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Types of Roaches

cockroaches Discovering cockroaches in your home can be a very frightening experience.

Homeowners often require a speedy and efficient control plan to get rid of roaches fast and to prevent them from returning.

The species of roach that has invaded your property will determine the treatment methods used to successfully control the insects. Ehrlich technicians have been trained to identify the most common types of roaches in your local area.  

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Ehrlich can offer you a FREE pest inspection of your home to confirm the presence roaches and customize the best solution plan to eliminate them from your home. As roaches can pose a health threat to you and your family, it is always best to get professional advice about the best treatment methods for your home.

Call Ehrlich NOW at or contact us online for more help with cockroach problems in your home.

Types of Cockroaches Commonly Found in Homes

Not all cockroach species invade homes. Some species remain outdoors and play an important ecological role.

Of the cockroaches that we commonly encounter, the German, American, Oriental, Brown-Banded and Smokybrown cockroaches represent 95% of cockroach concerns in and around buildings.

Depending on where you live, you may also come across several other species including the Australian, Woods, Brown or Asian cockroaches.

Image of German Cockroach [Blatella germanica] | Ehrlich Pest Control German Cockroach (Blatella germanica)

This is the most common invader in the U.S. The German cockroach is a domestic species, which means it is only found indoors in human dwellings or man-made structures. They will eat just about anything, including glue, soap and toothpaste. They will infest anywhere it has access to food, water and shelter.

Like other roaches, they are thigmophilic. This means their bodies need to be in contact with as many surfaces on as many sides as possible, meaning they prefer to hide in very small cracks and crevices near to food sources in your home.

Image of American Cockroach [Periplaneta americana] | Ehrlich Pest Control American Cockroach (Periplaneta Americana)

Also known as the palmetto bug, this is the largest house-infesting cockroach. Once indoors, the American Cockroach will seek out warm, moist and dark places and they are often associated with sewers and steam tunnels and with bathrooms in the home.

Interestingly, American cockroaches have a love for beer and bread soaked in beer acts a great lure for trapping them!

Image of Oriental Cockroach / Waterbug [Blatta orientalis] | Ehrlich Pest Control Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)

This roach is also known by many other names, including waterbug, black beetle and shad roach. Unlike others, the Oriental Cockroach can tolerate colder climates and can even overwinter in protected landscaping. In the home, it is most likely found in basements or crawl spaces.

Image of American Cockroach [Periplaneta americana] | Ehrlich Pest Control Brown-Banded Cockroach (Supella longipalpa)

This is also known as the furniture or T.V. roach and is only associated with human dwellings, like our homes, but can also be found in institutional buildings like hospitals and offices. They prefer warmer and drier conditions than German cockroaches, which means they can be found in rooms other than the kitchen or bathroom.

Inspections for the Brown-Banded Cockroach should include furniture, behind pictures, appliances and higher locations like ceilings, upper corners of walls and cabinets and electrical switches.

Image of Asian Cockroach [Blattella asahinai] | Ehrlich Pest Control Asian Cockroach (Blattella asahinai)

This roach is often mistaken for the German roach, but the main difference here is Asian roaches prefer to stay outdoors and they are very strong flyers.

Asian cockroaches are common throughout Florida and are actively spreading into other southern states, such as Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas.

Wood Cockroach Image Pennsylvania Woods Cockroach

This Wood roach is often encountered in the northern U.S. The males are strong fliers and are attracted to the light. They tend to live in the bark of dead trees and rotting logs and may find their way inside your home (by accident) on firewood.

This particular species of Woods roach plays an important ecological role as they represent 50% of the diet for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

smokybrown_cockroach Smokybrown Cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)

This roach tends to be common in more southern states, but they have been reported as far north as Illinois. They can live around your home and don’t necessarily venture indoors. However, they may seek shelter inside homes after a heavy rainfall.

This species is also called the tree roach because of its tendency to roost on the sides of trees or in tree holes. They tend to feed on plants but will eat about anything else available.

Look for this roach amongst leaf litter, mulch and in gutters, where they may be a build-up of organic debris.

They are also very dependent on water source, so repairing a leaky outdoor faucet can really help to control their numbers.

Australian Cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)

This roach is often mistaken for the American cockroach due to their similar color.

The Australian cockroach is found primarily in the warmer south and is not very tolerant of cold weather. They may be found feeding on plants and living among mulch and soil, or in your greenhouse.

Signs of Roaches in Your Home

As cockroaches are nocturnal creatures, it is unlikely that you will see an actual insect in your home but knowing the signs to look for to confirm their presence will help to initiate the correct treatment plan.

  • Check your kitchen and bathroom - Cockroaches originate from tropical and subtropical regions, which is why many species prefer warm, moist environments. In the home, they may be found in bathrooms, or in a kitchen, where they could be hiding in the back of cupboards, on the underside of a sink, or around the compressor of a refrigerator. The kitchen is an ideal hiding spot as it is the closest to a food source. A good inspection will reveal the most likely hiding spots. Cockroaches are able to crawl into very narrow voids or cracks as they are able to flatten their body, which means they can even be discovered in wall cracks or behind wallpaper.
  • Look out for live insects - You will most likely see cockroaches when turning on the light in the kitchen at night. You may then notice them scurrying across the floor to avoid the light and seek out a sheltered dark spot. Occasionally, you may see a cockroach during the day but this will indicate a large infestation.
  • Egg cases and cast skins – during a thorough inspection these signs are easy to spot. Cockroaches shed their skin 5-8 times as they mature and egg cases are small dark brown oval shaped casings left behind after a recently hatched cockroach.
  • Cockroach Droppings – the feces of small roaches look like ground coffee or ground black pepper. Larger roaches leave behind black or brown droppings, which are cylindrical in shape.
  • Cockroach-specific Odor – established cockroach infestations produce an unpleasant, oily, musty smell, which can get into food left out in the open air.
  • Damage - cockroaches will attack organic goods including leather and book bindings

Contact Ehrlich for Help with Roach Problems

Ehrlich can also offer you preventative measures as part of our Year Round Protection Plan to help guard your home against roaches all year round.

Do You Have More Roach Questions? 

Call Ehrlich today at to learn more about the different types of roaches or to ask any questions about how to get rid of roaches in your home.

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