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Which Roach Is Which? A Cockroach ID Guide

two german cockroaches on the floor

Cockroaches are far more than just your average unwanted houseguest. With quick speed in scurrying across your floors, the startling ability to survive up to a month without its head, and the danger of spreading bacteria, these prehistoric home invaders can prove to be resilient against your typical DIY pest-elimination methods. So, when you find your home is being invaded by roaches before you jump on a desk and scream, it is important to identify as many details as possible about your encounter in order to get the most effective results out of your Professional treatment plan. This guide will help you identify American roaches from Surinam or German from Asian roaches without having to see their passport.Identification is the first step to eco-friendly pest control and will aid your home pest control professional (exterminator) in creating the proper treatment plan.

Are you seeing these roaches in your house?!  Give us a call!

American Cockroach

American cockroaches commonly appear outside of the home and can be found inside hollow trees, sewers, or in other damp/ warm, sheltered spots. Inside, American cockroaches lurk inside homeowners, attics, bedrooms, garages, and wall voids, eating organic matter. Unfortunately, they can also last up to one month without food, making them that much harder to clear from home without the help of professional treatments.

As temperatures get hotter and water sources more scarce, American roaches often begin entering homes through small nooks and crannies that pose as entrances. They can also fly into the home, as they can glide across short distances from nearby trees entering through the roof. Either way, they are in search of safe shelter and a constant water source to nest near.

In appearance, American cockroaches have a brown-red color, with a yellow-edged shield-like plate over its head. These roaches are the largest home-infesting cockroaches, with sizes up to 2 1/8 inches. They tend to leave droppings within crawl spaces in the walls and can produce a case of eggs (if female) every six days containing up to 16 babies. Finding these egg capsules or droppings is a huge tell-tale of these invaders and can greatly help in identifying which type of roach has infested your home.

German Cockroach

German cockroaches thrive indoors, dwelling in kitchens and nesting behind bathrooms, countertops, and various appliances where they will eat absolutely anything edible, including other roaches. In search of food or while clinging to other infested objects, German roaches tend to hitchhike and travel into homes upon groceries, deliveries, or appliances.

Unlike American cockroaches, German cockroaches tend to be pale to deep brown and only grow between ½-5/8 of an inch in size. Also, while they do not leave pellet-like droppings, they do spread musty bacteria and multiply quickly, as a single female can produce 120-200 babies in 200 days. Since they spread so quickly, it is important to react to German roaches in a timely manner and work towards eliminating the infestation as soon as possible.

German Cockroach Vs. American Cockroach

While American cockroaches and German cockroaches can easily be differentiated based on their appearances, an infestation from a German cockroach or Asian cockroach can be more difficult to distinguish- requiring a slightly keener observation that is easy to catch if you know what to look for. Both German and Asian cockroaches are fairly small in size, with brown coloring. The key differences between the two variants lie in where they are found, as German cockroaches tend to seek shelter indoors in those kitchen areas, as opposed to Asian cockroaches, which are most commonly found outside in dark areas. However, they can sometimes show up indoors on floors or walls near a door that leads outside.

Remember- knowledge is power! While these details aren’t necessary to get rid of your infestation, they can help the process advance more quickly and efficiently. Any information you can share with your pest-control service professional can prove to be quite useful pre-service. 

Surinam Roach

Another common roach pest found in Texan homes is the Surinam Roach. If you garden or spend lots of time outside, then you may have seen this type of roach underneath leaves, rocks, lumber, or between the foundation of a structure and surrounding dirt/vegetation. That is because this roach prefers dark, moist areas with lots of organic materials. They instinctively love to burrow through the soil as a source of protection and in search of food. Occasionally they will find their way indoors in search of more suitable habitat, often finding themselves in bathrooms and kitchens where food and moisture are plentiful. These guys reproduce quickly and can be devastating for gardens. 

If you are seeing these roaches, call us to schedule an appointment. 

Or learn more about our Green Pest Services and German Roach Services.