Cockroach Identification

What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches are ancient insects that can thrive in a variety of conditions. They are large insects that have a flattened, oval-shaped body, six spine covered legs, and antennae that are the same length or longer than their body. Their color varies by species, but most are black or reddish-brown.

many cockroaches crawling on the floor of a home in washington dc

The most common and problematic species of roach living throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia is the American cockroach and German cockroach.

German Cockroaches
German cockroaches move quickly and scatter when disturbed. They are a smaller species of cockroach and are common invaders in restaurants and homes. You can identify this species by their light brown or tan body and two horizontal black stripes behind their head.

American Cockroaches
These roaches have a unique yellowish figure-8 marking behind their heads. American cockroaches are the largest species of roach to invade structures in the United States.

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Below are some reasons why keeping dangerous cockroaches out of your home or business is important.

  • They spread diseases that make people ill.

  • Cockroaches contaminate dishes, utensils, cabinets, and surfaces with viruses, bacteria, human pathogens, and parasites they carry on their legs and body.

  • The shed skins and excrement they produce trigger allergies and asthma attacks in people - mostly in children and people with weakened immune systems.

  • In the case of a large infestation, cockroaches may bite sleeping people, trying to feed on their dead skin cells.

  • Cockroaches damage personal property, by staining and chewing on things like fabric items and papers.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

There are many ways that cockroaches find their way into homes and businesses. American cockroaches often find their way inside through floor drains and sewer pipes. They are also attracted to outdoor lights and come in through spaces around windows and doors or torn screens.

German cockroaches most often hitchhike their way indoors inside deliveries, grocery bags, and used appliances and furniture. Also, because of their small size, they move between adjacent units in apartment buildings and other multi-unit buildings.

Where will I find cockroaches?

American cockroaches prefer to live outside in warm, moist areas. Under mulch, inside hollow trees, flower beds, and behind tree bark are common hiding spots. While out foraging for food and water, American cockroaches often find their way indoors. Inside, they hide out in dark, damp secluded places - usually in the basement or on the first floor. German roaches prefer to live inside. They choose damp, dark areas of a building like basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms to hide. You’ll find them in kitchen drawers, cabinets under sinks, and areas behind large appliances.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

If you want to solve your property’s cockroach problems once and for all, turn to the local experts at Capitol Pest. Since 1936 we have been using the latest technology and most effective products to guard residential and commercial properties against cockroaches and other pests. At Capitol Pest, we know roaches and we know how to keep them out of Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia homes and businesses using comprehensive cockroach treatments and prevention measures. For more information about our commitment to solving your property’s pest problems, contact us today!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

For homeowners looking to keep cockroaches out of their yards and homes, partner with the experienced professionals at Capitol Pest. With the help of our year-round, affordable pest control services and the following prevention tips, your home will become and stay free of cockroaches!

  • Keep cockroaches out of your home by repairing cracks in the foundation and exterior walls of your house. Place weatherstripping around windows and doors and install door sweeps. Seal spaces around wires, air-conditioners, and other utilities entering your home. Repair tears in screens.

  • Eliminate access to food sources. Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins, rinse out jars and cans before placing them in recycling bins, pick-up uneaten pet food, and keep outdoor eating areas clean. Inside make sure to store food in the refrigerator or containers in air-tight lids. Vacuum floors regularly.

  • Get rid of their access to water and moisture. Keep gutters clear, repair leaky pipes and hoses, and use dehumidifiers to keep basements dry. Also, ventilate crawlspaces.

  • Always inspect packages, deliveries, grocery bags, and used appliances and furniture for cockroaches before bringing them into your home.

Helpful Articles

Keeping Cockroaches Out Of Your Washington D.C. Home For Good

Just How Dangerous Are Cockroaches In Washington D.C.?

What Makes German Cockroaches In Washington D.C. So Bad?

 

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