American cockroach, brown-banded cockroach, German cockroach
How to Identify:
Cockroach – Identification and Treatments. There are over 4,500 species of cockroach ranging in size from 11-50mm. All cockroaches have oval-shaped bodies, six legs, and two straight antennae. They can be reddish-brown, yellow, or black. Most cockroaches can move very quickly and will fly if startled. Some signs of a cockroach infestation are droppings (which look similar to mouse droppings or black pepper), egg capsules which are reddish-brown and can be 5-40mm long, and a musty odor in areas with large infestations.
Cockroaches prefer warm, damp areas and are capable of living both indoors and outdoors. They enter homes in search of food and can easily pass under doorways and through broken window screens, or may hitch a ride inside of bags or boxes brought into a house. Some species are only active at night and will rarely be seen in the daytime. Cockroaches eat a variety of things: leaves, wood particles, fungi, crumbs/spilled food, pet food, book bindings, wallpaper glue, even things like toothpaste or soap. Some species lay up to 40 eggs and deposit them into protective cases. The eggs hatch into nymphs which have to molt several times before becoming full grown adults.
Are They Dangerous?:
Cockroaches are dirty pests and can spread disease, contaminate food, cause allergic reactions and even asthma. They carry diseases on their body such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, and dysentery, which they spread throughout a household.
How to Stop Them:
Removing clutter, open food sources, sealing cracks and openings to the outdoors, and keeping trash cans clean are all good ways to prevent a roach infestation. Cockroach traps are effective at killing individual roaches but do little to help with large-scale infestations. The same can be said for gel baits and boric acid. Identifying which species of cockroach is causing the infestation is necessary in order to treat it, which is why it is best to contact a pest control professional.