There are several different species of roaches but only a few that you’ll see in the U.S. Here are the 2 most common types of cockroaches you’ll see inside your home and tips on how to get rid of them:

American Cockroaches

overhead view of an american cockroach on a white surface

  • Also called palmetto bugs or waterbugs
  • Reddish brown in color and have a yellowish margin on their body
  • 1.5 to 2 inches in length
  • Largest cockroach in the U.S.
  • Have been known to fly
  • Live in dark, damp areas such as sewers, storm drains, steam tunnels, and outdoors in landscaping and tree holes
  • Prefer warm, humid environments in homes such as wall voids, crawl spaces, basements, utility rooms, or attics
  • Typically feed on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods
  • Not commonly seen in homes but may move indoors during colder months seeking warmer temperatures and food through openings in the foundation

Treatment Tips:

  • Granular baits in attics and crawl spaces
  • Dust in attic and crawl spaces
  • Perimeter spray treatments
  • Perimeter granular bait treatments

German Cockroaches

an overhead view of a german cockroach on a white surface

  • One of the most common pests to infest residential structures
  • Brown with 2 longitudinal stripes running down the thorax
  • 1/2 to 5/8 inches long
  • Will live anywhere humans build heated structures
  • Usually found in kitchens in secluded areas (behind and under appliances, in cracks and crevices behind backslashes, at counter edges, behind and under cabinets, in void areas around plumbing, backs of drawer wells)
  • Will infest warm areas around appliance motors such as refrigerators and dishwashers
  • Will invade your home and leave fecal matter and other debris in and around food and food preparation areas
  • Can enter homes when boxes or products are shipped moved from one location to another
  • Reproduces at a high rate, completing a life cycle in 30 to 45 days
  • Produces 30-48 eggs at a time
  • Difficult to get rid of once infested

Treatment Tips

  • Most commonly treated inside a home with baits, sprays, or an aerosol product (baits preferred)
  • Roaches disperse the bait back into their refuge sites when they ingest it
  • Most have a secondary and even a tertiary killing effect, meaning roaches that die in the harborage site from a bait are cannibalized by their fellows, causing additional mortality
  • Sprays are applied to surfaces that roaches crawl across or into harborage areas
  • Often mixed with insect growth regulators (IGR) will reduce or eliminate egg production and cause mortality in immature forms of the German cockroach
  • Aerosols are referred to as crach and crevice treatments; forces roaches out of their harborage sites with a product that excite their nervous system (flushing agent)
  • Then sprayed directly with a contact product
  • Residual aerosols may be applied into harborage areas and onto surfaces where roaches crawl in the same manner as sprays (commonly sold as over the counter remedies for homeowners, but typically has a short life span)
  • Professional pest control is recommended