Home > Pest Library > Cockroaches

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What are cockroaches?

Cockroaches can be identified by their flattened, oval-shaped bodies, six legs that are covered in spines, and long antennae that are about the same length as their bodies. They are primitive insects and their ability to quickly adapt to any environment allows cockroaches to thrive in almost any indoor or outdoor environment. Outside, cockroaches are beneficial to nature and help to recycle decaying plants. However, when they find their way into our homes and commercial properties, cockroaches quickly turn from helpful to harmful. They are major pests in homes, hospitals, food processing facilities, restaurants, and more. The most common cockroaches we see in Colorado are the American, Oriental and German cockroaches.

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American cockroaches are the largest homeinfesting cockroaches throughout the United States. Adults grow to between 28mm to 43mm long and their bodies are reddish-brown in color with a yellowish pattern on their backs that resembles a figure-8. While they sometimes move inside to feed and nest, American cockroaches prefer to live outside. They are among the fastest running insects in the world, travelling up to 50 body lengths per second, and able to fly short distances. They are most likely to be found in and around restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, home kitchens, and other food preparation areas. Cockroaches tend to prefer areas that are warm and humid. Like most indoor pests, they are looking for sources of food and water as well as a safe place to rest and reproduce.

Oriental cockroaches are commonly referred to as “water bugs” because they prefer to live in or near extremely damp conditions. They are very dark brown, almost black, with a greasy sheen. They range in size from 25mm to 32mm long. Females are wingless and although males do have wings, they can't fly. They prefer the outside, underneath logs, leaves, and mulch, or in sewers and storm drains. However, if they make it inside a home or building, they are most likely to be found near drains, leaky water pipes, under refrigerators, sinks, washing machines, and floors.

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German cockroaches are identified by the dark, parallel stripes located on their backs behind their heads. Their bodies are light brown to tan in color and are 13mm to 16mm long. They prefer to live indoors and are even capable of flying, although they rarely do. They will typically be found in and around appliances, bathrooms, under sinks, dishwashers, medicine cabinets, mop closets, false ceilings, and anywhere food may be kept overnight such as storage closets and pantries. They are omnivorous and scavengers, as such they will feed on almost anything available. However, they do prefer sugary foods, grease, starch, and meats. In heavily infested buildings, they may resort to eating glue, packaging materials, biting humans, and even turning cannibalistic. Their fast development of enables them to populate indoor areas quickly, resulting in infestations which become difficult to control.

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Cockroaches are dangerous pests because they live and travel through less-than-sanitary environments, picking up bacteria, human pathogens, and parasites as they move. When they find their way inside your home or business, they contaminate food and surfaces with germs that cause dysentery, gastroenteritis, E. coli, and salmonella. Their shed skins and feces are known to trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in many people, especially in young children, and they emit a strong, unpleasant, musty odor.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

A cockroach infestation can happen in any home or commercial property. They can find their way inside through openings around pipes, windows, and doors, as well as through drains and vents. Cockroaches can also be accidentally introduced in deliveries or inside of used appliances and furniture. They feed on a variety of food and non-food items and can thrive in almost any home or business. Cockroaches are prolific breeders, and depending on the species, a small infestation can quickly turn into a large one.

Where will I find cockroaches?

Cockroaches are found living in a variety of places. German cockroaches prefer to live inside in warm, humid environments like bathrooms and kitchens. American and Oriental cockroaches are found living both outside and inside. American cockroaches living outside are found in flower beds, underneath mulch, on trees, and in sewers. Inside, they like to live in warm, dry areas and can be found living around large appliances, heating vents, and ducts. Oriental cockroaches live in and around piles of garbage and other decaying materials. Inside, they are found in damp, cool locations, such as in basements, crawl spaces, and bathrooms.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

The best way to eliminate cockroaches in your home or business is to partner with a local pest control expert. At Affordable Pest Control, we are committed to providing each of our customers with superior pest control services to meet their individual needs. Our experienced and knowledgeable technicians always perform the most advanced, effective services. To learn more about working together to rid your home or business of cockroaches and other household pests, contact Affordable Pest Control today!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

The following tips can help you to protect your home or business from becoming overrun with bed cockroaches:

  • Regularly wash dishes, wipe down counters and tables, vacuum floors, and regularly remove trash from your home or business.
  • Seal up openings in the exterior walls, foundation, and roofline of your property.
  • Place weather stripping around doors and windows.
  • Pick-up any leftover pet food between feedings.
  • Store food inside the refrigerator or air-tight containers.
  • Keep tight-fitting or locking lids on outdoor trash cans and compost bins.
  • Place a barrier of stone or crushed rock between any mulch and the foundation of your home or business.
  • Use dehumidifiers, fix leaky pipes, and maintain downspouts and gutters to reduce moisture levels in and around your property.

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