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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.

What Do Cockroaches Look Like?


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.

What Do American Cockroaches Look Like?

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.

What Do German Cockroaches Look Like?

German cockroaches have a brown body with two stripes on their back. They can grow between 1/2ʺ-5/8ʺ.

What Do Oriental Cockroaches Look Like?

Oriental cockroaches are about 1ʺ in length and have a shiny, dark body.

What Do Brown-Banded Cockroaches Look Like?

Brown-banded cockroaches are known for the bands that appear on their wings. Their brown body is usually 1/2ʺ in length.

What Do Smokybrown Cockroaches Look like?

Smokybrown cockroaches are dark brown and shiny. They range in size from 1 ¼" to 1 ½" in length. 

When Are Cockroaches Active?

Cockroach on cabinet

Cockroaches like warm environments and emerge in spring. They are more active when temperatures are higher, but they can remain active year-round if they find a suitable indoor location. These pests are most active at night and move quickly.

Where Do Cockroaches Live?

Cockroaches can be found throughout the United States. They love to hide in dark areas, but their preferred habitat varies between species.

  • American Cockroaches: They like to live outside but will regularly come into homes. They prefer moist areas and are spotted in sewers and basements.
  • German Cockroaches: These cockroaches like humid environments like kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Oriental Cockroaches: They spend time outside but make their way into homes especially in summer.
  • Brown-Banded Cockroaches: They prefer warm and dry locations and are often seen in higher areas including in your upper cabinets.
  • Smokybrown Cockroaches: These cockroaches prefer warm and moist areas. They hide in basements, attics, kitchens, and bathrooms. Outside, they are often found in yard debris, wooded areas, and mulch.

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

These pests eat a variety of things including insects, decaying leaves, and the crumbs left behind in your house.

Are Cockroaches Dangerous?

Cockroach in cup

Cockroaches 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. 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.

Signs You Have a Cockroach Infestation

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 are oval and dark in color. There’s also a chance that you will notice their musty odor.

How to Prevent Cockroaches

No one wants to deal with a cockroach problem. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent an infestation.

  • Keep Your Home Clean: Wash dishes, clean up spills and crumbs, and vacuum regularly to help eliminate potential food sources.
  • Reduce Moisture: Cockroaches love moisture, so it’s important to fix any leaks and remove standing water near your home.
  • Seal Cracks & Gaps: Sealing any holes will make it difficult for cockroaches to slip inside your house.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Ant & Roach Killer

When these bugs sneak into your home, eliminating them quickly and efficiently is important. Here are a few solutions to keep these pests away.

  • Use a Plant-Based Spray: Our Ant & Roach Killer kills cockroaches on contact. This can help get rid of the cockroaches you see crawling around your house. It also provides you with residual repellency to help deter cockroach activity.
  • Use a Bait: Our Roach Killer Gel Bait can help to eliminate the 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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