What are cockroaches?

One of the most unwelcome pests in our homes and businesses is the cockroach. These filthy pests live together in large numbers, are difficult to keep out, and even more difficult to get rid of once an infestation has developed. Roaches are nocturnal, hiding during the day and coming out at night to scavenge for food. 

Cockroaches belong to the insect order Blattodea and are closely related to termites, another infamous pest. These pests have wide, oval-shaped, flat bodies and also have long antennae and a shield-shaped section behind their head (pronotum). Below is a brief description of some of our areas most common cockroach species:

american cockroach

American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are reddish-brown and have a pale yellow marking on the pronotum. They have wings but rarely fly. These roaches are regularly referred to as palmetto bugs because they are often found living on palmetto trees. American cockroaches prefer to live outside in hot, humid environments, but often find their way inside while looking for food and suitable living conditions. They are the largest species of home-invading roaches in the U.S., ranging from 1/2 and 2 inches long.

german cockroach

German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are smaller roaches, growing to between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch long. They have tannish-brown bodies with two dark parallel lines between their head and thorax. These roaches also have wings, but rarely fly. German cockroaches live mainly indoors and are significant problem pests inside homes and businesses.

oriental cockroach

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches have elongated, pill-shaped bodies that are shiny and black. Adults grow to about one inch in length. Their undeveloped wings prevent this cockroach species from being able to fly. These roaches are known for being more slow-moving than other species of cockroaches. Oriental cockroaches are not aquatic, but they prefer to live in areas with high moisture levels.

smokey brown cockroach

Smokey Brown Cockroaches

Smokey brown cockroaches are large, flying cockroaches. They are a shiny reddish-brown color with lighter coloring around the edges. Their long, thin wings extend past the abdomen and they are well-known for being strong flyers. Unlike other cockroaches that try to avoid light, smokey brown roaches gravitate toward the light. 

Are cockroaches dangerous?

Yes, cockroaches are considered dangerous pests. Along with creating health hazards for people, they can also damage properties. Cockroaches are scavengers and have a varied diet of both food and non-food items. When living inside our homes, they chew on and stain with excrement upholstered furniture, clothing, paper items, rugs, boxes, etc. 

Having cockroaches in your home is particularly dangerous due to their ability to quickly contaminate food, surfaces, utensils, and dishes with the bacteria, pathogens, and parasites they carry on their bodies and legs; cockroaches frequently spread salmonella and E. coli. They are also known for their ability to trigger allergy symptoms and asthma attacks in those who are susceptible and are a risk factor for children developing asthma. Symptoms may include skin rashes, runny noses, headaches, and nausea.

Why do I have a cockroach problem?

Cockroaches are adaptable creatures and have learned that living with or near people provides them with the things they need to survive — food, water, and safe shelter.

These pests often find a way into homes and businesses on their own while out foraging for food. When outside, roaches live on trees, in gardens, under mulch, or near drains, all things that most yards contain. If food outdoors becomes scarce or the weather becomes unsuitable, they will look to move inside. Common entry points include:

  • Drains

  • Vents

  • Spaces under exterior or sliding glass doors

  • Openings around or in windows

Besides getting inside on their own, cockroaches will move into homes and businesses inside “things.” They often find their way indoors inside grocery bags, deliveries, potted plants, furniture, appliances, and even electronics. Once inside, as long as there is food, warmth, and moisture, cockroaches will thrive and quickly grow their numbers.

Where will I find cockroaches?

Most cockroaches hide within moist, dark crevices when resting during the day. Their flat, oval-shaped bodies allow them to hide in even the tightest of cracks. An interesting fact about roaches is they are thigmotropic—meaning they like the feeling of something solid touching them on all sides of their body.

The most common areas of a home that cockroaches take over include bathrooms, kitchens, pantries, laundry rooms, and basements. Their favorite hiding spots include:

  • Utensil drawers

  • Underneath sink countertops

  • Spaces near drains and sump pumps

  • Behind or in the backs of kitchen cabinets

  • In appliance motors

  • Inside of storage boxes

  • Behind pictures or other wall hangings

  • Cracks in walls or spaces behind wood trim

If cockroaches have moved in, some of the most common signs you'll find include shed exoskeletons, black pepper-like droppings, or noticing a musty odor has developed. 

Also, when disturbed, it's common for these pests to scatter quickly. Homeowners often discover that they have a cockroach problem after turning a light on in the middle of the night and seeing them scurry across floors and counters back to their hiding spots. At the first sign of roaches in your home, it's important to call a professional immediately.

How do I get rid of cockroaches?

Partnering with an experienced professional is the best way to get rid of cockroaches. At White Knight Pest Control, we understand how stressful and frustrating cockroaches are. To combat cockroaches, we will work closely with you and provide the services needed to eliminate the entire infestation. If the pests don’t rest, neither will we!

At White Knight Pest Control, our passion is serving others and keeping pests away from people and their property. We eliminate cockroaches and other pests through our annual pest control and prevention plans. Our guaranteed services help you to maintain a pest-free environment. To begin protecting your property from cockroaches, contact us today!

How can I prevent cockroaches in the future?

At White Knight Pest Control, we'll help you prevent cockroach problems using our regular treatments. In conjunction with our comprehensive cockroach control services, the following prevention tips will help you keep cockroaches out of your Texas, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, or Oklahoma home!

  • Reduce excess moisture: Cut overgrown vegetation away from your home’s exterior to allow the sun to hit the ground and dry it out. Maintain a crushed rock barrier (12-18 inches) between the soil and foundation of your home. Repair leaky hoses and fixtures, and maintain gutters. Inside, reduce humidity level by using dehumidifiers to dry out damp areas of your home. 

  • Eliminate entry points: Inspect your foundation and exterior doors, sealing up any gaps you find. Place door sweeps on exterior doors. Install screens in open windows and doors. Install covers on vents and drains.

  • Remove sources of food: Keep lids on trash cans and compost bins. Keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris. Store food either in containers with airtight lids or the refrigerator. Pick up uneaten pet food each day.

  • Maintain excellent sanitation: Vacuum floors daily. Wipe down counters and tables regularly. Remove trash from your home each day. Regularly sanitize trash cans. Pull out and clean behind appliances. 

  • Inspection: Make sure to inspect packages, deliveries, and used furniture and appliances for signs of cockroaches before bringing them into your home.

Helpful Cockroach Articles

What You Should Know About Dangerous Cockroaches In Houston 

Five Simple Yet Effective Cockroach-Prevention Tips For Denver Property Owners

Fort Worth's Step-By-Step Guide To Cockroach Control

How To Get Rid Of Smokey Brown Cockroaches In Austin

Why You Should Call The Pros About Roaches In Your Dallas Home

Denver's Ultimate German Cockroach Control Guide

How To Get Rid Of Roaches On Your Fort Worth Property


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