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5 Common Types of Cockroaches

There are many cockroach species in the world, but some are more likely to invade homes than others. Knowing what you’re up against will make controlling an infestation easier. We’ve gathered information about common cockroach species to help you identify and eliminate an infestation.

American Cockroaches

American cockroach infographic

One cockroach you may find scurrying through your home is the American cockroach.

What Do American Cockroaches Look Like?

American cockroaches have a shiny, reddish-brown body. They have yellow markings on their head. These cockroaches are about 1 ½ʺ but can grow up to 2ʺ. American cockroaches have wings and can fly short distances.

Where Do American Cockroaches Live in Homes?

American cockroaches prefer to be outside but still regularly invade homes. They like areas with moisture and can be spotted in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and sewers. They seek food, so it’s not unusual to find them near food preparation areas. They’re known for entering homes through pipes and plumbing.

German Cockroaches

German cockroach infographic

German cockroaches love to spend time in houses too.

What Do German Cockroaches Look Like?

These cockroaches have a brown body with two stripes on their back. They grow between ½ʺ-5/8ʺ. Though they have wings, they don’t fly.

Where Do German Cockroaches Live in Homes?

German cockroaches prefer humid environments. They’re often found in kitchens and bathrooms. They also like to squeeze into cracks, crevices, and wall voids. It’s possible these cockroaches will slip into homes on items you carry inside.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroach infographic

Oriental cockroaches prefer to spend time outside but will travel indoors, especially in summer.

What Do Oriental Cockroaches Look Like?

Oriental cockroaches have a shiny black or dark reddish-brown body. They’re about 1ʺ in length. Males have short wings but don’t fly, while females lack wings.

Where Do Oriental Cockroaches Live in Homes?

These cockroaches prefer cool and damp environments. Outside, they hide under yard debris like leaves and stones. Inside, they’ll settle down in basements and cellars. These cockroaches are known to gather in large numbers near sources of water.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

Brown-banded cockroach infographic

Another common home invader is the brown-banded cockroach.

What Do Brown-Banded Cockroaches Look Like?

Brown-banded cockroaches are smaller than other species, growing to about ½ʺ. They’re dark brown with yellow-hued legs. The two light bands on their wings help to separate them from other cockroaches.

Where Do Brown-Banded Cockroaches Live in Homes?

The brown-banded cockroach likes warm and dry areas. They tend to avoid water and gravitate toward higher areas in homes. It’s common to find them in upper cabinets, on ceilings, and on furniture.

Smokybrown Cockroaches

Smokybrown cockroach infographic

Smokybrown cockroaches like spending time outside, but they will head inside when outdoor conditions no longer suit their needs.

What Do Smokybrown Cockroaches Look Like?

These cockroaches are similar in appearance to American cockroaches. They are shiny and dark brown. Smokybrown cockroaches have a thin, long body with wings that allow them to fly. They grow between 1 ¼"-1 ½".

Where Do Smokybrown Cockroaches Live in Homes?

Smokybrown cockroaches prefer humid, moist, and warm locations. You can find them outside in yard debris, mulch, and wooded areas. When they make their way indoors, they can be found in basements, attics, crawlspaces, kitchens, bathrooms, and cracks and crevices.


The first step in eliminating an infestation is knowing what pest has invaded your home. If you’re dealing with cockroaches, we have your back! Our guide for getting rid of cockroaches will help you know what steps to take to keep your home pest-free.

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