Cockroach Identification Guide

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are ancient insects and there are about 70 species living throughout the United States. Their exact coloring varies by species but most are black or reddish-brown. They have flat, oval-shaped bodies, six spiny legs, and two antennae that are the same length or longer than their bodies; some species may also have wings. Cockroaches living outside and away from people are incredibly beneficial, helping to break down decaying organic matter. It is only those cockroaches living near people that are a problem.

a cockroach on an egg carton in a home in chesapeake virginia

The most common species of cockroaches to invade homes and businesses in our areas of North Carolina and Virginia are listed below.

  • American cockroaches

  • Oriental cockroaches

  • Brown-banded cockroaches

  • Smokey brown cockroaches

  • German cockroaches

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches are insects that invade properties in large numbers and they are more than just a nuisance – they are also destructive and dangerous. Cockroaches secrete a substance that produces a bad odor and stains surfaces such as fabrics and paper products. The presence of cockroaches in any home or business also means contamination of food, food prep areas, and other surfaces with dangerous bacteria, human pathogens, and parasites. Additionally, because cockroaches live together in large groups, the buildup of their excrement and shed skins triggers allergic reactions and asthma attacks in some people, particularly young children.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Cockroaches often live outside near the exterior of homes and businesses, allowing them to find their way indoors while foraging for food. They will also move inside during periods of very dry, hot weather as most species have high moisture needs. Cracks in the foundation, gaps around windows and doors, spaces around air conditioners, and drains are all common entry points for cockroaches. Additionally, people often accidentally introduce these pests in boxes, potted plants, or used appliances.

Where will I find cockroaches?

Cockroaches live in a variety of locations including behind tree bark, in compost piles, gardens, sewer, under mulch, and around trash receptacles. Inside, most cockroaches seek dark, damp nesting locations such as behind appliances, in drawers, under cabinets, and around pipes and drains. The exception is the brown-banded cockroach; they prefer dark, dry, hot locations and nest in attics or the upper parts of cabinets. Cockroaches also frequent the exterior of buildings after being attracted by outdoor lighting.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

Professional pest control is the best way to eliminate pests and keep them from returning. At Albemarle Termite & Pest Control, our pest management professionals are highly trained and dedicated to providing safe and effective services that are affordable. We are a local, family-owned pest control company whose number one priority is putting our customers first and exceeding their expectations. To eliminate pests from your home or business once and for all, contact Albemarle Termite & Pest Control today!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

Prevent problems with cockroaches in Elizabeth City, NC and surrounding areas by combining our professional services with the following prevention tips:

  • Inspect boxes, packages, and potted plants for cockroaches before bringing them inside.

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

  • Dry out basements and crawl spaces using dehumidifiers.

  • Fix leaky pipes and fixtures, and ventilate crawlspaces.

  • Replace torn window or door screens.

  • Keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris.

  • Do not leave food out in the open on counters or tables.

  • Regularly clean out and wipe down pantry and food storage areas.

  • Inspect the exterior of your home or business, fixing any cracks or openings.

  • Replace white outdoor light bulbs with yellow or LED lights that are less attractive to insects like cockroaches.

 

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