6 Types of Cockroaches and How To Identify Them (With Pictures)!

David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.

Cockroaches are some of the most recognizable insects and house pests known to man. They’ve been around for millions of years and have quite a history. Worldwide there are over 4,000 different species of cockroaches, with more being discovered every year. That being said, there are only a handful of types of cockroaches that you’ll likely encounter at your home.

types of cockroaches

Most types of roaches have very similar basic anatomy. They feature six legs, a set of antennae, and three basic body parts, the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.

Along with this, most species of cockroaches also have wings, but not all cockroaches can fly. These wings can vary in size depending on if they are fliers or not.

When you’re dealing with a cockroach infestation, you need to understand what type of cockroach you’re dealing with to ensure that you use the most accurate and effective treatment option for that species. In this post, we’re gonna explore the different species of cockroaches you’re likely to encounter in your home, and how you can identify them and eliminate them!

Different Types Of Roaches You’re Likely To Experience In Your Home:

As much as you want your home to be just your home, unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to share your home with some unwanted roommates.

As scary as it sounds, your home is a mini-ecosystem in itself, with various insects and pests living in the shadows and co-existing with you and your family.

That being said, you shouldn’t have to live with cockroaches co-inhabiting your home. Although you don’t have to worry about cockroaches biting, they can bring in various diseases as well as contaminate your food.

In the United States, there are about 70 species of roaches, and about 90% of all these roaches are contained in about 6 different species. Here are some of the most common types you’ll often find in your home:

  • American Cockroach
  • German Cockroach
  • Asian Cockroach
  • Brown-Banded Cockroach
  • Oriental Cockroach
  • Smokybrown Cockroach

These six types of roaches are along with the most common in the United States, and more than likely if you see a roach in your home, it’s one of the above species.

American Cockroach – (Periplaneta Americana)

The American Cockroach is one of the most common types of cockroaches in the United States. They prefer warm and humid environments so they are most often found in the Southern United States.

Depending on the region they often are referred to as a “water bug” or “palmetto bug”.

American Cockroach Identification:

These roaches are the largest species of common house cockroach and it’s not uncommon for adults to be larger than 2 inches in length.

American Cockroach

Along with this, they are generally a reddish-brown color, and will often have a figure 8 pattern on the back of their head.

American Cockroach Environment:

Because they prefer warm and humid environments, they most often are found around sewers and sinks, and frequently enter your home via waterlines, basements, or drains. This is a similar environment to other bugs that might look like roaches, so it can be difficult to identify American roaches.

They don’t do well in environments below freezing, so you’ll see them more frequently in the Summer, and in parts of your home that stays warm year-round.

American roaches, are expert scavengers for food and water, and most often will be found around your kitchen or kitchen sink. The easiest way to avoid American Cockroaches in the first place is to keep your kitchen as neat and tidy as possible. These roaches are constantly on the lookout for crumbs and standing water to feast on!

German Cockroach – Blattella Germanica

German Cockroaches are found all over the United States as well as in other countries as well, as is considered the most common cockroach species worldwide!

German Cockroach Identification:

These roaches are slightly smaller than American Roaches and are often between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch in length.

German Cockroach

They are generally a light brown and tan color, and often have two parallel stripes located on their back.

German Cockroach Environment:

Similar to American Cockroaches, German Roaches are after food and water, which means they are often found in kitchens as well as food processing facilities, and restaurants.

Unlike all the other types of cockroaches on our list, German Cockroaches aren’t commonly found in the wild and are most often only found in relation to humans and homes.

Asian Cockroach – (Blattella Asahinai Mizukubo)

First detected in the United States around the 1980s, these cockroaches have their roots in South-East Asia. Once they’ve entered the United States, they are often found in the Southeast but have recently spread all the way west to the Mexico Border.

Asian Cockroach Identification:

Asian Cockroaches look almost identical to German Cockroaches, but they have longer and narrower wings than German Cockroaches.

Asian Cockroach

They are light brown in color, and around 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in length.

Asian Cockroach Environment:

Originally from Southeast Asia, specifically Japan, these have spread all over the world. Most commonly found in Southern United States, they have been spreading West.

These roaches prefer shaded and moist areas and are more likely to stay outside than other cockroaches. They are actually avid fliers and will fly towards light sources such as porch lighting.

Brown-Banded Cockroach – (Supella Longipalpa)

Brown-Banded cockroaches are another type of roach that relies nearly completely on human activity to survive.

Brown-Banded Cockroach Identification:

These roaches are smaller than most other roaches and are only about 1/2 inch in length.

brown-banded cockroach

As their name suggests, they are light brown in color and have two light brown bands across their body and wings.

Brown-Banded Cockroach Environment:

Often referred to as “furniture cockroach”, brown-banded cockroaches are excellent hiders, and due to their smaller size, they often will hide in or under furniture. They do prefer warm and humid environments such as basements or vacant homes.

Brown-banded cockroaches are pretty widespread across the United States at this point.

Oriental Cockroach – (Blatta Orientalis)

Oriental Cockroaches are often referred to as “black beetles” and are one of the easiest to identify species of roach in the United States because they look drastically different than other species of roach.

Oriental Cockroach Identification:

Oriental cockroaches are typically a dark black or dark reddish-brown color. They are often mistaken for black beetles because of this dark shell color.

oriental cockroach

They are often between 3/4 inch and 1 inch in length.

Along with this, these types of roaches aren’t as quick as others and are generally pretty slow-moving.

Oriental Cockroach Environment:

Oriental Cockroaches prefer damp and dark environments such as your basement, cellar, or crawlspace. They are often attracted to water sources and food sources such as garbage cans or kitchen scraps.

They prefer warmer temperatures between 60-80 degrees. Their population decreases quite significantly during the winter, but during the summer they reproduce quite quickly.

Smokybrown Cockroach – (Periplaneta Fuliginosa)

Most notably found in Florida, these warm weather loving roaches can be a frequent offender to those in warm and humid environments.

Smokybrown Cockroach Identification:

Smokybrown roaches look similar to American Cockroaches, although slightly smaller. Generally, they are between 1 inch and 1.5 inches in length.

Smokybrown Cockroach

These types of cockroaches are avid fliers, so they feature long wings that extend past their back legs.

Along with this, they are generally a bit more rounded in shape compared to other species of cockroaches.

SmokyBrown Cockroach Environment:

Most often found in Northern Florida, these roaches are mainly found in warm and humid environments around the Southern States.

These roaches are similar to American Roaches in the sense that they are attracted to water and food sources, so they’ll often be found in your kitchen and around water pipes.

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