Cockroach Information

Many people are repulsed by the presence of cockroaches, and with very good reason. They contaminate food and eating utensils and are an important public health problem nationwide, even worldwide. They secrete a substance that will result in a stain on the surfaces they come in contact with, while producing a very disagreeable odor. They also carry human pathogens, such as salmonella and e-coli, which can result in human ailments like diarrhea and food poisoning. Saliva, feces, and cast skins are products of cockroach infestations. They are also sources of allergens and can heavily irritate allergies, including asthma in humans, especially in children and the elderly.

There are four species of cockroaches that generally infest homes in the United States These include the German, American, Oriental, and the brown band cockroach. There is a fifth kind, the Pennsylvania Wood cockroach, which may accidentally enter homes or offices, but is generally only a temporary nuisance.

Oriental Roach

The cockroach has three stages during its cycle of life: egg, nymph (young adult), and adult. Nymphs are more numerous than adults in a normal population. When eggs are laid they are contained in an egg case. The egg cases are dark in color, and are a bit smaller than the size of a kidney bean. The egg cases contain between 16–50 eggs.

In appearance cockroaches are oval in shape and have a flattened body with long spiny legs and long antennae. The color depends mostly on the species, but is also determined by age. The color ranges from a reddish-brown to a dark brown, and from tan to and almost black. Young adults (nymphs) resemble the adults except for the size and presence of wings. Because they are nocturnal, these creatures hide away during the day and become extremely active at night. The number of roaches you actually see is a very small percentage of a tremendously larger population. Roach Life Cycle

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Being the most common indoor pest, German cockroaches prefer habitats in warm, dark, and humid areas, provided they are near food and water sources. The Brown banded species seem to like drier areas, such as pantries and closets. The American and Oriental species prefer the basements and crawl spaces because those areas are normally cool.

All cockroaches, being scavengers, can survive on almost any food, and will eat things such as backing glue, bar soap, and leather, while even sometimes sampling wiring and electronics in microwaves, televisions, and computers, although the infestation has to be a very large one when damage such as this occurs. They tend to assemble in corners and travel along the edges of walls, congregating behind pictures and even tiles on a wall that are not adhered properly.

To rid your home of an infestation, sanitation is very important. They need food and water to stay alive and by limiting those sources it actually reduces their ability to survive. It is definitely challenging to make your home or dwelling completely free of these critters, but you can certainly minimize an existing infestation when you improve your sanitation habits. A few pointers for sanitation are:

• Do not leave pet food and water out overnight
• Wash all dishes, pots, pans, and utensils as soon as they are used
• Do not leave food out overnight and keep all food stored in a refrigerator or stored in containers with tight-fitting lids
• Vacuum and sweep all floors, including any cracks and crevices to remove all food debris
• Repair any leaks from faucets and pipes

Leaky Faucet
• Take garbage out daily in closed plastic containers, while keeping the containers clean  
• Increase ventilation where condensation is a problem
• Keep night lights on in the kitchen and bathrooms at night
• Caulk and screen all entry ways


Prevention is important but what do you do if  you already have a roach problem?  Checkout our Roach Control Guide.