Cockroaches can be identified by their flattened, oval-shaped bodies, six legs that are covered in spines, and long antennae that are about the same length as their bodies. They are primitive insects and their ability to quickly adapt to any environment allows cockroaches to thrive in almost any indoor or outdoor environment. Outside, cockroaches are beneficial to nature and help to recycle decaying plants. However, when they find their way into our homes and commercial properties, cockroaches quickly turn from helpful to harmful. They are major pests in homes, hospitals, food processing facilities, restaurants, and more.
Some of the most common species of cockroaches living throughout our area are:
American cockroach These are the largest home-infesting cockroaches throughout the United States. Adults grow to between 1/4 and 2-1/8 inches in length and their bodies are reddish-brown in color with a yellowish pattern on their backs that resembles a figure-8. While they sometimes move inside to feed and nest, American cockroaches prefer to live outside.
Brown-banded cockroach These cockroaches have bodies that are dark brown with lighter brown-colored bands running across them. Males have fully developed wings but females do not. Unlike most species that prefer a humid environment, brown-banded cockroaches prefer to live in dry, warm locations.
German cockroach These cockroaches are identified by the dark, parallel stripes located on their backs behind their heads. Their bodies are light brown to tan in color. German cockroaches prefer to live indoors and are even capable of flying, although they rarely do.
Oriental cockroach This species of cockroaches is commonly referred to as “water bugs” because they prefer to live in or near extremely damp conditions. Oriental cockroaches are shiny and black to maroon in color. Females are wingless and although males do have wings, they can’t fly.
Smokey brown cockroach Although closely related to the American cockroach, smokey brown cockroaches can be identified by their mahogany color and dark, shiny thoraxes. They are a little over an inch in length and have wings that are longer than their bodies, allowing them to be strong fliers. Smokey brown cockroaches are highly attracted to interior and exterior lights.
The primary habitat of the Asian cockroach is outdoors in shaded mulched or composted areas, such as landscaping and gardens, where fresh plant litter accumulates. Populations of 30,000 to 250,000 insects per acre have been reported. Members of this species are strong fliers, unlike their close relative, the German cockroach. They may invade structures but indoor infestations are rare occurrences. They become active at sundown and are attracted to light-colored surfaces and brightly lit areas. Adults will take flight during the day if disturbed.
Are cockroaches dangerous?
Cockroaches are dangerous pests because they live and travel through less-than-sanitary environments, picking up bacteria, human pathogens, and parasites as they move. When they find their way inside, they contaminate food and surfaces in your home or business with germs that cause dysentery, gastroenteritis, E. coli, and salmonella. Their shed skins and feces are known to trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in many people, especially in young children, and they emit a strong, unpleasant, musty odor.
Why do I have a cockroach problem?
A cockroach infestation can happen in any home or commercial property. They can find their way inside through openings around pipes, windows, and doors, as well as through drains and vents. Cockroaches can also be accidentally introduced in deliveries or inside of used appliances and furniture. They feed on a variety of food and non-food items and can thrive in almost any home or business. Cockroaches are prolific breeders and a small infestation can quickly turn into a large one.
Where will I find cockroaches?
Cockroaches are found living in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. Typical outdoor nesting locations include compost bins, drains, garbage, flower beds, sewers, trees, and woodpiles. Inside, you can find them in damp, dark areas that provide easy access to food. Basements, bathrooms, crawlspaces, and kitchens are all typical hiding spots for cockroaches. Brown-banded cockroaches prefer dry, warm locations and are most likely found under furniture or in the upper cabinets of bathrooms and kitchens.
How do I get rid of cockroaches?
The best way to eliminate cockroaches from your northeastern Texas property is to partner with a local pest control expert. We are committed to providing each of our customers with superior pest control services to meet their individual needs. Our experienced and knowledgeable technicians always perform the most advanced, effective services.
How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?
The following tips can help you to protect your home or business from becoming overrun with cockroaches:
Regularly wash dishes, wipe down counters and tables, vacuum floors, and regularly remove trash from your home or business.
Seal up openings in the exterior walls, foundation, and roofline of your property.
Place weather stripping around doors and windows.
Pick-up any leftover pet food between feedings.
Store food inside the refrigerator or air-tight containers.
Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins.
Place a barrier of stone or crushed rock between any mulch and the foundation of your home or business.
Use dehumidifiers, fix leaky pipes, and maintain downspouts and gutters to reduce moisture levels in and around your property.