You know that old adage about how cockroaches can live through a nuclear winter? This, and many other factors, makes them one of the hardest pests to control on your own.

They can enter your home in many different ways, looking for a warm, dark, and moist place to live. Since cockroaches are nocturnal, the ones you’ve seen probably aren’t all of them. They hide inside walls, behind furniture, and other small areas are ideal. If you’ve seen just one, you must act quickly!

Cockroaches reproduce fast and your infestation could easily get out of control.

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What is a Cockroach?

Cockroaches are common pests that infest both residential homes and commercial buildings where there is food, warmth and moisture. There are multiple different species of cockroaches that can be found throughout the United States including Oriental cockroaches, German cockroaches, and American cockroaches. They are mainly active at night and are often found in homes and restaurants. Unlike pests that primarily feed off of outdoors vegetation, cockroaches are drawn to things that are commonly found in homes such as food, pet food bowls, and kitchen sponges. 

How do cockroaches differ?

Adult German cockroaches are typically 1/2 to 5/8 inch long and are tan to light brown in color. Although they have fully developed wings, they do not fly. German cockroaches are best identified by their small size and two dark parallel lines or "racing stripes" running from the back of the head to the wings. It is usually found in kitchens near dishwashers, stoves, sinks, and in bathrooms of homes. They feed on a wide variety of foods, including almost anything like soap, glue, and toothpaste.

American cockroaches are one of the largest cockroaches that invade homes and adult American cockroaches are reddish brown or mahogany colored. Sometimes called palmetto bugs or water bugs, American cockroaches are found throughout the United States. Both male and female American cockroaches develop wings when the roaches become adults and they can fly. They are usually found in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, sump pump rooms, and electrical rooms. American cockroaches prefer temperatures between 70°-85°F and do not survive if the temperatures drop below 15°.  American roaches will feed on beer, pet food, fermenting fruits and vegetables, as well as human food.  Their presence is a concern for public health because they are capable of carrying and spreading various pathogens. 

Adult Oriental cockroaches are 1 to 1/4 inch long and are red-brown and black in color. They have a distinct shiny, dark body which separates them from other cockroaches. Unlike German and American cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches are not common household invaders. Oriental cockroaches are more likely to be found in sewers and commercial properties such as restaurants, office buildings, and grocery stores. They prefer to eat starchy foods which are readily available in food establishments. 

How Did I Get Cockroaches?

Cockroaches can crawl into your home or business through cracks in walls, under doors, or through pipes like outdoor spigots. They can hitch a ride in on backpacks, purses, or other items (especially food), and cockroaches can travel through walls or pipes from adjacent apartments if you live in a multi-unit complex. Cockroaches are very good at finding food, so if you have left food out, not cleaned up recently, or have open trash cans, you are more likely to attract these pests.

Cockroaches will also seek the warmth and shelter of your home or business during the colder months, and you may see more of them during this time.

If you have cockroaches living in your home, please call EcoShield for a Free No-Obligation estimate today.