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What are Cockroaches?

Bugs running around your home are sure to give you a fright, especially if you’re dealing with cockroaches. These bugs have a habit of sneaking into your home hoping to find something to eat, or worse, to nest. The best way to control a pest problem is knowing what you’re up against. We’ve gathered information about cockroaches to help you identify and treat an infestation.




Cockroaches are flat bugs with an oval-shaped body. These bugs have a small head compared to their large body. They have six legs with pads on them that give them special climbing skills. Cockroaches are able to move quickly on many surfaces and can even climb on walls and ceilings. Some species of cockroaches have wings and others do not. Cockroaches have multiple lenses on their eyes, which allow them to see many things at once. While all cockroaches have the same shape, species vary in size and color. American cockroaches can exceed 2 inches in length but most are typically about 1 1/2ʺ. They have a reddish-brown body with a yellow marking on their head. German cockroaches have a brown body with two stripes on its back. They can grow between 1/2ʺ-5/8ʺ. Oriental cockroaches are about 1ʺ in length and have a shiny, dark body. Brown-banded cockroaches are known for the bands that appear on their wings. Their brown body is usually 1/2ʺ in length.


Cockroach on cabinet

Since cockroaches like warm environments, they will begin to emerge in the spring. Though they are more active when temperatures are higher, they can remain active year-round if they find a suitable indoor location. Cockroaches are most active at night and are known to be quick. They eat a variety of things including insects, decaying leaves, and the crumbs left behind in your house. These bugs love to hide in dark areas, but their preferred habitat varies between species. American cockroaches like to live outside, but will regularly come into homes. They like moist areas and are often spotted in sewers and basements. German cockroaches prefer humid environments, and kitchens or bathrooms are the perfect spot for them. Oriental cockroaches like to spend time outside, however, they will make their way into homes especially in the summer. Brown-banded cockroaches prefer warm and dry locations and are often seen in higher areas including in your upper cabinets. Cockroaches can be found throughout the United States.

Threats & Warning Signs

Cockroach in cup

Cockroaches like to spend time in areas that aren’t very clean. They crawl around in sewers as well as in decaying matter. As they scurry along, different materials attach to their legs. When they enter your home, they bring these things with them. If they happen to touch any food left out or if food is placed anywhere they have walked, like your counters, then there’s a good chance it will become contaminated. The transferring of contaminants is the main threat cockroaches pose. Though some cockroaches have the ability to bite, it is a very rare occurrence. This usually only occurs if they can’t find a food source. The bite may cause irritation but is usually harmless unless the wound becomes infected. Infestations are identified by cockroach sightings. Their droppings and eggs can also be a sign of a problem. Cockroaches lay multiple eggs in cases called oothecae. These have an oval shape and are dark in color. There’s also a chance that you will notice their musty odor.

Prevention & Treatment

No one wants to deal with a cockroach problem, and thankfully, there are some things you can do to prevent an infestation. Keeping your home clean is one of the best things you can do to keep these bugs away. Washing dishes, cleaning up spills and crumbs, and vacuuming regularly can help to eliminate any of their food sources. Cockroaches love moisture, so it’s important to fix any leaks and remove standing water near your home. Make it difficult for them to slip inside by sealing any cracks and crevices. When these bugs sneak into your home, eliminating them quickly and efficiently is important. Using a spray, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Ant & Roach Killer, is great for killing cockroaches you can see. It also provides residual repellency, which will help keep cockroaches from returning. Using a bait, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Roach Killer Gel Bait, can help to eliminate a colony. The bait allows the cockroach to return to the nest before dying. Since cockroaches eat other cockroaches and their feces, they will also consume the bait. This will help to eliminate the source of the infestation.

The thought of cockroaches in your kitchen is likely to make you squirm. Make sure your home is as unwelcoming as possible to help keep these bugs away. If they’ve managed to sneak into your house, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.

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