Cockroach Identification

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are medium to large-sized insects that range in size from less than half an inch long to two inches or more. They are primarily nocturnal insects that feed on a wide range of organic matter. Cockroaches feed on many of the same foods we do, which is why they tend to be such a common sight in and around our homes and businesses.

close up of cockroach

In general, cockroaches are broad, flattened insects with long antennae and a shield-shaped section located behind the head called the pronotum. Depending on the species, they come in a variety of dark colors. Their dark coloring allows them to more easily hide during the day without being noticed. 

Below you'll find a quick overview of the most common cockroaches in our area.

German cockroaches are small, fast-moving roaches that present the most significant threat to our homes and businesses. They have a light brown or tan body with two horizontal black stripes behind the head. While they have wings, they are poor fliers.

American cockroaches are large, slow-moving roaches that live outside in damp areas under mulch, in flower beds, and behind tree bark. They are also regular invaders into our structures. American cockroaches are a reddish-brown color and have a yellowish figure-eight-like pattern on their backs. 

Asian cockroaches look very similar to and are often confused with German cockroaches. The biggest differences between the two are that Asian cockroaches have narrower wings and are strong fliers.

Brown-banded cockroaches range in color from yellowish-brown to dark brown. These roaches have two dark bands that go across their backs. Brown-banded cockroaches have lower moisture requirements than other roach species and prefer to hide in hot, dry areas.

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches aren't just unpleasant to have around us; they are dangerous and should never live near people. 

Some of the most important reasons to protect your property from these pests are listed below:

  • Before moving into your home, they were living or feeding in less than sanitary places.

  • When they get into your house, roaches will contaminate food and surfaces with the bacteria they carry on their bodies.

  • Cockroaches acquire and transmit a variety of pathogens that can cause severe illnesses in people.

  • They are scavengers and feed on almost anything they come across, including toothpaste. 

  • Cockroaches will chew on and damage things like food packaging, boxes, upholstered furniture, curtains, and clothing. 

  • Their shed skins and piles of excrement trigger allergies and cause asthma attacks in many people.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Most cockroaches are attracted to warmth and moisture, making Florida a place where these pests thrive. In Florida, you are more than likely to run into a cockroach or two at some point, either in your yard or home. 

Many species of roaches in Florida are capable of living outside throughout most of the year; things that attract them to our properties include:

  • Trash cans and recycling bins

  • Compost piles

  • Gardens and fruit trees

  • Clogged gutters

  • Low-lying areas that collect rainwater

  • Outdoor eating areas

Once cockroaches are living successfully outside in your yard near your home, it is only a matter of time before they will find their way inside. As long as food, shelter, and moisture are available, the cockroaches will stay and multiply quickly.

Where will I find cockroaches?

Cockroaches are nocturnal, which means that they hide during the day. Cockroaches like to hide in small, tight areas where something solid touches both their stomach and back. That preference means you'll often find them hiding in cracks in walls, cabinets, wooden door or window trim, appliances, tubs, and sinks. Kitchens, crawl spaces, attics, and bathrooms are the areas you'll most likely discover cockroaches.

American cockroaches, Asian cockroaches, and brown-banded cockroaches live successfully both outside and inside structures. These roaches often move into our homes through gaps in the exterior, spaces around windows and doors, and through things like vents and drains. 

German cockroaches are a species that has adapted to mainly living indoors with people. You will likely find that German cockroaches get into your home usually by hitchhiking their way inside in boxes, bags, deliveries, and other items moving from structure to structure.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

Cockroaches live in Florida in large numbers, are quick to multiply, and difficult to keep out of our structures. The best way to protect your family and home from these pests is to partner with experienced professionals. Since 1980, the Green-Tech Termite and Pest Control professionals have helped home and business owners in the Tampa Bay area stay pest-free using our quality, affordable pest control services. We are a full-service, customer-oriented company dedicated to making sure the pest control services we perform are effective and eco-friendly. To learn more about ridding your property of cockroaches through our cockroach control services, reach out to the professionals at Green-Tech Termite and Pest Control today!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

Remove cockroaches from your property with the help of our professionals and the following prevention tips.

  • Cockroaches are always on the lookout for food and water, remove their access to both, and you will have fewer problems with these pests.

  • Maintain a clean kitchen, regularly washing dishes, sweeping floors, and wiping down counters.

  • Remember to regularly pull out large appliances from the wall and clean up under and behind them.

  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures quickly.

  • Make sure to properly ventilate crawl spaces, kitchens, and bathrooms.

  • Keep cockroaches from wandering into your home by sealing cracks in the exterior and covering vents and drains. 

  • Inspect items that cockroaches could be hiding in before bringing them into your home, like grocery bags, boxes, secondhand appliances, and furniture.

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