Finding many different types of cockroaches in your home can indicate a significant problem. If you’ve found one, you’ll want to act quickly, beginning with the critical first step: identification.
This short guide will teach you about 8 different types of roaches.
1. German Cockroach
The German Cockroach, Blattella germanica, is the most frequent different type of Cockroach found in people’s houses.
It likes houses and buildings over other habitat types and reproduces more quickly than other cockroach species. It’s especially troublesome in flats and other communal living places.
Even though they have wings, they do not fly; instead, they glide. German cockroaches can spread disease by contaminating food and cooking surfaces, making them unsafe in the home.
Furthermore, they shed regularly, leaving behind egg casings that can induce asthma attacks and allergies.
German roaches are little, measuring about 0.5 inches in length. The thorax of an adult German cockroach is light brown with two dark lines running down it (the middle section of its body).
A juvenile (also known as a nymph) is smaller, darker in colour, and has a tan stripe along its back. German cockroaches can thrive in a variety of habitats around the world.
In the tropics, they can live outside, but in cooler climes, these different types of cockroaches prefer to seek refuge in people’s homes.
German cockroaches are frequently introduced into houses by mistake on furniture or in supermarket bags, shipping boxes, and drink cartons.
They can infest other units in apartment buildings by crawling through shared pipes and ducts, quickly becoming a significant problem.
You are most likely to find German cockroaches in your kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere else where food is stored or processed. They prefer humid environments with temperatures between 70 and 75oF.
These roaches can hide in cracks and crevices near food, water, and heat sources. If their numbers become too large, you may see them in other areas of your home, such as bedrooms and closets.
Book bindings, crumbs, soap, toothpaste, and other scavenged things are among the foods eaten by German cockroaches.
Female German cockroaches develop egg casings known as oothecae, which can contain up to 40 eggs.
Every few weeks, they create these egg casings (more often during warm weather). A German cockroach will lay between 4 and 8 oothecae in its lifetime.
However, don’t expect to find these egg cases easily: females carry them for about 1 to 2 days before hatching.
Sometimes a female makes an inaccurate estimation, and the eggs hatch while she still carries the ootheca.
A German cockroach can give birth to more than 30,000 babies in a year. Nymphs typically mature between 40 and 125 days.
Though not all will survive to adulthood, the rapid cycles of growth and reproduction of these cockroaches can enable infestations to increase and spread swiftly. As a result, proper roach control is critical.
2. American Cockroach
The second mention in our compilation of different types of cockroaches is the American Cockroach, Periplaneta americana (also known as the palmetto bug or sewer roach).
It is also a widespread pest in homes and apartments. However, unlike German cockroaches, this roach favours the outdoors and is less prone to infest inhabited places.
The American roach, like German cockroaches, can spread disease and cause allergies and asthma attacks. They move quickly but rarely use their wings to fly.
American cockroaches are the largest of the common roaches, measuring up to 2 inches in length. Their thorax is reddish-brown with a pale yellow stripe outlining it.
Adults and nymphs may easily be distinguished since adults are larger and have wings, while nymphs do not.
American cockroaches, despite their name, are native to the African tropics. Today, though, they may be found all across the country.
These different types of cockroaches frequently infiltrate homes through piping from sewers or other similar areas.
They can find shelter by crawling through small spaces around windows, doors, or vents. They can even get inside homes as stowaways in firewood piles.
American cockroaches typically reside in sewers; storm drains, steam tunnels, water meter boxes, gardens, trash bins, and animal-raising facilities.
They prefer warmth and humidity, especially temperatures above 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They lurk indoors in laundry rooms, boiler rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. Though they can invade houses, infestations are more common in grocery stores and restaurants.
Female American cockroaches transport their oothecae for around six days before attaching them to the inside of a crack or crevice.
Each ootheca contains 12 to 16 eggs, which may not hatch for another two months or longer. A female can be accountable for almost 800 people in a single year.
These cockroaches prefer decaying organic waste as a food source but will eat almost anything, including crumbs and kitchen scraps. They eat leaves, wood, mushrooms, algae, and smaller insects outside.
3. Oriental Cockroach
The Oriental Cockroach, Blatta orientalis, is a harmful pest that lives largely outside. They are persistent in homes with a lot of greenery around them.
They are not as swift as other different types of cockroaches and do not fly. Because they cannot ascend smooth vertical surfaces, they frequently become stranded in sinks and bathtubs.
Because of their diet of rubbish, dung, and decaying plant and animal materials, These different types of cockroaches are much more unpleasant than other cockroach species.
They, too, stink. When searching for food, these roaches spend a lot of time crawling through feces, rotting items, and other bacteria-laden substances (making them potentially more dangerous than other different types of cockroaches).
Simply stepping over food, preparation areas, and utensils will contaminate them. Fortunately, their odour is powerful enough to alert you that your food has been poisoned.
Oriental cockroaches, which are around one inch in length, are larger than German cockroaches but smaller than American cockroaches.
They are glossy and range in hue from dark brown to black. While male and female Oriental cockroaches have wings, the females’ wings are rudimentary.
On the other hand, male wings are around 25% shorter than their bodies. Nymphs resemble little females without wings.
The Oriental roach thrives in coastal locations all around the world. They are prevalent in the southern, northwestern, and midwestern states of the United States.
Oriental cockroaches enter homes through cracks around windows, doors, and vents. Some enter through sewer lines or drains through walls and the back door. They could also be riding on firewood from a woodpile where they’ve been residing.
These different types of cockroaches can be found inside under sink cabinets (particularly if pipes are leaking), beneath appliances, and within floorboards. They prefer to stay outside during the day and enter homes at night to forage.
Oriental cockroaches mature slowly—a nymph can take up to two years to reach adulthood. They do, however, only live for about 180 days.
Females will carry their ootheca for about a day before dropping it in the garbage or food. An Oriental cockroach ootheca has approximately 16 eggs. One female can lay up to eight egg cases in a year and generate up to 200 young roaches.
4. Wood cockroach
The Pennsylvania wood cockroach, Virginia wood cockroach, Boll’s wood cockroach, and Broad wood cockroach are among the 12 species of wood cockroach (Parcoblatta).
These different types of cockroaches flourish in wet woodlands but are a rare sight in residences. Houses near woodlands are especially vulnerable in the spring and summer.
These cockroaches are occasionally transported inside with firewood because they feed on dead wood and other items. They cannot, however, survive for long periods indoors.
Wood cockroaches are distinguished from other cockroach species by their aversion to Light. Males are the only ones who can fly short distances. Wood cockroaches, like other roaches, can contaminate food and cause allergies and asthma attacks.
Wood cockroaches are brown and roughly an inch long. Some wood cockroach wings have white borders.
Female wings are approximately 0.5 inches longer than male wings. Nymphs, which are smaller than adults, lack wings entirely.
The wood cockroach is native to North America and can be found throughout much of the country, though it is less common in the central part of the country. You can also find them in Canada and Mexico.
Wood cockroaches invade homes during spring and summer through cracks around windows, doors, and vents.
During the winter, they hitch rides on firewood. Always inspect your firewood for roach eggs before bringing it into your home.
Wood cockroaches are most commonly found in woodpiles and under the bark of dead trees and fallen logs. They sometimes swarm in gutters and crawl spaces near houses.
The main food source for these different types of cockroaches is decaying organic materials. Females lay their eggs behind the bark of dead trees and fallen logs. A month later, the eggs hatch. Wood cockroaches live for only a few months on average.
5. Smoky Brown Cockroach
Periplaneta fulginosa, the smoky brown Cockroach, is extremely sensitive to dehydration and must reside near a reliable water source.
It is a nocturnal creature that will flee if disturbed. Like other different types of cockroaches, Light attracts the Smoky brown cockroaches.
Smoky brown cockroaches are fairly huge, measuring about 1.5 inches long. They are dark brown to mahogany in hue, with a nearly black thorax.
They can be distinguished from other varieties of roaches by their wings, which are longer than their body.
The southeastern United States is home to smokey brown cockroaches. Smoky brown cockroaches frequently enter homes through vents and plumbing, particularly when vegetation comes into contact with the home.
They are outdoor roach that prefers to hang around in gutters, planter boxes, and woodpiles. These roaches can also thrive under roofs and siding, underwater meter boxes, garages, and amid trees, shrubs, and other vegetation.
They sometimes reside in sewers. Although it is uncommon, these cockroaches do occasionally invade homes. They are then usually seen in attics.
Females carry their oothecae for a day before laying them down. The hatching of the 20 or so nymphs takes about 45 days.
6. Brownbanded Cockroach
Another notable mention on our list of different types of cockroaches is the brown-banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa); these roaches prefer indoors but are less prevalent than the German Cockroach. Males, unlike females, can fly away from disturbances (albeit they are more prone to jump).
Brownbanded cockroaches have a diverse diet, eating both rubbish and human food. They can transport germs and other contaminants to food and preparation areas, making them harmful insects inside houses. They also leave old skin and egg casings behind, which can cause allergies and asthma episodes.
The bodies of brown-banded cockroaches are thin. They’re about 0.5 inches long (mature males are longer than females) and have light brown or yellow bands on their abdomens, wings, and thorax sides. Males and females are distinct in colour, with males appearing golden-tan and females a darker brown.
Male wings are longer than female wings, which cover only a portion of the abdomen. Nymphs are smaller than adults and have two faint horizontal bands on their bodies.
The majority of the United States is home to brown-banded cockroaches. Brown-banded cockroaches, like German cockroaches, frequently enter homes through furniture, grocery bags, food containers, and gadgets.
They can spread through common ductwork and piping between apartment units and soon become a severe problem in apartment complexes.
These different types of cockroaches are most likely to stay in warm places (about 80oF), dry, sheltered, and higher up, typically out of reach.
Inspect under electrical appliances (frequently found in kitchens), beneath the debris, behind wall decorations, and within hollow furniture legs.
Brown-banded cockroaches are more prevalent in households without air conditioning. They’re also usually annoying in offices or other areas with a lot of paper.
Brown-banded and German cockroaches do not get along and do not share habitats. Brown-banded roaches are nocturnal and seem to consume whatever they want, eating everything from human food and waste to fabric (including clothing and curtains), glue, and even wallpaper.
Each ootheca of a brown-banded cockroach contains between 13 and 18 eggs. Females carry them for one to two days before attaching them to ceilings (typically in closets) or the undersides of furniture. The oothecae then stay for around 50 days until the eggs hatch.
Brown-banded cockroaches live for 13 to 45 weeks on average. A single female will produce 14 oothecae in her lifetime, holding roughly 13 eggs.
7. Australian Cockroach
The Australian Cockroach, Periplaneta australasiae, is a cockroach species that prefers to live outside but occasionally penetrates people’s homes.
It is huge and has lengthy wings, allowing it to travel short distances. If it gets inside, it can pick up bacteria and contaminate your countertops and pantry foods due to its taste for dead and rotting objects.
Australian cockroaches are around the same size as American cockroaches. Look for the characteristic tan ring-like pattern on the back and below its head.
These cockroaches reach a length of nearly 14 inches. They’re one of the largest pests you’re likely to encounter crawling about your home. Don’t be afraid—they’re not trying to harm you! They spend nearly all of their time hidden.
The Australian Cockroach is found all over the world. The southern states have the most people in the United States. They will establish colonies in tree trunks, wood piles, water pipelines, and other wet sites.
These different types of cockroaches enter homes and other buildings through tiny cracks in exterior walls and areas where pipes or wires enter.
They congregate in garden mulch and leaf piles, so they’re already near your home. They’ll seek shelter as soon as the temperature drops.
Australian cockroaches spend most of their time outdoors in warm climates. Their preferred habitats have high humidity and temperatures. They occasionally infest greenhouses but do not pose a significant threat to crops.
When it gets too cold outside, they’ll come inside. They may be found in sinks and bathtubs, as well as in cabinets and drains.
Females conceal their egg cases in moist woodpiles and crevices close to food and water. Nymphs develop during a six-month to a year. They moult their old exoskeleton and grow a new one as they grow larger.
Before reaching adulthood, they go through multiple molting stages. Adult Australian cockroaches have a lifespan of six months. In its short lifespan, a single roach can lay over 20 egg cases and produce hundreds of nymphs.
8. Asian Cockroach
The last mention in our article on different types of cockroaches is the Asian Cockroach, Blattella asahinai. They seem so similar to the german Cockroach that when scientists initially discovered them, even professionals mistook them for German roaches. They still do at times!
The Australian Cockroach is a little bug (about 1/2 inch long) that is predominantly light brown in appearance.
It also has a pair of dark (nearly black) stripes running down its back from the tip of its abdomen to the tip of its head. Its body appears to be rimmed in white around these black bands.
In the United States, the Asian Cockroach is a southern species. Its most populous states are Florida and the bordering states. It lives in those areas due to the heat and humidity, like many other people who relocate there.
Asian cockroaches are obsessed with Light and will fly toward any nearby light source with their muscular wings.
This is the most typical reason they break into people’s homes. Otherwise, they’re perfectly content to stay outside.
These cockroaches may also reside in your garage or shed, as they can easily fit through the space beneath a garage door or a hole in a shed wall.
Asian cockroaches are mostly found outside, in mulch and shady parts of people’s lawns. They eat on decomposing material and waste, among other things, like other roaches. This leads them to compost piles and overgrown landscaping with leaves or damp mulch.
They’ll fly toward lights and TV screens if they arrive inside. They frequently hide near food sources or in locations with high humidity.
The Asian Cockroach feeds on almost anything, including food and rubbish, rotting leaves, and other dead insects. When Asian cockroaches infest a region, they quickly drive out other cockroach species.
Female Asian cockroaches lay approximately 37 eggs in each egg case produced. Despite having a lifespan of fewer than six months, these roaches multiply and spread swiftly.
The adult population is at its peak in late summer. Hundreds of thousands of Asian cockroaches have been discovered in a single acre in some sections of Florida.