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Different Types of Cockroaches

Cockroaches are not only among the most hated pests in the world, they are also among the toughest to get rid of because of their resilience and because some species reproduce so quickly. They are also difficult to locate and control. And they can be anywhere! Often if you see one, you can’t help but think that there are several in the vicinity.

There are some great hacks that, once you understand, will offer you a viable approach to control roaches yourself before you have to use any pesticides or call the exterminator.

The 3 Most Common Types of Cockroaches

American Cockroach

American Cockroach:

American cockroaches are often mistakenly referred to as “waterbugs.” They typically live outdoors and come inside looking for food and water, and their most common hangouts include food prep areas, basements, and yards. 

American cockroaches can easily and craftily gain entrance to a home or commercial building through pipes, drains, and plumbing penetrations.

They are usually an oval shape, about two inches in length, and of a reddish-brown color with a yellow figure-8 pattern on the back of the head. They are also among the most common home invaders, as well as in commercial facilities.


German Cockroach

German Cockroach:

German roaches are easily the most common cockroach species in the world. They live indoors, usually in wall voids, as well as in cracks and crevices near a food source, and they particularly love moisture, kitchens, and bathrooms.

They can stealthily gain entrance into your home by hitching a ride in grocery bags, cardboard boxes, drink cartons, and second-hand appliances.

German cockroaches are oval, about ½ - 5/8 inches long, and are of a light brown to tan color with two dark stripes on their backs.


Oriental Cockroach

Oriental Cockroach:

Oriental cockroaches survive well outdoors, and they live in sewers and other wet areas full of decaying organic matter. They can typically be located outdoors under debris, leaves, and other garden materials. 

They can access your home through just about any entry point, including doors, windows, plumbing penetrations, floor drains, and air ducts.

Once indoors, they hide in your crawl spaces, basements, and around utility pipes, and can feed on just about any kind of food. They have a particular love of starchy foods.

They are typically shiny black in color, of an oval shape, and measure about an inch long.


How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Where do Cockroaches Typically Nest in Your Home?

Cockroach nests are usually in wall voids, under baseboards, near moisture, and under cabinets where there are voids. They love tight spaces and crave being “tucked” in on all sides. They love the comfort of a tight fit!    

Roaches are nocturnal, so if you are seeing them during the day, it usually means that there is a large population of them nearby. 

Clear Away Open Food and Water

As with most pests, once you get rid of their sources of food, water, and places to hide/breed, roaches will go elsewhere. For that reason, good sanitation is the very first step to helping get rid of cockroaches.

How to Prevent Cockroaches Naturally

Keep up with the following tasks on a regular basis:

  • Cleaning the kitchen
  • Vacuuming frequently
  • Dusting
  • Laundering linens
  • Taking out the trash
  • Storing food in sealed containers
  • Sealing cracks in the walls
  • Properly ventilating
  • Screening open vents that provide entry
  • Fixing any leaks, indoors and out
  • Caulking gaps, cracks, holes, indoors and out

Place Sticky Glue Traps:

Sticky traps for cockroach control can be useful but are mainly used to monitor what kind of roach infestation you might have. Glue traps are inexpensive and can be placed in out-of-the-way areas (e.g., underneath stove, refrigerator, sink, etc.). 

Check your traps every couple of weeks to see if you are trapping large numbers of roaches. When they are full, simply dispose of them.

There are also powders that use minerally-derived ingredients to effectively kill bed bugs, roaches, spiders and other pests, while being gentle to the earth. 

There are many things you can do (primarily cleaning, cleaning, cleaning) to keep your house roach-free the natural way, as well as some measures you can put into place to kill or trap existing roaches. There are also excellent family-and-earth-friendly cockroach sprays that are good for directly killing the roaches you see using natural plant oils.  

For more information on how to control cockroaches, check out:

Cockroach Facts and Control Strategies

Cockroach Control Checklist


What are your favorite ways to get rid of roaches naturally? Post a comment. We’d love to hear from you!


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