Knowing how to identify a cockroach is your first step to controlling it.
What Do American Cockroaches Look Like?
The American cockroach is the largest cockroach found in the Mid-Atlantic region and the most common cockroach in sewers in the US. The adults can grow to between 1.5 and 2 inches in length. American cockroaches are large insects with flattened, reddish-brown bodies and matching wings and have unique, yellow-colored “halos” on their backs behind their heads. From the side, you can see that cockroaches have exposed wings rather than wings covered by a hard outer casing. This trait helps to separate them from beetles that may look like cockroaches. They are pretty hideous which is why you will want a cockroach exterminator immediately.
Wing length varies between male and female American cockroaches. Males have long wings that extend past the tips of their abdomens, while females’ wings are about the same length as their abdomens. The largest home-infesting species in the area, American cockroach adults grow to between one and a half inches and two inches in length. Pests in the early stages of the cockroach life cycle are often different sizes. Nymphs may only measure a few millimeters after they hatch.
Cockroaches scurry away from light so they may be difficult to not only identify, but to see at all. There are telltale signs, though. Cockroaches produce a large number of feces. They can poop anywhere they go, but their droppings tend to remain close to their nesting or feeding areas. Roach poop looks like specks of pepper, coffee grounds, or dark grains of rice. The size of the feces is directly related to the size of the cockroach. Another sign of cockroach activity in your home are castaway shells. Roaches multiply very quickly. In the reproductive process, female roaches will create a protective shell for eggs. This shell eventually falls away. Their size and color depends on the species of cockroach, but most shells are 10mm in length or shorter and darker in color. They also have a very distinct smell. Chances are good that you’ll smell a roach infestation before you see one. The trademark musty, oily roach smell comes from pheromones secreted to attract mates. They may be small but they are not completely silent. Keep an ear tuned to your walls for chirping, hissing, and scratching. Remember, roaches are nocturnal, so such noises are most likely to happen at night.
Female American cockroaches produce egg capsules inside their bodies and deposit them from the ends of their abdomens. They then use secretions from their mouths to glue down their egg cases. American cockroaches lay around 14 to 16 eggs inside that protective case. These purse-shaped egg capsules are around five-sixteenths of an inch long and reddish-brown. Dark brown capsules stuck to walls or the undersides of objects in hidden areas around your Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, or New Jersey home may be American cockroach eggs.
Where Are Cockroaches Found?
Cockroaches prefer to shelter in narrow cracks and crevices. They love the area behind refrigerators since there is often the moisture they need to survive and crumbs tend to accumulate under fridges no matter how much you clean. Their favorite spot is under sinks for much the same reason but you can also find them hiding in dark drawers or cabinets. Cockroaches forage for food at night, eating a wide variety of foods and even non-food materials. This allows them to survive even in clean homes.
How Did I Get Cockroaches?
Roaches come into your home in search of three things: food, shelter, and water. They can flatten their bodies enough to get into homes through the slimmest of cracks and crevices. They can also come in on deliveries, bags, boxes, etc. If you live close to your next door neighbor or in a two family home, if one room has cockroaches, they can easily squeeze their way into your home. Once there, they do not need much to survive and even thrive.
Roaches will come into your yard in search of the same things as your home: food, shelter, and water. You can harbor as many roaches in your yard as you do in your home. Any standing water in places like bird baths, flower pots, and gutters will attract cockroaches. Compost and wood piles provide food and shelter. Trash and recycling bins provide an excellent food source. So, if you’re got those cockroach attractants in your yard, it’s not far fetched to eventually see cockroaches in your home as well.
American cockroaches tend to hang around in filthy places, picking up germs and bacteria on their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage. When this particular species of cockroach steps foot in your home, the bacteria and germs they bring with them can and will spread disease and contaminate your food. Their fecal matter can trigger allergies and asthma and can contaminate your air if not cleaned up correctly. We can help with our pest cleanup program. A serious infestation can also produce an unpleasant odor that emanates throughout your entire home. You will want ultimate cockroach control from a company that will provide you with the best cockroach treatments for your home or business.Not the cockroach you have?
How Can I Prevent Cockroaches?
Be sure to remove standing water from buckets and sinks to keep from attracting thirsty cockroaches. Clean up any food left on tables, kitchen counters, and desks, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Cockroaches only need small amounts of food for a meal, so any crumbs, powders, or liquids are fair game. While they can get in easily and survive just as easily, sanitizing and disinfecting often can help encourage them to move along.
Unfortunately, roaches will seek out food sources wherever they can find them. Despite your best efforts to keep your kitchen spotless, these resilient pests will make do with just about anything to eat. In fact, they have been known to feast on cardboard, wallpaper paste, book bindings, grease, leather, soap, and even human hair. They can often be found hiding out in stacks of cardboard in your attic and garage, books that you’ve stored away for extended periods of time, and even behind pictures that have been hanging on the walls. Best way to keep cockroaches out of your Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut home is with a local cockroach exterminator.
We’re passionate about cockroach control because we live and work here – it’s our neighborhood, too. With our almost 100 years of experience keeping homes and businesses in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania safe from pests, Western has the experience you can trust.