Cockroach Identification & Prevention

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are an insect and a type of scavenger that feed on a variety of food and non-food items. They hearty pests can find their way into any home or business, and are able to thrive in almost any indoor or outdoor environment. They have flat, oval-shaped bodies with six legs and long antennae. Some species have wings and are capable of flight, but most just scurry quickly from place to place. They are prolific breeders, and a few invaders can create a large scale infestation in a short time.

a cockroach crawling on a surface inside of a home

Listed below are some of the more common species of cockroaches:

American cockroaches
American cockroaches prefer to live outside, but often find their way into homes and other structures. In size, they are the largest household invading cockroach in the United States, with some adults growing to over two inches long. They are mahogany and have a figure-8 marking behind their heads.

German cockroaches
German cockroaches are major pests inside homes and businesses. These small roaches are light brown to tan, and behind their heads are two horizontal black stripes.

Oriental cockroaches
Oriental cockroaches are also known as water bugs because they like to live around drains and sewers. They have dark, smooth bodies and a musty odor associated with them.

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches carry a variety of bacteria and human pathogens on their bodies and legs. They contaminate food and the surfaces of a home or business with things that can make people very ill, including salmonella poisoning, diarrhea, and dysentery. Many people, especially children, are allergic to their shed skins and excrement. Additionally, cockroaches damage personal property by chewing through fabrics, upholstered furniture, rugs, clothing, and books. In large numbers, they also produce a strong, musty odor.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Cockroaches are resourceful pests, taking advantage of any food and shelter sources they find. Things like open trash containers, pet food dishes, outdoor eating areas, compost, and pet excrement can initially attract cockroaches to your property. Roaches are difficult to guard against because they find their way into homes and businesses in multiple ways. They will squeeze their bodies through tiny cracks and openings in exterior walls or move through vents or spaces around wires, pipes, and other utilities. Additionally, deliveries and packages may have more in them than you bargained for; they may be housing hitchhiking cockroaches! These pests can also come inside pieces of used furniture or appliances.

Where will I find cockroaches?

In general, most cockroach species choose damp, dark places to hide during the day, emerging at night to forage for food. Oriental cockroaches usually nest near sources of water like drains, pipes, and faucets. American cockroaches prefer to live outside under mulch, tree bark, and near sewer systems. If they find their way indoors, they hide in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. German cockroaches enjoy life indoors and commonly invade homes and restaurants. Kitchens and bathrooms are regular nesting spots for these roaches, where they hide in cupboards, drawers, behind appliances, and under sink cabinets.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

Eliminating cockroaches is a difficult task and a job that is best left up to trained and experienced professionals. For home and business owners looking to eliminate cockroaches, Hawx Pest Control offers comprehensive pest control services. Our industry-leading services use the latest techniques and best products to provide our customers with peace of mind and pest-free properties. To learn more about our home pest control or commercial pest control services, please reach out to Hawx Pest Control today!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

The following prevention tips will help you to keep cockroaches off of your property and out of your structure:

  • Regularly vacuum your floors, and keep kitchen areas clean and free of food debris.

  • Check the exterior walls of your property, sealing off any openings you find.

  • Place weatherstripping around windows and doors.

  • Replace torn window or door screens.

  • Dry out basements using dehumidifiers.

  • Make sure outdoor trash cans and compost bins have locking lids.

  • Fix leaky pipes and fixtures – both inside and outside of your home or business.

  • Inspect packages, boxes, and used appliances for cockroaches before bringing them in.


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