Cockroach Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from cockroaches by learning techniques for identification and control.
Types of cockroaches
What do cockroaches look like?
Cockroaches can measure over 50 mm (2 in) in length, with tropical species tending to be larger than those found in other climates.
Cockroaches have six legs, and two antennae and some even have wings. However, most winged cockroaches are not particularly adept at flying. With flat, oval-shaped bodies, these pests are often oily to the touch and may be cool or warm, depending on the temperature of their environment.
Cockroaches in the house are better at hiding than you are at finding them, and their eggs are naturally protected from many over-the-counter insecticides and are elusive when it comes to cockroach traps.
Without special equipment, materials, and know-how, pest control for cockroaches can be a losing battle.
Most common cockroaches
- Albino Cockroach
- American Cockroach
- Asian Cockroach
- Australian Cockroach
- Brown Banded Cockroach
- Lobster Cockroach
- Cuban Cockroach
- Death Head Cockroach
- Field Cockroach
- Florida Woods Cockroach
- German Cockroach
- Green Cockroach
- Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
- Madeira Cockroach
- Oriental Cockroach
- Pacific Beetle Cockroach
- Sand Cockroach
- Smokybrown Cockroach
- Turkestan Cockroach
- Wood Cockroach
Frequently Asked Questions
How did I get cockroaches?
People often blame a cockroach problem on poor housekeeping. While cleaning floors, kitchens, and bathrooms are useful and very important to reducing food sources used by cockroaches, they may get inside and cause an infestation for other reasons.
These pests can hitch a ride on infested items brought inside, get indoors via cracks and gaps in the home’s exterior, enter through drains or sewer pipes and a few species of cockroaches can fly inside when attracted to lights.
How serious are cockroaches?
While cockroaches are one of the most common pest problems, they are also one of the most stubborn. Infestations are hard to get rid of because the insects hide in a host of areas, breed quickly, have a very high reproductive potential, and may develop resistance to pesticides.
Cockroaches often taint food with E. coli and Salmonella bacteria, so it’s not safe to ignore these pests. Exposure to cockroach feces and the body parts of dead roaches over time can even trigger allergies and asthma.
How long does it take to get rid of cockroaches?
The length of time it takes to rid your home of a cockroach infestation depends largely upon the species and size of the infestation. Many over-the-counter products homeowners utilize often prove ineffective against a cockroach infestation.
These pests are extremely adaptable and may even be resistant to some home extermination methods.
What is the lifecycle of cockroaches?
Cockroaches undergo egg and nymphal stages before becoming adults. Eggs produced by female cockroaches are enclosed in resilient egg cases known as oothecae. The oothecae of cockroach species contain a range of nymph numbers which is dependent on species.
The time it takes for eggs to hatch into nymphs varies between species as well and depends upon environmental conditions.
- Egg: Female cockroaches produce egg cases, known as oothecae. Oothecae contain many eggs and are enveloped by a protein substance that gradually hardens into a strong, protective casing. Some cockroach species drop the egg case, while other species carry it until the eggs are ready to hatch.
- Nymph: Nymphs are bright white in color initially. They enlarge through the intake of air and will harden and darken within hours. Cockroach nymphs are grayish-brown in color and darken with each progressive molt. The nymphal development to adulthood ranges in length from months to over a year. Cockroach nymphs are similar to their adult counterparts.
- Adult: Once the nymph stage is complete, the adult cockroach comes on the scene. Adults of many species can be distinguished from nymphs by their larger size and the presence of wings. However, a few species of cockroach, like the Madagascar hissing cockroach, lack wings even as adults.
How do I control cockroaches?
Cockroaches can wreak havoc on your home. To win the war on cockroach control, here’s what you should know:
- Entry: Cockroaches can enter your home in many different ways, from the outside through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer, and drain pipes. We even bring them in on products like grocery bags, boxes, purses, and on our person!
- Ideal Environment: Your home is an ideal breeding ground for certain pest species of cockroaches. With plenty of food, warmth, water, and nesting sites, they can remain active all year round.
- Reproduction: Cockroaches reproduce quickly. For every one you see there can be many, many more hiding and multiplying behind your walls.
- Evasiveness: Because cockroaches typically are nocturnal, if you’ve seen one, you probably haven’t seen them all. The few cockroaches you see by day could mean they were likely forced out by overcrowding; a possible sign of severe infestation.
- Allergies / Asthma: The debris created by cast-off cockroach skins, dead bodies, and droppings can aggravate allergies, especially in children and sensitive individuals.
- Do-it-yourself Ineffectiveness: Cockroaches are better at hiding than you are at finding them, and their eggs are naturally protected from many over-the-counter insecticides. Without special equipment, materials, and know-how, cockroach control can be a losing battle.
Understanding cockroach problems
The more you know about cockroaches, the better you can predict and control their behavior. Here are some quick facts to help you on your way.
Cockroaches belong to Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta, and Order Blattaria. Some species invade human dwellings and are considered pests.
Risk of Disease
The pest cockroaches can be carriers of various diseases because they are commonly found near waste deposits or in the kitchen where food is present.
Some cockroaches are beneficial to the environment as important recyclers of decaying organic material.