How to Get Rid of Roaches: Quick and Effective Methods for a Pest-Free Home

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.

German 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.

American Cockroaches

  • 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.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

  • 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:

Pros:

  • Fast-acting, kills on contact.
  • Covers large areas quickly.

Cons:

  • 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.
Method Effectiveness Toxicity Cost
Baits & Traps High Low Moderate
Insecticides Moderate High Moderate
Home Remedies Low-Moderate Low Low
Professional Extermination High Varies High

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

Household Products

  • 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.

Plant-Based Repellents

  • 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
Safety Generally Safe Safe
Availability Easy Easy
Cost Low Low

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:

Product Pros Cons
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:

DIY Method Exterminator
Cost Low High (but one-time)
Effectiveness Varies with method Guaranteed success
Time taken Longer Faster
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.

Footnotes

  1. Safe, non-toxic way to get rid of roaches? | Go Ask Alice! 2

Reader Emails

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?
Thank you.
Signature: Golfito

Cockroach
Giant Cockroach

Dear Golfito,
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

 

Large winged…cicada?
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!
Signature: Cindy

Giant Leaf Cockroach

Hi Cindy,
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.

Giant Leaf Cockroach

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

Hi Daniel,
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!
Warm regards,
cindy

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!
K. Yoder
Pa. from Costa Rica

Green Banana Cockroach
Green Banana Cockroach

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
Date: 04/14/2019
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

Green Banana Cockroach

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.

Green Banana Cockroach

Dear Daniel,
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.
Take care,
Sandy

Letter 5 – Harlequin Cockroach from Mexico

 

Subject:  What is this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico – Semi desertic weather
Date: 02/09/2018
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

Harlequin Cockroach

Dear 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.
Signature: Jo

Cockroach
Harlequin Cockroach

Dear Jo,
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,
Jo

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!
Jennifer

Hi Jennifer,
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.
Signature: TVenters

Immature Cockroach
Immature Cockroach

Dear TVenters,
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
Hi there,
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.
Signature: Jill

Cockroach
Cockroach

Dear Jill,
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.

Cockroach
Cockroach

Hi Daniel,
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.
Jill

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.
Signature: Jennifer

Green Banana Cockroach
Green Banana Cockroach

Dear Jennifer,
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.”

Green Banana Cockroach
Green Banana Cockroach


Letter 12 – Green Banana Cockroach

 

Subject:  Green Cockroach
Geographic location of the bug:  Tarpon Springs Florida
Date: 08/19/2018
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.
Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  philm

Green Banana Cockroach

Dear philm,
We concur that this is a Green Banana Cockroach,
Panchlora nivea, a species pictured on BugGuide where it states:  “nocturnal, comes to lights; does not breed indoors; popular as a pet”.

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!
K. Yoder
Pa. from Costa Rica

Cockroach from Costa Rica
Cockroach from Costa Rica

Dear K.,
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
Date: 03/23/2018
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

Brown Banded Cockroach Nymph

Dear 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. 

Thank you.
And location is Southeastern PA.

Letter 15 – Immature Cockroach

 

bug identification
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?
Cheers, M

Hi M.,
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
HELP!!!
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???
Thanks,
Michelle

Hi Michelle,
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

Cockroach Nymph

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.

Cockroach Nymph

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?
Location: Wisconsin
December 4, 2016 7:23 pm
I keep finding this bug in my bathroom. Do you know what kind of bug it is??
Signature: ?

Cockroach Nymph
Cockroach Nymph

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
Date: 02/12/2018
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.
Best,
Vangelis
How you want your letter signed:  Anonymous

Immature Cockroach

Dear Vangelis,
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
Hi,
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.

Cockroach Parts

immature cockroach

Dear Daniel,
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!
Sincerely,
Karen

Hi Karen,
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
Daniel,
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.
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/PPD/publications/CPPDR.html
Volume 25 (2011) (10MB); covering the years 2008-2009  Page 7
Karen

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
thank you
Amos

Hi Amos,
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

 

YUCK!
Hi Bugman,
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…
Nancy

Hi Nancy,
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

Cockroach

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.

Cockroach

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
Hi, Daniel:
I agree this is most likely a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.  The Brown Hooded Roach looks different and does not occur in Colorado.
Eric

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?
Signature: Hope

Cockroach Sculpture

Dear Hope,
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?
Eric

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.
Thanks
Bob in HI
Oahu, Hawaii

Immature Cockroach

Hi Bob,
This is an immature Cockroach, though we are not certain if it is a species that infests homes.

Immature Cockroach

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.
Karl

Eric Eaton disagrees
Daniel:
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.
Eric

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

34 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Roaches: Quick and Effective Methods for a Pest-Free Home”

  1. I’m pretty sure that’s a Panchlora Nivea, the Green Banana Cockroach. Nice little critters, my friend keeps one as a pet.

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  2. I live in Newfoundland Canada, and I found one of these on a bunch of bananas my hubby brought home. I have it kept in a jar because I know it wouldnt survive the cold climate outside. Im really amazed!!

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  3. I’m no expert, but that looks like a rubber model of a roach. If you look closely, the wings look fused together and have no point where they connect to the body. The way that some of the legs are positioned looks fishy as well.

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    • Thanks for the opinion Salamander. We also doubt that it is a real insect, but we did not want to accuse Hope of trying to pull a fast one. We actually believe it is carved from wood, but the photo is of low resolution which does not allow close scrutiny.

      Reply
  4. That is not a german cockroach, german cockroaches are much skinnier and lighter in color and vary in color from nymph to adult. I think its more likely an asian cockroach late nymph stage. These pest usual come from the outside in and tend to not infest the inside, if you had a serious german cockroach infestation, you would know it, you would have feces stains in or around your cabinets, and food storage areas. I would check your garage or storage area for places were these pests could be make a nest or home and then make a plan to exterminate them from there.

    Reply
  5. I LIVE IN BUSHKILL PA, on a mountain, been living here for 15yrs and in the last 2 years ALOT of people have moved in our neighborhood, i also have noticed that i’VE been seeing alot of light brown flying bugs about an inch or so long and look like a cockaroach, alot of people have moved here from NY and im worried that they brought the cockaroaches from the city to the mountain, it sort of resembles a german cockaroach but without the black bands around the body, im freaking out only problem i ever had up here were carpenter ants and once the woods behind us where cleared it did slow the ants down tremendously! and BORAX REALLY DOES WORK FOR CARPENTER ANTS JUST SPRINKLE IT AROUND THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR HOME AND BY ANY ENTRY WAY INTO THE HOME, EVEN WINDOWS AND IT YOU HAVE ANY TREES HANGING OVER YOUR HOUSE YOU WANT TO REMOVE THEM, THATS HOW THEY R GETTING INTO YOUR HOME. THEY CLIMB THE TREE AND DROP ON TO YOUR HOUSE AND CREATE MORE HAVOC THAT TERMITES IF YOU HAVE A NEST AND I HAD 3 WHEN I MOVED IN. FIRST NIGHT HOME ALONE HOUSE WAS DORMANT FOR OVER A ;YEAR AND MY FIRST NIGHT HOME ALONE IN THE HOUSE WITH MY 9 MONTH OLD DAUGHTER WAS SITTING WATCHING TV AND AN ANT CRAWLED ACROSS MY ARM I LOOKED UP AND MY WHOLE CEILING WAS MOVEING THEN I NOTICED THE CARPET WAS TOO, RAN UPSTAIRS TO FIND MY DAUGHTER IN HER CRIB WITH AT LEAST 20-30 ANDTS CRAWLING IN HER BED

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  6. We have found a nasty looking individual in our kitchen this evening, possibly one as well in the laundry room. Help, we don’t know what it is! We lived in Michigan

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  7. Got one in Scotland this week, my dad accidentally ate one as it crawled up his banana, currently got another in a tub with some banana skin and flesh. What do we do with it? Would anyone like it? Can it be kept as a pet

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  8. Hi. We live in East Sussex, England and my husband bought some prepacked bananas on Saturday from our local supermarket. I took a banana out of the bag and this “bug” fell out and started running all over my kitchen worktop. I am not a fan of insects at all, am actually terrified. I rang our Pest Control who said it was a Green Banana Cockroach and that they weren’t harmful and wouldn’t breed. He told me just to squash it. I haven’t but I have got it in a jam jar and am taking it back to the supermarket tomorrow for them to deal with. It is actually quite attractive.

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    • Recently had a mature cockroach in bath tub. Since I have found worm like things on floor. I have sprayed with roach spray and have put out roach traps. Will this stop them or do I need to get it sprayed. I am renting only

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  9. Thanks for the identification! I just found one myself here in the Jaco area. Ewwww. I pet it with a stick and it didn’t move. It’s legs are all tucked in and it is still so the EEEK factor is low…for now.

    Reply
  10. I have recently had a mature cockroach in bath tub since then I have found worm like things on floor. I have sprayed with roach spray and put out roach traps. Will this solve it or do I have to get sprayed insid also.

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  11. We had them in Springtime, TX. Since we had an aerobic septic system that would spray the lawn with treated water, they hung out all over the yard by the water. Never found any indoors.

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  12. Found one of these in a pack of bananas bought at Morrison’s Stockport UK. My 1 year old loves bananas. Are they still safe to eat? What do I do with it? It’s currently hiding somewhere in the inside bin.

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    • We suspect both the Green Banana Cockroach and the bananas are both still safe to eat. Based on your location and climate, we don’t believe this exotic import will live to reproduce.

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  13. Hi, I have six of them as pets hunni and they are truly gorgeous. Have you looked at their lovely little eyes, all big and brown?

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    • I found one today in my kitchen. I caught it in a small hummingbird feeder. It began laying eggs. I made a video of it. The babies took off. I still have the Momma.

      Reply

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