Different Types of Cockroaches & How to Identify Them

types of cockroach

Have you ever encountered a creepy crawly critter scurrying across your kitchen floor? If so, there’s a good chance it was a cockroach. Also, if you happen to spot one on your property, chances are that more cockroaches are hiding somewhere.

It’s essential to act quickly and prioritize identification and treatment to prevent an infestation from taking place. Cockroaches are one of the most persistent bugs out there. They can infest almost any region and have been around for millions of years.

These resilient pests can be found in all corners of the globe, and they come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They’ve become quite common in cities, too! In fact, there are over 4,500 different species of cockroaches! Although you may find around 69 types of cockroaches in the United States, you only need to worry about around 5-6 species.

This blog focuses on the ones you are most likely to encounter in the United States. Now, you must be thinking – why on earth would anyone want to learn about these gross creatures? Well, believe it or not, understanding the different types of cockroaches can actually be quite helpful when it comes to pest management.

By being able to identify the specific species invading your space, you can be better equipped to implement targeted control strategies. So, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to embark on a journey into the fascinating world of cockroaches. Let’s learn how to identify these unwelcome visitors and get rid of them.

Common Types of Cockroaches

Roaches can be split into two types: peridomestic and domestic cockroaches. Domestic species, as the name implies, have adapted to coexist with humans. These are the most common house cockroaches, seen inside, such as in kitchens, bathrooms, and even offices.

Peridomestic cockroaches, on the other hand, can live with people but prefer conditions with little to no human interaction. They like to live outside till the weather or conditions become too harsh for their survival.

Domestic cockroaches have coexisted with humans throughout history, whereas peridomestic cockroaches would rather avoid mortals if possible! Now is the time to introduce you to the 7 cockroach types you come across from these two groups.

Types of Roaches Group Appearance Behavior Lifespan
German Cockroach (Blattella germanica) Domestic German cockroaches are light brown and measure around 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch in length. They have two dark stripes running down their pronotum. These cockroaches are known for their rapid reproduction. They are excellent climbers and can infest various areas of a home, including kitchen cabinets, appliances, and even electrical devices. Less than 365 days
Brown-banded Cockroach Domestic 1/2 inch in length, a light brown to dark brown color, and distinct light bands across their wings and abdomen are the unique identification features of Brown-banded cockroaches. Brown-banded roaches prefer warmer and drier environments compared to other roach species. They often infest ceilings, walls, and other elevated areas. These roaches can even hide their eggs on furniture and inside cracks and crevices. Less than 315 days
American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana) Peridomestic They are one of the largest cockroach species, measuring about 1.4 to 1.6 inches in length. They come in reddish-brown. American cockroaches can also be identified by a distinctive yellowish figure-eight pattern on their pronotum. American cockroaches are often found in dark and damp areas, such as basements, sewers, and crawl spaces. They can fly short distances and are attracted to decaying organic matter. Less than 700 days
Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis) Peridomestic Oriental cockroaches are shiny black or dark brown and measure about 1 to 1.25 inches in length. The female has short wings that cover only a tiny portion of its abdomen, while the male has longer wings that cover most of its body. They prefer cool and damp environments, such as basements, crawl spaces, and drains. They are often found near water sources and can survive for extended periods without food. Less than 200 days
Turkestan Cockroach (Blatta Lateralis) Peridomestic Turkestan cockroaches are dark brown with tan stripes on their pronotum and measure about 1 inch in length. Both males and females have wings that cover their entire abdomen. Turkestan cockroaches are commonly found in dry areas, such as gardens, flower beds, and mulch. They are known to invade homes during hotter months and can survive in arid conditions. Less than 400 days
Smoky Brown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa) Peridomestic These cockroaches measure about 1.25 to 2 inches in length. They have a uniformly dark brown color and long wings that extend beyond the abdomen. The smoky brown cockroaches prefer outdoor habitats but can invade homes through gaps and cracks. They are attracted to sources of light and are often found near light fixtures or windows. Less than 18 months
Field Cockroach (Blattella Vaga) Peridomestic Field cockroaches are small, measuring about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in length. They have a brownish color and long antennae. Field cockroaches are commonly found outdoors, particularly in grassy areas, fields, and gardens. They can occasionally invade homes through open doors or windows. Less than 90 days

DIY Tips to Get Rid of Different Types of Cockroaches

Here are some easy and practical do-it-yourself tips to help you get rid of those unwanted guests.

  1. Seal the Entry Points: Do you wonder where do roaches come from? These sneaky pests can squeeze through the tiniest cracks and crevices, so take a thorough look around your house and seal any gaps or holes you find. Use caulk or weather-stripping to seal up windows, doors, and any other potential entry points.
  2. Keep it Clean and Dry: Cockroaches love dirty and damp areas with food and water sources. So it’s essential to keep your house spick and span. Regularly sweep, vacuum, and mop your floors, paying extra attention to those hard-to-reach corners. Make sure to wipe down your countertops and keep your dishes clean and dry.
  3. Fix Leaky Pipes and Faucets: Roaches are attracted to moisture, and that’s why ensuring your plumbing is in top shape is crucial. Fix any leaky pipes, faucets, or dripping taps. Not only does this prevent water accumulation, but it will also remove a potential water source for those persistent little critters.
  4. Store Food Properly: All types of cockroaches can survive on almost anything. So, it’s vital to store your food in airtight containers. Avoid leaving food out on countertops or in open boxes. By depriving them of easy access to food, you can make your kitchen less enticing to these unwelcome visitors.
  5. Use Natural Repellents: Essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and tea tree oil have repellent properties. Simply dilute a few drops in a spray bottle filled with water and spritz it around areas where roaches tend to lurk. Strategically placing citrus peels, catnip, and cucumber slices in critical areas can also deter them.
  6. Homemade Traps: A straightforward method to make your cockroach traps is to create a mixture of boric acid, sugar, and water. Place this mixture in shallow containers and position them in roach-prone areas. The sweet scent of sugar attracts them, while the boric acid does its magic of eliminating them.
  7. Professional Help: If all else fails and the infestation becomes too overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Pest control pros have the knowledge, expertise, and tools to tackle cockroach invasions effectively. They assess the situation, develop a customized plan, and ensure those pesky roaches are eradicated once and for all.

When it comes to protecting your home or business from cockroaches, Take Care Termite & Pest Control offers more than just a solution. Our highly skilled and reliable experts are here to help. Say goodbye to roach infestations and hello to a pest-free home!

Contact Us Now!


  1. Which roaches are most challenging to eliminate?

    Dealing with house cockroaches may be difficult. However, German roaches earn the top spot for being both rapid to infest and extremely tough to eradicate. It’s vital to know that DIY cockroach treatments often backfire and exacerbate the problem.

    So, suppose you have problems with indoor roaches. In that case, it is highly recommended that you contact a local pest control specialist for experienced advice and help. They can offer further assistance in dealing with these troublesome critters properly!

  2. Are roaches a health risk?

    Yes, indeed! Roaches are more than just bothersome insects. They also transmit illnesses and germs that can cause sickness. In fact, significant infestations of these nasty creatures can trigger severe allergies and asthma symptoms.

    It is critical to address roach concerns as soon as possible because the situation only worsens over time. Do not put off dealing with these unpleasant guests in your house or office!

  3. Does keeping the lights on repel roaches?

    Roaches are creatures of the night. They enjoy and flourish in gloomy locations. But does it imply you need to keep your lights on all the time to keep them at bay? Not really.

    Cockroaches are more attracted to food, moisture, and shelter than to light or darkness. While they may flee when an intense light is suddenly turned on, merely keeping your lights on is not enough to deter them.

    To effectively avoid a roach infestation, focus on removing their sources of attraction. Clean up any spills or crumbs as soon as possible, repair any leaks or standing water in your house, and block any access sites for these unwanted guests.

Identifying the specific species of cockroach can be challenging. But our team of pest control specialists at Take Care Termite & Pest Control is well-equipped to handle this task. Trust us to accurately pinpoint your cockroach problem and provide you with the best course of action for effective roach control.

If you suspect that you have a cockroach infestation, don’t hesitate to reach out! Simply give us a call today at (209) 832-7300. Our friendly and skilled staff will be more than happy to assist you.

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