach

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Very dark brown, almost black
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: Adult males measure 1 inch while females reach 1 1/4 inch long
  • Identifying Characteristics: Greasy sheen to their bodies; males have wings covering ¾ of body while females have non-functional wings with broader bodies

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Called the “water bug” as they prefer damp, dark, and cool areas. When inside structure, usually forage on first floor
  • Females carry egg capsule (ootheca) for little less than 24 hours before depositing in secluded spot. Female can produce 8 egg capsules containing about 16 eggs per capsule from spring to midsummer. Nymphs are active from about March through most of summer
  • Early spring, you will find only adults. As nymphs increase throughout summer, adults die off. By fall, majority of population is adults
  • Feed on all kinds of filth, rubbish, and other decaying organic matter
  • Favor crawl spaces, building foundations, sewer drains, and outside under debris, stones, underneath sidewalks, and mulches. They can survive outside for extended periods of time despite freezing weather

Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Dark brown bodies with light brown wings
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: About 1 inch in length
  • Identifying Characteristics: The females have shorter wings than the males and do not fly. The male roaches do fly

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Typically, these roaches do not enter human spaces. Rather they live outside in the woods. However, during mating season a male will follow a female into a structure if she herself has wandered inside
  • The roaches may also be transported inside on bundles of firewood. To prevent an infestation, inspect all firewood before it is brought into your house
  • Adult males have wings that are longer than their bodies, while females have very short wings. Males can fly, however, for only short periods of time

*Image courtesy of the author Happy1892. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.