Curious About The Cockroaches In Washington, D.C.?


Summer in Washington, D.C., has us moving around a lot more. Whether camping, hiking, or going to all the beautiful parks in the surrounding area, we probably aren’t spending much time at home. But while we’re away, certain pests might be trying to get into our homes. Cockroaches are well-known pests that invade homes throughout the summer months. At Capitol Pest, we know everything there is to know about pest control in Washington, D.C., and we’re here to satiate your curiosity about the ill-reputed cockroach.

american cockroach in a dark basement

Can All Cockroaches Fly Around?

One of the main features of a cockroach is its large, body-length wings. But we usually picture them scuttling around. That’s because cockroaches are able to fly, but tend not to. Some facts about cockroach flight habits are:

  • Cockroaches tend to glide with their wings, not fly.
  • They will fly more often in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • The predominantly indoor German cockroach never flies. 

Because cockroaches have more body mass than other insects, they don’t like to fly. Birds and other predators would see them more easily, so the ones that were prone to less flight survived and evolved. Their legs are much faster, so they prefer to run. You will, however, see them get to lower surfaces by fluttering their wings.

What Is The Difference Between An American And German Cockroach?

Washington, D.C., has two primary types of cockroaches, the American and German cockroaches. These both invade houses and they can look somewhat similar with their long antennae and spiky jointed legs. Differences between the American and German cockroach are:

  • The American cockroach is bigger, sizing in at 2 inches. German cockroaches are usually less than 1/2 inch long, which makes them better hiders.
  • American cockroaches are lighter in color.
  • American cockroaches use their wings to glide, but German cockroaches don’t fly.
  • American cockroaches like basements, crawl spaces, and drains. German cockroaches, being smaller, like nooks and hidden spots in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • German cockroaches are more common.
  • German cockroach infestations are usually more difficult to deal with.

These pests both look for warmth, moisture, and a variety of foods. But they are distinguishable in appearance, mainly by their size. German cockroaches are much more of a problem, but American cockroach infestations shouldn’t be taken lightly. Consumer cockroach control products won’t usually work for either infestation.

Are Cockroaches And Beetles Related?

Cockroaches and beetles look similar, but they aren’t as close in relation as you would think. They are two different orders, which means they have different categories of family, genus, and species below them. They are quite different. Some beetles vs. cockroach facts include:

  • Cockroaches emerge from eggs as nymphs, while beetles hatch as larvae.
  • Cockroaches are faster and more intent on hiding.
  • Cockroaches have longer antennae.
  • Cockroach legs are spiky and jointed. Beetle legs are usually straight or short with no spikes.

Their similar looks aren’t an indication of their overall relationship. Cockroach habits are also much more troublesome than beetles. If beetles do infest, they do it differently. 

How Can I Get Rid Of Cockroaches In My Home Forever?

Preventing cockroaches from infesting is key. You’ll want to deprive them of moisture, hiding places, and food. However, these pests can be quite tricky.

At Capitol Pest, we are the leading cockroach pest control in Washington, D.C., providing optimal elimination and setting you up for prevention afterward. We also offer proactive pest prevention for year-round peace of mind. Give us a call if you need help securing your home from all nature has to offer.

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