Different Types Of Roaches And How To Identify Them

August 18, 2021

If cockroaches have never infested your home, you should count yourself lucky. It is both frustrating and stressful to experience a cockroach infestation because of the many problems cockroaches cause. Add to this that there are different types of roaches to deal with, making it challenging to identify and subsequently eliminate them. Studying roach pictures makes things easier. But there is so much more about roaches than just knowing what they look like. Before we delve into cockroach diversity, let’s look at the two main groups of roaches.

  • Domestic Roaches

Domestic cockroaches live exclusively indoors. Never will you find them outdoors.

  • Peridomestic Cockroaches

While peridomestic cockroaches are accustomed to living around people, they are not necessarily homebodies. They only come inside when it gets too hot or dry outside.

Difference Between Roach And Cockroach

There is absolutely no difference between a roach and a cockroach, just that the terms sound different. Roach, primarily used in America, is the shorter version of cockroach.

Different Kinds Of Roaches

Within the two groups are several types of cockroaches, all with different characteristics. Want to know what differentiates brown banded cockroach vs german cockroach or german roach vs american roach? Here’s a detailed roach identification guide:

  1. German Cockroach

German roaches measure half an inch long, have a tannish or light-brownish colouration, and feature two black stripes behind the head. Adult German cockroaches have wings, but they do not fly. Nymphs are wingless, plus smaller and darker than the adults.

Where They Hide

German cockroaches prefer living in warm and moist areas, particularly bathrooms and kitchens. You will find them in cracks near pantries and cabinets. And also under dishwashers, stoves, and fridges.

How To Control Them

The best ways to manage German cockroaches include using baits like hydramethylnon and applying commercial or homemade insecticides to their hiding places.

German Cockroach Identification

  1. American Cockroach

Also known as a palmetto bug, American roaches measure 1 to 2 inches in length. They have a shiny reddish-brown body featuring a yellow stripe at the back of the head. Adults have wings and will fly at times but prefer scurrying.

Where They Hide

American cockroaches are ever present outdoors but can infest your house searching for a warm and humid place. Though they prefer inhabiting moist environments, they can still thrive in drier areas as long as the water is available. American cockroaches also focus on areas of food preparation and storage. They are a nuisance in the kitchen. You can spot them in basements and crawl spaces too.

How To Control Them

Caulk all crevices in your house and clear old mulch and dead leaves away from your compound. Alternatively, apply repellants to entry points, particularly doorways.

  1. Oriental Cockroach

Oriental cockroaches have wings and a dark brown/black body. They usually feed on decaying material and disposed of garbage. Additionally, they emit a pungent smell that makes it easy to notice an infestation by them.

Where They Hide

Oriental cockroaches are more of water bugs since they prefer living in damp, cool, and dark areas. You will see them in cellars, sewer drains, basements, and crawl spaces. Other places you will find them include under sinks and refrigerators and near leaky faucets and pipes.

How To Control Them

Fix all plumbing issues, especially leaks, immediately they occur. Use baits in their favourite spots like fridges and sinks. Also, caulk all cracks and install door sweeps.

  1. Brown-Banded Cockroach

Adult brown-banded roaches measure a half-inch long, feature fully developed wings, and have a light brown body. Adult males fly away when threatened, whereas the females scamper for safety. Females are also rounder and smaller compared to males.

Where They Hide

Brown-banded cockroaches prefer dwelling in dry and warm areas like inside closets, pantries, and dressers. You are also likely to spot them beneath tables, behind photo frames, under seats, and above cabinets. They are also the type you get inside light switches, radios, and TV sets. One unique characteristic of theirs is they are rarely found near water.

How To Control Them

Strategically place sticky traps where the roaches could be hiding. Think of near a fissure in the wall or the corner of a shelf. Otherwise, use baits containing boric acid, hydramethylnon, abamectin, or fipronil in such areas.

  1. Wood Cockroach

Wood roaches measure an inch long and have a flat oval-shaped body that is chestnut brown. They feature spiny legs, tan wings, and long antennae. Rarely are they found indoors, but they quickly get drawn to indoor lights.

Where They Hide

Being outdoor dwelling insects, wood cockroaches are common in woody and moist places like mulch and woodpiles. They also like living under decaying logs and loose tree bark. As they require moisture to survive, they do not live long indoors.

How To Control Them

Since wood roaches struggle to live indoors, you can use a vacuum cleaner or dustpan to get rid of them quickly. In addition, keep your window screen and screen door in good condition besides sealing cracks and openings.

  1. Asian Cockroach

Asian roaches are light brown with dark stripes behind their heads. They have extensive wings that enable them to fly as far as 120 feet. It is easy to mistake them for German cockroaches but their body is lighter and longer than that of their counterparts.

Where They Hide

Like wood cockroaches, Asian cockroaches prefer living outdoors in compost, leaf piles, grass, and mulch. When they are threatened or their habitat is disturbed, they scatter by flying. Though they are mostly found outside, they can invade homes through doors and windows when attracted by indoor light sources like lamps and TV screens.

How To Control Them

Dispose of plant debris and mulch in your lawn. Utilising insecticides is another excellent option.

Asian Cockroach

Have You Found a Cockroach in Your Home?

Regardless of the kind of roach that infests your house – be it silver cockroach or brown cockroach – fast elimination should be a top priority. Cockroaches can damage your household items and make you ill. While you can perform DIY extermination, it is better to hire a cockroach control service for a permanent solution to cockroach infestation.

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