Roaches can be more than just a nuisance; they can also pose health risks as they carry various pathogens. In order to maintain a clean and healthy living environment, it’s essential to implement strategies to get rid of these pests. One of the most effective methods of controlling roaches is by denying them access to the three things they need to survive: food, water, and shelter.
There are numerous ways to keep your home roach-free, such as maintaining proper sanitation and using home remedies like boric acid mixed with powdered sugar or flour to eliminate them. In addition, professional treatments might be necessary for severe infestations. Keep in mind, prevention is always the best approach to keep these unwelcome guests out of your living space.
Some tips for roach prevention include:
- Regularly cleaning and vacuuming your living spaces
- Sealing gaps, cracks, and crevices with caulk
- Keeping food properly stored and your kitchen clean
- Fixing plumbing leaks to eliminate sources of water
Identify Roach Species
When dealing with a roach infestation, it’s essential to identify the specific roach species you’re dealing with. This will help you choose the most effective pest control methods. Common domestic roach species include German Cockroaches, American Cockroaches, and Brown-Banded Cockroaches.
- Most common in the United States
- Size: 12 to 17 mm (1/2 to 5/8 inch) long
- Color: Tan to light brown
- Identifying marks: Two dark brown stripes on the body region (pronotal shield) just behind the head
German Cockroaches reproduce quickly, with females producing four to eight egg capsules during their lifetime, each containing about 30 to 48 eggs. These roaches are commonly found in residential areas and prefer warm, humid environments, making them a challenge to control in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Second most common household roach in the United States
- Size: 1.5 inches long on average
- Color: Reddish-brown
- Identifying marks: Yellow band behind the head
The American Cockroach prefers warm, damp environments such as basements, sewer systems or outdoors in piles of leaves and wood. They are peridomestic roaches, meaning they can easily move between indoor and outdoor environments.
- Less common than German or American roaches
- Size: 10 to 14 mm (3/8 to 1/2 inch) long
- Color: Light brown to brown
- Identifying marks: Two lighter bands across their wings
Unlike the previously mentioned species, Brown-Banded Cockroaches prefer drier environments and are often found higher up in buildings, such as in cabinets, closets, or near the ceiling.
|Roach Species||Size||Color||Identifying Marks||Habitat|
|German Cockroaches||1/2 to 5/8 inch||Tan to light brown||Two dark brown stripes on the body behind the head||Warm, humid environments|
|American Cockroaches||1.5 inches||Reddish-brown||Yellow band behind the head||Warm, damp environments|
|Brown-Banded Roaches||3/8 to 1/2 inch||Light brown to brown||Two lighter bands across the wings||Dry, high-up locations|
Keep in mind that knowing what type of roach you’re dealing with can help ensure that you’re using the right methods and strategies to eliminate them from your home successfully.
Prevention and Exclusion
Sealing Entry Points and Crevices
To keep roaches from entering your home, it’s crucial to seal all entry points and crevices. Use caulk or other sealants to close gaps around doors, windows, and utility lines.
Examples of common entry points:
- Cracks in the walls
- Gaps around doors and windows
- Holes around plumbing and electrical lines
Addressing Plumbing Leaks
Plumbing leaks should be addressed immediately since they can attract roaches, who prefer damp and humid environments. Repair any leaking faucets or pipes and ensure you’re maintaining good drainage in your home.
Here are some ways to detect plumbing leaks:
- Check for signs of dampness near plumbing fixtures
- Monitor your water bill for unusual spikes
Maintaining a Clean Home
Keeping a clean and tidy home is essential to prevent roaches. Vacuum regularly and avoid leaving dirty dishes or food out, as these can attract pests.
Simple tips to maintain a clean home:
- Wipe down surfaces after cooking
- Dispose garbage promptly
- Store food in sealed containers
Especially important for households with children and pets:
- Clean up spilled food and drinks immediately
- Secure pet food in sealed containers
It’s also crucial to take care of your home’s exterior, such as properly maintaining the landscaping.
- Trim overgrown plants near your home
- Remove debris and garbage from your yard
By following these simple prevention and exclusion steps, you can decrease the chances of a roach infestation in your home.
Effective Roach Control Methods
Baits and Traps
Baits are a highly effective method for controlling roaches, particularly for German cockroach species. Some popular bait options include:
- Gel bait: Easy to apply in cracks and crevices where roaches hide.
- Bait stations: Enclosed, safer for children and pets.
Traps are also helpful in controlling infestations and monitoring pest activity, such as:
- Glue strips: Capture roaches walking on them.
- Sticky traps: Attract roaches with pheromones or food.
Insecticides and Home Remedies
Insecticides can be useful for immediate roach control but should be used responsibly:
- Fast-acting, kills on contact.
- Covers large areas quickly.
- Can be toxic, especially around children and pets.
- Requires repeated applications.
Home remedies may be less toxic and inexpensive alternatives, such as:
- Boric acid: Low toxicity, effective when ingested by roaches.
- Diatomaceous earth: A natural, non-toxic powder that damages the roach’s exoskeleton.
- Essential oils: Natural repellants (e.g., peppermint, lavender) may deter roaches but have limited effect on established infestations.
Seeking Professional Help
For severe or persistent infestations, it may be necessary to seek professional help from exterminators. Exterminators can:
- Identify specific roach species, tailoring treatments accordingly.
- Employ more potent, professional-grade chemicals.
- Offer guarantees or follow-up treatments, ensuring effective results.
|Baits & Traps||High||Low||Moderate|
Consider which method best suits your situation, and always practice good sanitation and exclusion practices to keep roaches at bay.
Natural Remedies and Non-Toxic Solutions
- Boric Acid: A powder that can be applied to areas where roaches enter and leave, such as along baseboards and electrical outlets. It sticks to roaches’ bodies and poisons them when they try to lick it off1.
Pros of boric acid:
- Non-toxic to humans and pets in small amounts
- Inexpensive and readily available
Cons of boric acid:
Less effective in damp or humid environments
Can cause skin and eye irritation if mishandled
Inorganic Dusting Powder: Silica gel is another option, and can be used in conjunction with boric acid1.
- Citrus: Roaches are repelled by the smell of citrus fruits. You can create a simple repellent spray by combining water and lemon or orange peels.
- Simply mix peels from desired citrus fruits with water
- Spray the mixture around potential entry points and hiding spots in your home
Comparison of Household Products and Plant-Based Repellents:
|Household Products||Plant-Based Repellents|
|Effectiveness||Moderate to High||Low to Moderate|
Keep in mind that roaches thrive on food, water, and shelter, so eliminate these necessities for long-term control. Remember to:
- Store all food, pet food, and garbage in bug-proof containers
- Clean up food spills and crumbs
- Remove hiding spots by decluttering and vacuuming regularly
Safety Tips and Considerations
Protecting Children and Pets
- Keep food and water covered: Prevent children and pets from consuming contaminated food or water by storing them in sealed containers.
- Store chemicals out of reach: Ensure all pesticides and chemicals are stored in locked cabinets.
- Watch out for toxic solutions: Using natural remedies like baking soda can be a safer option around children and pets.
Proper Use of Chemicals
- Follow instructions carefully: Read and adhere to the product’s label to ensure proper usage.
- Ventilate the area: Open windows and doors to provide enough air circulation while applying chemicals.
- Wear protective gear: Wear gloves and masks to minimize exposure to harmful substances.
Example: If you opt for chemical treatments, you may choose between two common products:
|Roach spray||Quick effect, easy application||Can be toxic to humans and animals, leaves residue|
|Roach bait||Discreet, lures roaches to the poison||May take longer to see results, can still be harmful to pets if ingested|
Remember to prioritize safety when trying to get rid of roaches in your home.
Dealing with Severe Infestations
Identifying the Source
A severe cockroach infestation is not only a nuisance but can also threaten your health. To ensure the fastest ways to get rid of roaches, first, identify the source. Typically, these pests seek refuge in areas with access to food, water, and shelter. For example:
- Kitchen: Crumbs, spills, and garbage
- Bathroom: Leaking pipes, standing water
- Living areas: Clutter, dust, and electronics
Roaches love to hide in electronics and cluttered environments. Keep your living space tidy and inspect your home for possible entry points.
Contacting an Exterminator
When the situation gets out of hand, it’s wise to call in professional exterminators who will help with proper pest control. Here’s a quick comparison of DIY methods and hiring an exterminator:
|Cost||Low||High (but one-time)|
|Effectiveness||Varies with method||Guaranteed success|
|Health risks||Possible (due to chemical exposure)||Minimal (trained professionals)|
Pros of hiring an exterminator:
- Expert knowledge and experience dealing with cockroach infestations
- Customized treatment plan
- Faster results and long-term solutions
Cons of hiring an exterminator:
- Higher initial cost
- Inconvenience of scheduling appointments and vacating house during treatment
Keep in mind that severe infestations may require multiple treatments, especially when roaches have established a foothold in your electronics, shelter, and other areas. Working with a professional exterminator ensures the best results and long-term control over the infestation.
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Giant Cockroach from Costa Rica
Location: Golfito, Costa Rica
May 6, 2015 7:42 am
Found this rustling in our bathroom last night. It was about 4-5 inches long. It didn’t move fast. We live in Golfito, Costa Rica. We do get our fair share of regular ol’ cockroaches but have never seen one like this. I posted this on FaceBook and people have identified as a Giant Cockroach – yes, it was.
Any other thoughts?
We found a matching image on Junglewalk called a Costa Rica Wood Cockroach, but no scientific name. Same scenario with an image on PBase. We found it identified as Archimandrita tessellata on Travel Images. It is called a Peppered Roach or Giant Cockroach on UniProt.
Thank you WTB. I had sent another request for identification months ago. I never received a response. I realize you receive many requests, therefore, I thank you for this one.
I will share it with the other Golfito bug loves.
Letter 2 – Giant Leaf Cockroach from Belize
Location: Belmopan, Belize
April 30, 2011 10:26 am
Hi! I saw this large (over 3”, probably closer to 4”) bug on my windowsill at night. He had really long antennae that don’t show up well in the picture (but he does have a cute little face, doesn’t he?) He was quite active, so I presume he is nocturnal. He was pretty spectacular! Any ideas what he is? I thought perhaps a cicada, because it’s that time of year. Thanks for any assistance! You folks are great!
What a magnificent Cockroach you have encountered. Of the thousands of species of Cockroaches in the world, very few are known to infest human dwellings, and this is definitely a benign species. We hope to be able to provide a species identification with some additional research.
Hi Daniel and Cindy:
I believe this is a Peppered Cockroach (also Giant Peruvian or Giant Leaf Cockroach), Archimandrita tesselata. It is a forest dwelling species throughout Central and South America. They are able to fly but apparently seldom do so, preferring instead to hide among the leaf litter where they are quite well camouflaged. They are popular among roach breeders because of their impressive size, good looks and ease of care, so there is actually quite a lot of information available on the internet. Regards. Karl
Wow – that’s a cockroach? They sure grow ’em big down here in Belize! Ah well, he seemed quite pleasant and didn’t bother me, so I’m happy to report that he’s still motoring merrily around somewhere. I wish I’d been able to get a ruler next to him in the picture because he was quite large, but I didn’t really want to open the screen on the off-chance that he might fly in. Perhaps if he wanders back one evening, I’ll give it a try.
Thanks so much for the identification! We have so many amazing bugs down here and I’m trying to learn, but darn it, they just don’t come with name tags.
Thanks again so much for your time!
Letter 3 – Green Banana Cockroach: Imported from Costa Rica
Unknown bug from Costa Rica
June 4, 2009
This bug was found in a box of bananas from Costa Rica! Any information would be great!
Pa. from Costa Rica
Dear K. Yoder,
This is a Green Banana Cockroach, Panchlora nivea. The species is native to Central America and Cuba, and it has become established in Florida and Texas. According to BugGuide: “acitve at night and may be attracted to artificial light; does not breed indoorspresumably found on bananas in its native Cuba; two early records from Mississippi are considered to be adventive introductions along with shipments of bananaspopular as a pet ($25.00 a doz.) here due to its bright green color and because it is not an invasive indoor species” Since it is not invasive, you need not worry about it becoming established in Pennsylvania where the climate is too harsh for this tropical species.
Letter 4 – Green Banana Cockroach in Canada
Subject: Big green bug
Geographic location of the bug: Northern Ontario Canada
Time: 09:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I found this bug in my house a week ago. It was large, shaped like a big almond. It was a beautiful light green colour with delicate translucent wings. The strange part is that it’s still winter here (snow on the ground) and I have never seen a bug like this, even in the summer. What was this doing in my house? What is it? Where did it come from? I put him outside and hoped for the best. Any ideas??
How you want your letter signed: Confused in Canada
Dear Confused in Canada,
We are also confused. We are quite certain that this is a Green Banana Cockroach, Panchlora nivea, but according to BugGuide data, the most northern North American sighting is in Virginia. Your sighting might be explained by this BugGuide information: “nocturnal, comes to lights; does not breed indoors; popular as a pet.” BugGuide make of point of stating: “rarely found indoors and not normally considered a pest.” Perhaps your individual arrived in the country with a banana shipment, or perhaps it escaped from a neighbor who keeps insect pets.
Thank you so very much for your reply! It was indeed the same as the Green Banana Cockroach pics you sent and that I have subsequently looked up! I feel terrible it died an unnatural death, no doubt, in the snow outside. If I had known, it would still be safe and warm, living as a pet with us! I had, indeed, just purchased several bunches of bananas earlier that day. He must have had quite the journey from the tropics to our log cabin in the woods!
If nothing else, it’s given us quite an interesting tale to tell! Without your identification, I doubt I ever would have found it on my own since I was NOT looking at tropical species here in Canada! It was lovely.
Letter 5 – Harlequin Cockroach from Mexico
Subject: What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug: Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico – Semi desertic weather
Time: 12:03 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi, I found this dead bug inside my house, to me, looks like a cockroach or related but I am no expert at all, can you identify? Thanks
How you want your letter signed: Victor
This is a Cockroach, and it does not look to us like a species that infests homes. We found a matching image on Angelfire on a page devoted to Cockroaches kept as pets where it is identified as a Harlequin Cockroach, Neostylopyga rhombifolia, and the following information is provided: “The Harlequin roach is certainly among the neatest looking of the pet roaches and is a very quick moving medium sized species. Nymphs start out life as a plain tan color but slowly molt to become very incredible looking adults. Harlequin roaches easily scale smooth surfaces and like most other glass climbers can be controlled by petroleum jelly. This is an egg laying species and fertility is sometimes a problem. Cultures either boom or bust so it is easy to rear a lot of specimens and easy for the culture to wipe out.” The site also notes it is found in “Asia, Mexico, AZ (U.S.A.)” but the country of origin is not indicated. BugGuide has no images, but does state “Circumtropical, of Asian origin.” GotRoaches states: “The Harlequin Roach (Neostylopyga Rhombifolia) originated in Indo-Malaysia, found is the northern part of Australia is now well established in various parts of the Western Hemisphere, including Mexico where it also migrated northward, near the Arizona border, few adults were also found in South California.”
Letter 6 – Harlequin Cockroach from Mexico
Subject: Mexican Beetle
Location: San Juan Cosala, Jalisco, MX
March 8, 2014 10:34 am
I took this photo of this beautiful bug at a restaurant in San Juan Cosala, Jalisco, Mexico in February 2014. It was a little less than 1 inch long. Do you have any idea what it is? My internet search has come up empty.
This is a Cockroach, but it does not look at one of the species that infests homes. We believe it is a Harlequin Cockroach, Neostylopyga rhombifolia, and according to Allpet Roaches, it is found in Asia, Mexico and Arizona. Allpet Roaches states: “The Harlequin roach is certainly among the neatest looking of the pet roaches and is a very quick moving medium sized species. Nymphs start out life as a plain tan color but slowly molt to become very incredible looking adults. Harlequin roaches easily scale smooth surfaces and like most other glass climbers can be controlled by petroleum jelly. Also, this roach is an egg laying species.”
Thank you SO much. Who knew a cockroach could be so beautiful?
I love bugs!
Many thanks again,
Letter 7 – Immature Wood Cockroach
What is this?
I found this crawling toward my 7 month baby…please please please tell me I don’t have cockroaches!! Thanks!
The good news is that Cockroaches will not attack your baby, but this is a Cockroach. Whether or not you have Cockroaches in the plural is yet to be determined. As this is an immature Cockroach, indications are there might be siblings, however, often a solitary Roach hitches a ride home from the laundermat or grocery store and its appearance is not an indication of an infestation.
Letter 8 – Immature Cockroach
Subject: Bug identification
Location: Denver, Colorado
December 8, 2014 1:18 am
Please help I have found this bug like one a day & mostly in my kitchen. I thought weevil or silverfish of somesort but I am not sure. I’ve never seen them before till just recently.
This is an immature Cockroach, and if they have just begun appearing in your home, we would speculate they were recently introduced with groceries, laundry or some other load that you returned home transporting.
Letter 9 – Immature Cockroach from Australia may be Small Ellipsidion
Subject: Pretty Cockroach
Location: perth region western australia
November 23, 2014 6:34 am
I know there are a lot of people out there that would argue there is no such thing as a “pretty” cockroach, but I have the photographic evidence! The specimen in question was discovered sheltering from the rain in a curled Mulberry tree leaf…. smart as well as pretty! Although the photograph is obviously magnified, it was actually only 5mm long at the most. I have searched through the internet in vain trying to identify it and finally figured if anyone can identify it for me, it would be you guys! Please see the attached photographs and thank you for your time.
This really is a pretty immature Cockroach. Most people don’t realize that only a few species of Cockroaches infest homes, and the vast majority of Cockroaches are benign creatures, and that many of them are quite attractive. We believe we have correctly identified your immature Cockroach on the Brisbane Insect website as Ellipsidion humerale, commonly called the Small Ellipsidion.
Thanks so much for your speedy reply.
It’s annoying that people have no appreciation for bugs and spiders and have such an irrational fear of them. They can’t seem to see the bugs have far more to fear from us than we from them… if we were bug sized that might well be a different story of course! lol
Thanks again. Your reply and identification was much appreciated.
Letter 10 – Green Banana Cockroach
bunches of bugs & stuff!
Hi there, My name is Rachel and I live in Central Florida. Im always running into bugs but I often find myself wondering what they are exactly. All these may be very common, but I don’t know. Id be cool to find out! If it’s too many to ask about at one time, let me know! Thanks for your time!
While your photos of various caterpillars, robber flies and muskmares are very nice, we are truly excited by your photo of a Green Banana Cockroach, Panchlora nivea, also known as a Cuban Cockroach. This is an outdoor species that does not infest homes and is not considered a pest. You can read more about it on BugGuide. We frown on getting numerous images of different species in one email as it makes it difficult for us to post multiple species in different categories to our site.
Letter 11 – Green Banana Cockroach
Subject: What is this?!?
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
May 2, 2013 10:46 pm
Please tell me what this bug is. It is bluish green with white wings. I have never seen a bug like this before. I really can’t describe it further and hope that the pictures will be enough to go on.
Thank you for this website and I hope you guys are able to answer my submission.
This sure looks like a Green Banana Cockroach or Cuban Cockroach, Panchlora nivea, to us. BugGuide notes: “along gulf coast from Florida to central Texas; most common in Florida native to Cuba.” You don’t need to worry about an infestation because BugGuide also states: “acitve at night and may be attracted to artificial light; does not breed indoors presumably found on bananas in its native Cuba; two early records from Mississippi are considered to be adventive introductions along with shipments of bananas popular as a pet ($25.00 a doz.) here due to its bright green color and because it is not an invasive indoor species.”
Letter 12 – Green Banana Cockroach
Subject: Green Cockroach
Geographic location of the bug: Tarpon Springs Florida
Time: 05:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Saw two of these guys hanging around my compost pile. About an inch long and they fly. Didn’t gross me out like the brown ones present at the time. Is this the Panchlora Nivea? Sorry for the not great photo but he was moving pretty fast.
How you want your letter signed: philm
Letter 13 – Green Cockroach from Costa Rica
Unknown bug from Costa Rica
Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 7:16 AM
This bug was found in a box of bananas from Costa Rica! Any information would be great!
Pa. from Costa Rica
This is a Green Cockroach, but we are not certain of the species. Not all Cockroaches are invasive pests in the home. Most species of Cockroaches are benign creatures that would much rather live outdoors than inside a house. These tropical green Cockroaches are not invasive. We are preparing you letter and image to post live to our site next Thursday at noon. We want our site to updated daily in our absence and pre-programming is a wonderful way to allow for us to take a real holiday yet keep the site current. Sadly, we will not be answering any new mail until our return next weekend.
Letter 14 – Immature Brown Banded Cockroach
Subject: Nymph German Roach?
Geographic location of the bug: Bathroom
Time: 11:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Saw this in the bathroom on several occasions randomly.
Looks like a baby roach to me.
How you want your letter signed: alex
This is definitely an immature Cockroach, but based on this BugGuide image, we are not convinced it is a German Cockroach nymph. Based on images posted to Featured Creatures, we believe it is an immature Brown Banded Cockroach, Supella longipalpa. That site states: “Domestic cockroaches such as the German cockroach and brown-banded cockroach are closely associated with humans and have the potential to adversely affect human health. According to Kramer and Brenner (2009), cockroaches are recognized as one of the most important sources of allergens, with about half of asthmatics allergic to cockroaches. Allergens from cockroaches include cast skins and excrement. Some symptoms of cockroach-induced allergies include sneezing, skin reactions, and eye irritation (Wirtz 1980).” As an aside, we consider the “Geographic location of the bug” to mean a city, state, or country, not a room in a house like a bathroom, which does not in any way clarify where the sighting occurred. Many insects have limited geographic ranges, and knowing exactly where the sighting occurred is often a great assistance in making an identification.
And location is Southeastern PA.
Letter 15 – Immature Cockroach
As summer approaches I keep coming across these tiny guests in my apartment. Just one at a time, every now and then and I don’t seem to find any when I turn my furniture upside down. What species is it? How do I fight them?
Sorry to inform you that you have immature cockroaches. You must have breeders somewhere. You might want to get professional help before you have a real infestation.
Letter 16 – Immature Cockroach
Help!! Bug invasion
I don’t know what kind of bug has invaded my home!! I saw a dead one of these in my basement a few weeks ago.. We just found another one in the upstairs bathroom yesterday.. so my husband sprayed the basment with a household bug spray and I found this one late that night on the wall in my livingroom…. it tried to hide behind my picture frame. Do I have a serious problem here???
The seriousness of the problem is relative. What you do have is an immature cockroach.
Letter 17 – Immature Cockroach
Subject: Small bug found inside
Location: Tulsa, OK
December 28, 2012 1:21 am
We live in Tulsa, OK and today I found this small bug. His body was perhaps 1/4” long. And no, we do not have a live Xmas tree.
Thanks for your help identifying this visitor!
Signature: Trixie in Tulsa
Dear Trixie in Tulsa,
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have an immature Cockroach. Since it is not mature, you do not have to worry about it reproducing, however, it may have siblings or parents also living in your home. It appears from your second photo that the Cockroach is contemplating a dash into the kitchen where there is food stored, no doubt.
We have been fighting the cockroaches for months thanks to some trashy neighbors, but this one looks different than the others. Also, we haven’t seen any roaches for several weeks so we were sort of hoping we were finished with them!
Letter 18 – Immature Cockroach
Subject: What kind of bug Is this?
December 4, 2016 7:23 pm
I keep finding this bug in my bathroom. Do you know what kind of bug it is??
This is a Cockroach nymph, and it sounds like you have an infestation.
Letter 19 – Immature Cockroach
Subject: Bug Identification
Geographic location of the bug: Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Time: 07:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello,
I’ve been seeing those bugs around my bedroom for a few months, but haven’t yet managed to identify them through internet swatches searches.
The best I could do regarding taking a photo is the one attached (+ zoomed in / enhanced version), which I took from distance with my phone.
I would really appreciate your help. Thank you very much, in advance.
How you want your letter signed: Anonymous
This is an immature Cockroach.
Letter 20 – Immature Cockroach Parts
Subject: Bug ID_Beetle perhaps?
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
October 16, 2012 5:49 pm
This summer I have had somewhat of an infestation of these bugs outside my house. If I set a box outside on the ground, they would infest the box. Have not seen many recently, but keep seeing them occasionally skittering across my second floor kitchen on the counter. Now I need to find out what they are, what they eat and why they are coming indoors. This is one I whacked on my counter. Fortunately, I did not totally smash it. Thank you in advance for your help.
Signature: K. D.
Thank you so very much for your prompt response. I think that your website is fantastic. That is why I had to send you a pic for ID. It was taking me way to long. I was only on the 24th page of beetles after two hours of looking. Due to my seriously inquisitive ADD nature, I just had to keep stopping and reading about every interesting pic. At the rate I was going, I was never going to ID this critter…….lol. I now have your site bookmarked for further pleasure reading. Great work you have done!
Now that I have identified it further as the Phyllodromica trivittata (courtsy of your website), I do not think I need to take any further eradication action at this time. From all I have read so far, they do not seem to really be a household pest. sightings in the house have been sporadic. If that changes in the future though, I will go after them. I will see how it goes next summer. I hope you have a great day!
Thanks for the followup. Your letter was one of our attempts to respond to as many requests as possible, hence the short ID. We are happy you learned the identity of your immature Cockroach on our site and that you have decided not to take any eradication measures, but we are most happy to hear that you have found our archives interesting. Your response really made our morning and we sifted through the trash to fine your original request so that we could make a posting. Here is what BugGuide states about this species: “Reports of high abundance both indoors and outdoors make it likely that reproduction is occurring outdoors with subsequent invasion of nearby structures. As this species adapts to this new environment, studies will need to be conducted to confirm this.” BugGuide continues with: “Known from dry habitats around the Mediterranean. It has been recorded from Morocco; Algeria; Spain; Italy (Sardinia Island); Italy (Sicily); Libya; and Israel. Given that it has not been recorded as being a pest in buildings in those countries (as far as I’m aware) it is unlikely to invade buildings in the USA. Comment by George Beccaloni (The Natural History Museum, London, UK).” As a note, we always tend to worry about introduced species that thrive in a new environment as they can displace native species and reduce species diversity once they become established.
Update: November 2, 2012
Here is a good link to send out for this bug to people in California. Some great pics. Invasive species are a good argument against global commerce.
Volume 25 (2011) (10MB); covering the years 2008-2009 Page 7
Letter 21 – Immature Cockroach
new pic of bug
hey thanks for your help i found a dead bug after spraying and got a couple of better pics of it this one is one of the little ones i had mentioned i hope these pics are better in helping you tell me what they are like i said before i have only found five now and i have sprayed three times. thanks for all your help
Your new photo definitely is of an immature cockroach. It looks to be a German Cockroach, Blattella germanica, which is an insidious pest. It is recognized by the two darker longitudinal stripes on the head shield. Better find the breeders as well or you might quickly be overrun.
Letter 22 – Immature Roach
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me this is NOT a 1-inch long roach I found in the basement of my new house in North Carolina…
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a roach, but there is good news. It is immature and not breeding yet, and also it is not a German Cockroach, the worst infesters.
Letter 23 – How did a Magagascar Hissing Cockroach get under the bed???
What is this thing?
Location: Northern Colorado
October 30, 2011 11:29 am
Last week cleaning out underneath our kids bed we found this bug. My wife threw it outside in the snow and it died pretty quick. Then she took pictures. I looked it up on the internet and the only match I found was a Hissing Madagascar Cockroach. Here is my issue. We have never had one as a pet and have lived in this house for 7 years. The people before us have lived here for 30 years. Our friend saw this bug 2 weeks earlier, other than that we haven’t seen anything like this. How did it get into our house and is it what I found on the internet?
Signature: Freaked Out In Colorado
Dear Freaked Out In Colorado,
We agree that this is a Cockroach, and we cannot immediately disregard that it is a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. We believe it may be a Brown Hooded Cockroach or Wingless Wood Roach, Cryptocercus punctulatus, but we are waiting to confirm that identification with Eric Eaton. The Brown Hooded Cockroach is the closest match we were able to locate on BugGuide, however, the range is listed as: “Disjuct distribution in North America, occuring in mountainous areas of Oregon and northern California, as well as the Appalachian mountains in the eastern U.S.” Is your location mountainous, or high altitude? If our identification is correct, this is not a species of Cockroach that infests homes. According to BugGuide: “This species feeds on rotting logs, and is not a house pest like many other roaches, in fact it might be considered an important recycler of nutrients in decomposing wood.” Insects are amazingly adept at entering homes through small cracks in the foundation as well as via windows and doors, even if they are not species that find the human comforts to their liking.
I do live at high elevations. We are located in Fort Collins right next to the mountains. The roach measured between 50 to 60mm. Last thing, my wife said it never hissed while she was trying to get it.
Update from Eric Eaton
October 30, 2011
I agree this is most likely a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. The Brown Hooded Roach looks different and does not occur in Colorado.
Update: October 31, 2011
If Eric Eaton is correct, the question now becomes how did a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach get under the bed. Here is what we know: Boys like bugs. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are available in pet stores and they reproduce well in captivity. Children play jokes on one another. We would not discount that either the child living in the home or a visiting friend either intentionally or accidentally released a domesticated Madagascar Hissing Cockroach in the bedroom.
So what are the odds that there are more in my house? By the way thanks for the help.
We strongly doubt that they are reproducing in your home.
Letter 24 – Hoax: Manmade Cockroach Submitted for Identification
Subject: Las Vegas Bug
Location: North Las Vegas
June 17, 2012 8:17 pm
I found this in my backyard. My dogs mistook it for a wood chip. What is it?
This is surely an unusual looking beetle, and we are not even certain how to classify it. It has many characteristics of a Long Horned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, but the body more closely resembles that of a Metallic Borer Beetle in the family Buprestidae. We are going to post this as unidentified and continue to search for its identity though we suspect the dog might be right. We wish your photo had more details.
Eric Eaton responds with a correction
LOL! That is most definitely a cockroach 🙂
Wood or ceramic?
Letter 25 – Immature Cockroach from Hawaii
Unidentified Bathroom Bug
February 16, 2010
I found this critter in my second floor bathroom. It has what I thought was a distinctive white-brown-white, H shaped marking on its backside that I thought would make it easy for me to identify. I have searched but I still have no idea what it is. I tried to get better photos, but the ones I have are a bit blurry because he kept trying to escape. Any info would be appreciated.
Bob in HI
This is an immature Cockroach, though we are not certain if it is a species that infests homes.
Karl may have found the answer
Hi Daniel and Bob:
It looks like Balta notulata (Blattodea: Blattellidae), although there appears to be more extensive black on the pronotum. This is a very wide ranging cockroach, found throughout Asia and the Pacific Islands. I suspect it is not native to Hawaii but I was unable to find out where it originally comes from. There is one other species of Balta in Hawaii, the Wood Cockroach (B. similis) that may be a native species, but I couldn’t find any nymph photos. The Wood Cockroach is an outdoor cockroach that occasionally finds its way indoors, while B. notulata is considered an indoor species. I would say it is one of the two. Regards.
Eric Eaton disagrees
I’m about 99% positive this is a nymph of the Brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa. They like to live inside electrical appliances because of the warmth. They are definitely a global domestic pest species. No exterminators may be necessary, though. Do-it-yourself, non-toxic bait recipes can be found online, especially at various “.edu” websites that discuss cockroach control.