Cockroach Infestation

Cockroach Control

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Cockroach Identification

You walk into your kitchen or bathroom and turn on the light and you see something with a lot of legs scurrying for the nearest dark corner. Was that a cockroach? More importantly, are there more cockroaches around? If you do have cockroaches, does it matter what kind of roach it is?

There are somewhere near 4,000 species of cockroaches around the world. In the United States there are around 70 species. Some of them are small, but some of them are quite large. Most of them crawl and crawl very fast, but there are even a few that can fly.

Below are ways to identify the cockroaches that you might have in your home.

Think you already have an infestation? Call in the cockroach removal and cockroach control professionals at Western Exterminator using our online contact form or by calling us at 800-937-8398.

Cockroach Identification Basics

Cockroaches come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, but they all carry the same characteristics when it comes to their bodies. These include:

  • An average cockroach has a flat body, eyes, mouth parts and six legs. 
  • The eyes have up to a thousand lenses in them and the mouthparts can turn sideways to help them eat. 
  • A cockroach usually has a hard exoskeleton that is really their outer wings. This provides some form of protection for the body underneath. 
  • Their heads often face downward at the point where they connect to the body.

Common Signs of Cockroaches

To determine if you have cockroaches as opposed to some other kind of insect problem, you need to be on the lookout for:

  • Shed skins - like most true insects cockroaches go through several life cycles and when they do they leave behind shed skins.

  • Live roaches - you will likely see them at night and they can be in kitchen cabinets, cupboards, pantries, bathrooms, basements, closets and just about anyplace that's warm and might have food.

  • Dead roaches - often you will find the bodies of dead roaches lying around under cabinets or any of the spots where roaches like to hide.

  • Smear marks - roaches are dirty and they get into dirty things. When they rub against the walls or other objects, they can leave dark smears.

  • Odor - a heavy cockroach infestation will create a very distinctive musty smell.

  • Damage - cockroaches love to eat. They can chew through bags and will be looking for meat, sweets and starches. You might also find them dining on leather or books.

Cockroach Species

There are lots of cockroaches, but if you live in North America then there are some you are more likely to see than others. Here are some of the most common and descriptions of what they look like.

  • German Cockroach - although they are labeled as German, they are not actually from Germany, but may have originated in Africa. They are very small (just a few centimeters), light brown. Their distinctive feature is two long dark stripes running lengthwise down their bodies.

  • American Cockroach - a much larger cockroach, ranging in size from 35 - 40 mm. The are wide, flat and dark brown in color. American cockroaches have very long antennae. They are oval-shaped and will often have a yellowish-colored margin around the edges of their body.

  • Oriental Cockroach - another big one, these roaches between 20 - 25 mm in length. Oriental cockroaches are very dark or black in color and have a hard-shelled body. They love decayed meat and food and can be found in areas where food is prepared. Males have very long wings that cover about two-thirds of their body.

  • Brown-banded Cockroach - one of the smallest cockroaches around, reaching between 10-15 mm in length. They are tan or light brown and get their name from having dark brown bands across their abdomen. They are fond of homes and apartments, less fond of public areas and restaurants.

Guaranteed Service: Total Cockroach Removal

Don't deal with a cockroach infestation a moment longer and call us at 800-937-8398 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.

No matter what types of cockroaches that you have a Western Exterminator Technicians can help you find their hiding places, remove them, and help you find ways to keep them away.