Cockroaches are notorious household pests that can be found all over the world. They come in various shapes and sizes, each with unique features and behaviors. In this article, we will explore some common types of roaches that you may encounter in your home or surroundings.
The German cockroach is one of the most frequently seen species, especially in the United States. Recognizable by its tan to light brown color and two dark brown stripes on its body, these roaches can be a major nuisance in homes and food-handling areas.
Another type of roach to be aware of is the Oriental cockroach, commonly referred to as a “waterbug.” This species is larger and darker in color compared to the German cockroach, with adult males having short wings while females lack wings entirely. They are typically found outdoors, but can also make their way inside buildings and cause infestations. Understanding the different types of cockroaches and their characteristics can help you better address and prevent potential infestations.
Cockroaches are insects that have been around for millions of years. They are known for their persistence and adaptability, making them difficult to control. In this section, you’ll learn about the different species of cockroaches and their characteristics.
There are thousands of cockroach species in the world, but only a few of them are considered pests. The most common species found in the United States is the German cockroach. This species is tan to light brown, measures about 1/2 to 5/8 inch long, and has two dark brown stripes on its body. They reproduce quickly, with females producing four to eight egg capsules during their lifetime.
Other common cockroach species include the American, Oriental, and Brown-banded cockroaches. These species vary in size, color, and habitat preferences, but they all share some common characteristics:
- They are nocturnal creatures, hiding during the day and becoming active at night to search for food.
- Cockroaches are omnivorous and will eat almost anything, including decaying organic matter, food scraps, and even glue or soap.
- They prefer warm, moist environments, often found near kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas.
- Cockroaches can contaminate food, preparation surfaces, dishes, and eating utensils, potentially causing food poisoning or gastrointestinal disorders.
It’s important to note that not all cockroach species are considered pests. Some, like the wood cockroaches, live outdoors in forests and feed on decaying organic matter. They may end up indoors accidentally during the summer but are not typically a threat to your home.
Here’s a comparison table to help you understand the differences between these common pest cockroach species:
|Warm, moist areas; indoors
Common Types of Roaches
The German Cockroach is one of the most common cockroaches found in the United States, with a size of 12 to 17 mm long. They are tan to light brown and have two dark brown stripes on their body behind the head. Some features include:
- Females produce four to eight egg capsules in their lifetime
- Typically infest human-made buildings such as restaurants and hospitals
You might find the American Cockroach in hot, damp areas of your home, like basements and sewer pipes. These roaches are about 1.5 inches long, reddish-brown, and have a yellowish edge on the pronotum.
Brown-banded cockroaches are about half an inch long and tan in color. They are known for having a preference for warm and dry places, typically found in higher spots like cabinets and ceilings.
Often referred to as a “waterbug,” the Oriental Cockroach is a large, dark brown or black insect. Males have short wings, while females are wingless. They prefer cool, damp conditions and can often be found in wet basements.
Smokybrown cockroaches are similar in appearance to American cockroaches, but with an even darker, mahogany color. They like living outdoors, but can sometimes enter houses when searching for food and water.
Asian cockroaches look almost identical to German cockroaches, but they have the unique ability to fly. They tend to be attracted to light and live outdoors, usually in mulch or grassy areas.
The Australian cockroach is about an inch long, reddish-brown in color, and has yellow markings on both its pronotum and wings. They primarily dwell outdoors, but may invade homes in search of food.
Florida Woods Cockroach
Also known as the Palmetto bug, Florida Woods cockroaches are large, dark brown, wingless cockroaches that prefer to live in damp, wooded areas. When disturbed, they can release a foul-smelling liquid as a defense mechanism.
Turkestan cockroaches are about an inch long, with males being reddish-brown and females being dark brown or black. They are often found in sewers and water meter boxes, and can quickly infest buildings if introduced.
Surinam cockroaches are shiny, black or dark brown creatures, about 1 inch long. They prefer greenhouse-like environments, making them a common pest in potted plants and greenhouses.
Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach
Pennsylvania Wood cockroaches are up to an inch long and are dark brown in color. As their name suggests, they prefer moist, wooded habitats, typically living under the bark of trees and logs.
Sand cockroaches are small, pale brown insects that prefer living in sandy soils. They are mostly nocturnal, coming out at night to feed on roots and decaying vegetation.
Green cockroaches are rarely seen and are not considered pests. They have a unique, greenish color and live in tropical environments.
Roach Habitats and Infestation Areas
In the Southeast United States, cockroach infestations are common due to the region’s warm, humid climate. Common habitats include:
- Kitchens and bathrooms: Areas with water and food sources
- Garbage: Roaches feed on organic matter found in trash
- Sewers: They thrive in moist, dark environments
For example, Florida’s tropical climate is ideal for roaches. To prevent infestations, seal cracks and clean regularly.
In the Midwest, roaches prefer habitats with moisture and warmth. They tend to be found in:
- Commercial buildings: Restaurants and offices with food and water sources
- Gardens: Roaches can live among plants and mulch
- Laundry rooms: Moisture from appliances provides ideal conditions
To keep roaches away, maintain clean surroundings and remove water sources.
Cockroach infestations in the Northeast Region are often found in urban areas. Some common habitats include:
- Apartment buildings: Shared walls allow roaches to move easily
- Restaurants: Food and moisture sources in commercial kitchens
- Trees: Roaches may inhabit tree holes or cracks
Sealing cracks and maintaining clean living spaces are critical in preventing infestations in this region.
In Texas, roaches are prevalent due to its hot and humid climate. Typical habitats include:
- Bathrooms and kitchens: Areas with nearby water fixtures
- Sinks and drains: Roaches are attracted to the moisture and food particles
- Cracks and crevices: They can easily hide and reproduce in small spaces
To reduce the likelihood of infestations, keep your home clean and dry, and seal potential entry points.
|Kitchens, bathrooms, garbage, sewers
|Seal cracks, clean regularly
|Commercial buildings, gardens, laundry rooms
|Clean surroundings, remove water sources
|Apartment buildings, restaurants, trees
|Seal cracks, maintain clean living spaces
|Bathrooms, kitchens, sinks, drains, cracks
|Clean and dry, seal entry points
Physical Features of Roaches
Generally, roaches have wings, but not all are proficient flyers. Some species, like the flying cockroach, can take off and navigate short distances. You might be surprised by their size, as flying cockroaches can range from 12 to 17 mm in length. Their appearance is quite similar to the common German cockroach, with coloration ranging from tan to light brown and bearing two dark brown stripes on their body region just behind the head.
Roaches can adapt to various temperature conditions, and due to their ability to fly, they’re often mistaken for other insects, such as the water bug, black beetle, or fliers. In fact, flying cockroaches might catch your attention if attracted to light.
Examples of flying cockroach species:
- American cockroach
- Asian cockroach
- Wood cockroach
Comparison Table: Non-Flying vs. Flying Cockroaches
|Limited or none
|Can fly short distances
|Attracted to light
|12 to 17 mm
|Similar to flying
|Similar to non-flying
Cockroaches Attracted to Light
Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal creatures, but some are attracted to light. This behavior might cause them to seek shelter indoors, where artificial lights can attract them. Asian cockroaches are a prime example of light-loving roaches, which can become invasive pests in your household.
Here’s why their light attraction can be an issue:
- Increases the risk of disease transmission: Roaches, in general, can carry diseases from their waste or bacteria on their body, so having them near your living spaces can put your health at risk.
- Intrusion into your home: Light-loving roaches are more likely to enter your home and infest dark, secluded areas, making it harder to eradicate them.
In conclusion, understanding the physical features of roaches can help you better identify and address potential infestations. By being aware of their size, appearance, and flying ability, you can take appropriate measures to keep your home roach-free.
Less Common Types of Roaches
The Brown Cockroach is a less common type of roach often found in urban environments. They are slightly larger than their cousins, the German cockroach. Here are some characteristics of the Brown Cockroach:
- Dark brown to black color
- Approximately 1.2 inches in length
Water Bugs, or Oriental cockroaches, are often mistaken for roaches due to their similar appearance. These insects thrive in damp environments, such as basements and sewers. Some features of Water Bugs include:
- Shiny black or dark brown body
- Approximately 1 inch in length for females, 0.8 inches for males
The Drains Cockroach resides primarily in drainage systems, making them a less common sight in most households. They prefer dark and damp areas. Key characteristics of Drains Cockroach are:
- Brownish color
- Usually smaller in size, around 0.5 inches
Smoky Brown Cockroach
The Smoky Brown Cockroach is a less frequently encountered species, often found in southern states. They prefer warm and humid conditions. Notable features include:
- Dark brown or mahogany color
- Approximately 1.5 inches in length
Palmetto Bugs are a general term for large roaches, usually referring to the American cockroach. They can be found in warm, humid environments. Features of Palmetto Bugs are:
- Reddish-brown color
- Can be up to 2 inches in length
The Woods Cockroach lives outdoors in wooded/forested habitats and feeds on decaying organic matter. They are common in the Northeast and can be a nuisance when they accidentally invade homes. Characteristics of Woods Cockroach include:
- Light brown to tan color
- Approximately 0.5 to 1 inch in length
By understanding these less common types of roaches, you can better identify and tackle any potential infestations in your home or property.
Roach Prevention and Infestation Management
Managing a roach infestation can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can prevent and control these pesky insects. Here are some tips for roach prevention and infestation management.
First and foremost, maintain a clean living environment. Roaches thrive in cluttered, dirty spaces, so regularly removing garbage and keeping food in sealed containers will help deter them. To further prevent infestations:
- Clean up spills and crumbs immediately
- Seal any cracks or gaps in walls and windows
- Remove sources of standing water
In the event of a roach infestation, consider using store-bought baits and trapping methods. These traps can help to control the population until you can address the root cause of the infestation.
If the problem persists, it may be time to call in the professionals. A pest control service can identify the specific type of roach and apply the appropriate treatments to eliminate the infestation.
Always remember, prevention is the best form of infestation management. By maintaining a clean and sealed environment, you can keep your home roach-free and comfortable for you and your family.
Cockroach Related Health Issues
You might be surprised to learn that cockroaches can also cause some health issues. These pests carry various diseases and bacteria which can lead to health concerns.
For example, cockroaches have been found to carry food-borne pathogens like Escherichia coli O157
In addition to diseases, cockroach infestations may also contribute to worsening asthma symptoms. Their body parts, feces, and saliva contain allergens that can trigger asthma attacks or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Here are some ways these critters can affect your health:
- Carry and spread various bacteria
- Contaminate food sources and surfaces
- Trigger asthma and allergic reactions
To keep your home and family safe from these health issues, it’s essential to maintain a clean environment, remove any sources of food and water for these pests, and use proper cockroach control methods such as baits when needed.
Remember, a clean home is less attractive to cockroaches and can prevent many of these health issues.
Roach Around Your Home
You might notice roaches in different areas of your home, especially at night when they are most active. There are a few common types of roaches you might find in your household. These sneaky critters often look for food sources to survive and can be found in your kitchen, bedroom, and living room.
In your kitchen, roaches may hide inside appliances, under cabinets, and even in the pantry. To control their population, it’s important to clean up food spills and store food in bug-proof containers. One effective method of controlling German cockroaches is to declutter and vacuum in these areas.
In bedrooms and living rooms, roaches tend to lurk in dark corners, behind furniture, and under clutter. To make these areas less inviting, keep them clean and minimize clutter.
- Some general tips to control roaches around your home include:
- Keeping your home clean and clutter-free
- Sealing gaps where roaches can enter your home
- Regularly taking out the trash
Wood cockroaches are common in wooded or forested regions. If you live in such an area, you may have an increased chance of finding these roaches in your home, especially during the summer when they become accidental invaders. To prevent their entry, make sure your windows and doors are well-sealed.
Maintaining a clean home and being aware of potential hiding spots for roaches can help you prevent an infestation and keep your living space comfortable. Remember, prevention is key when dealing with these persistent pests.
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 – Marine Isopod: Beach Cockroach
Thanks for taking the time to look. Realize this is not a true insect, but many of the “bugs” you i.d. are not, so hope you can tell me what this little (about an inch long) tank is! It was seen on a beach on Cedar Key in Florida in late summer. Thanks in advance for any help.
This is a Marine Isopod. We are not sure if it is Ligia occidentalis, which is found on the west coast, or some other species in the genus. It is sometimes called a Beach Cockroach Rock Louse or Sea Slater.
Letter 2 – Red Headed Cockroaches in South Africa
Subject: What is this
Geographic location of the bug: Cape town south africa
Time: 11:34 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Found this on my patio area
How you want your letter signed: Any
These are Red Headed Cockroaches, Deropeltis erythrocephala, and we verified their identity on iNaturalist and iSpot. This is an outdoor species that will not infest your home and you have no need to be concerned regarding this sighting on your patio.
Letter 3 – Recently Introduced Cockroach
What bug is this?
Location: Northern California, USA
September 5, 2010 1:41 am
We keep finding these bugs around our house. They are coming from the outside, they come in when we open the doors or windows. They are also all around the outside of the house and the walls outside of the house. Some are brown with a yellow stripe on its back. They move fast, so we thought they might be some kind of roach, but we are not sure what kind of bug it is.
We did not recognize your Cockroach, which we had believed to be an immature nymph, but we located it on BugGuide, and it is a recently introduced species that has become established in California, and it is a wingless species, Phyllodromica trivittata. According to BugGuide it is: “Recently introduced into California, apparently now in Marin, Petaluma and Cotati” and “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 also reports: “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).”
Letter 4 – Pale Bordered Field Cockroach
firefly look alike
I saw this guy crawling around a garden in Houston, Tx and could not identify him (or her). At first glance, I thought it was a firefly, but of course he isn’t. He moved pretty quickly and looks like a roach. He was about 3/4" long and wouldn’t stand still for a good picture. Thanks
This is a Pale Bordered Field Cockroach, Pseudomops septentrionalis. It is an outdoor species that visits flowers and does not infest homes.
Letter 5 – Pennsylvania Wood Roach
Subject: Brown Bug
Location: West Milford, NJ 07480
November 14, 2015 6:47 pm
I had some oak logs delivered this week. When I split a round quite a few of these came running out. The oak came from Clifton, NJ.
Signature: Geoffrey Syme
This is a Cockroach, probably a Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach. You have no cause for concern as it is an outdoor species that will not infest homes. Females are wingless and males have wings, so your individual is a female.
Letter 6 – Oriental Cockroach or Water Bug
Subject: What Kind Of Bug Is This
Location: United States, NJ
April 12, 2014 7:27 pm
hello..this kind of bug ended up in my house two different times..im wondering what it is..if you could help that would be great
Signature: not sure
Though it is commonly called a Water Bug, this is an Oriental Cockroach, Blatta orientalis, and it is one of the species of pestiferous Cockroaches that is closely associated with human habitation. They can become especially numerous in cool, damp places including basements and sewers. According to BugGuide, they are: “Omnivorous but prefers starchy or sugary foods. Often associated with garbage or decaying organic matter, indoors or out. Can survive one month without food as long as water is available, or two weeks with neither food nor water.” Flushing it down the toilet, which is what it appears might happen immediately after this image was taken, will likely introduce it to more of its kin.
Letter 7 – Mardi Gras Cockroach from Australia
Subject: Whats that bug?
Location: Kalgoorlie, WA
January 14, 2013 11:06 am
I wondered if you would be able to help identify this bug? I found it 14/1/13 in my back yard in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. It’s body was about 2-2.5 ins long, it looks like a cockroach, but i’m really not sure. Thanks!
Signature: Jenny, Kalgoorlie, WA
You were very astute to recognize this as a Cockroach since it is considerably more colorful than most Cockroaches that people are familiar with. We quickly identified it as a Bush Cockroach, Polyzosteria mitchelli, on the Esperance Blog. We try our best to find credible verification of identifications that we discover on blogs, and BioLib as well as the Agriculture of Western Australia websites confirmed that identification. Esperance Fauna refers to this species as the Mardi Gras Cockroach and indicates: “… Polyzosteria mitchelli would have to be one of the most striking with its brilliant color combination. It is mainly recorded from the semi-arid areas of WA, SA and NSW, where always a delight to encounter. I have found it (usually on shrubby vegetation) from coastal heath to inland mallee flora, including saltlakes and granite outcrops, so although not common, it is very widespread. Growing to 5 cm (2”) in length, it is quite stout and not very fast when compared to the troublesome introduced species that commonly invade houses. The local forms have a bronze background colouration, but apparently metallic green shades have been found in SA.” Thank you for supplying us with a marvelous addition to our What’s That Bug? Downunder tag.
Letter 8 – Introduced Cockroach expands its range in California
Subject: Phyllodromica trivittata
Location: Vallejo, Solano County, CA.
September 10, 2012 9:55 pm
Hi Mr. Marlos,
I’m an entomologist living in the San Francisco Bay Area and I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I have found Phyllodromica trivittata in Vallejo in Solano County and that it probably came in on wood a friend brought me from Walnut Creek in Contra Costa County. It appears our friend is spreading quite quickly.
Signature: Greg Johnson – Entomologist and Crop and Soil Scientist.
Letter 9 – Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Madagascar Hissing Roach
February 27, 2010
Hey, I don’t see any Madagascar Hissing Roaches on your site, so I
thought I might contribute!
His name is Eero, means “Ever-Ruler” and I was letting him crawl around on my pantleg in these pictures (was in a dark room using flash so his colors showed up better) sure it’s just brown, but I think it’s a pretty fade of black-brown and kind of a golden color.
I say “he” because of the big horn like protrusions on his thorax, females have a smooth top
Thanks for sending us photos of this popular pet insect.
Letter 10 – Mating Bush Cockroaches from Australia
bug love OUCH
May 16, 2010
Congratulations on the 10,000th post. Hope you like this shot of Australian Bush Cockroaches mating. Sorry don’t have a species name for this one. My first thought was Ouch, that’s gotta hurt.
Thanks so much for sending in your photo of mating Bush Cockroaches. We have seen other images of mating Cockroaches, but nothing with this degree of penetration.
Letter 11 – Metamorphosis of a Cockroach
Subject: Found in my silverware drawer
Location: Spring hill, Florida
May 4, 2014 8:49 pm
Living in Spring Hill, Florida we sometimes get water bugs but I have never seen thus before?
This sure looks like a Cockroach molting to us. The exoskeleton of an insect is rigid and does not expand, so when it is time for an insect to grow or metamorphose, it splits its skin and emerges with a new exoskeleton that allows it to increase in size or to change its appearance. The new exoskeleton if often lighter in color until it hardens and darkens.
Letter 12 – Metamorphosis of a Cockroach
November 19, 2012 12:26 pm
What’s this big?
We wish your photo had more detail. We believe you have photographed the metamorphosis of a Naiad, the aquatic nymph of a flying insect with incomplete metamorphosis. Some insects that have larvae known as Naiads include Dragonflies, Damselflies, Mayflies, and Stoneflies. There is something that does not seem quite right about any of those possibilities. The head of this insect looks almost like that of a Grasshopper, but the hind legs are not long enough for a Grasshopper. It it turns out that this is the metamorphosis of some land insect like a Cricket, then this would be a documentation of the Metamorphosis of a Nymph, which is a term with a larger umbrella. All Naiads are nymphs, but not all nymphs are Naiads. This Tree Cricket Information page with photos and videos is pretty awesome.
We just received a comment that believes this may be a Cockroach Metamorphosis. That is a very good possibility. The morphology looks correct.
Letter 13 – Mitchell’s Diurnal Cockroach from Australia
Subject: brown bug with yellow stripes and blue legs
Geographic location of the bug: 150km north east of Esperance Western Australia
Time: 06:28 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I saw this bug while at work. Looks a big like a cockroach.
How you want your letter signed: GT
Quite some time ago, we first identified this colorful Cockroach, Polyzosteria mitchelli, as a Mardis Gras Cockroach, a name we found on Esperance Fauna where it is described as: “most striking with its brilliant color combination. It is mainly recorded from the semi-arid areas of WA, SA and NSW, where always a delight to encounter.” Getty Images uses the common name Mitchell’s Diurnal Cockroach.
Letter 14 – Molting Cockroach from the Caribbean
originally sent 12/23/2007) Strange Looking Bug
I live in St Vincent and the Grenadines, on an island called Mustique. I was cleaning up outside when I saw this strange looking bug. At first I thought it was two bugs fighting with each other but on a closer look I think the bug was actually climbing out of its shell. Am I right? Is this a cockroach? Thank you for such a great site.
Sorry we were unable to answer or post your letter originally. You are correct. This is a newly molted Cockroach. Its color will darken as its new exoskeleton hardens.
Letter 15 – Mystery Roaches are Rhinoceros Cockroaches
What’s this bug….please?
We (my son) have found a heap of bugs roaming around the property. We would like to know what they are and what they are doing? They appeared after a large storm event and are just walking around everywhere. My dog also ate some. I will let you know if the dog dies 🙂 Thanks for any info…
Anthony (and Daemon)
Hi Anthony and Daemon,
These are some species of Roach, but we didn’t recognize them. We found a matching photo on BugGuide, but with no information. We wrote to Eric Eaton, and here is his response: “Depends on where they are. If this image is from Florida, it is probably of the broad Keys roach, Hemiblabera tenebricosa. If they smelled really bad, then maybe they are the stinking cockroach, Eurycotis floridana, found from Mississippi to Florida and Georgia. Without examining the specimens I can’t rule out other possibilities, including nymphs of other roaches, but if they were over 30 mm, then the above two possibilities are best. Eric” We wish you had included a location which is one of the things we request.
The Mystery roaches on your page are most likely the heaviest roaches in the world. The photographer is almost certainly from Australia if he got these in the wild. These beauties are Macropanesthia rhinoceros, or the Rhinoceros cockroach, in the family Blaberidae. I’ll send you a picture of some specimens I photographed in the LA County Museum (as well as a photo of a specimen of the longest roach Megaloblatta longipennis). These guys are monsters in real life, but live a pretty calm 10 years or more eating Eucalyptus litter.
University of Texas at El Paso
Letter 16 – Oriental Cockroach
Xmas present included a @&*#$ bug!
Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 8:11 AM
I got a box for Xmas and did find this bug inside (dead). The box came from a US warehouse which got it from China. So the Question we are all asking to you: is the Cockroach from China or the US? We need an answer if possible as we have a bet situation here. The bug was flushed and I cannot give you more images sorry. More Info: the bug routed from China near HK then Illinois then Minnesota then to Ohio. Thanks.
Donation is the way to an answer!
China or North American Bug
A donation is not truly the way to an answer. That is more the luck of the draw when it comes to us opening emails, which happens at random or because a subject line catches our attention. In your case, it was our vivid imagination regarding the implied foul language of your heading. Sadly, we don’t know if your cockroach originated in China or the U.S., but we are fairly certain it is the Oriental Cockroach, Blatta orientalis, sometimes called a Water Bug. The reason we are uncertain where your specimen originated is due in part to the misty origin of the species. According to a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) website: “The origin of the oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis Linnaeus, is uncertain, but it is thought to be from Africa or south Russia. It is a major household pest in parts of the northwest, mid-west, and southern United States.” Since the species now has such a wide distribution, it is impossible to surmise where your specimen crawled into the box.
Letter 17 – Oriental Cockroach
Subject: Gag, second of these I’ve killed
Location: Toronto, Ontario in Fall
October 16, 2013 8:18 pm
Hi, I’d love to know what this little monster is… I had a bed bug infestation three years ago and I’d love to nip this in the bud, before it becomes something.
We are not going to chastise you for killing an Oriental Cockroach or Water Bug.
Letter 18 – Oriental Cockroach
Subject: ID wanted for this insect
July 7, 2017 4:52 am
Saw in kc Missouri early july 2017. Wings seem too short for its body.
Signature: Kathy H.
Based on this BugGuide image, we believe your Cockroach may be an Oriental Cockroach. According to BugGuide: “Flightless. Males have wings covering 3/4 of their body length; females have only rudimentary wing stubs.” Based on this image from our archives, we would not rule out that this is a female Turkestan Cockroach, though BugGuide does not list any Missouri sightings.
Letter 19 – Pale Bordered Field Cockroach
pls help identify
I have no idea how you got into this job but it is pretty cool. Any idea what bug this is? We found about 7 of them in the house today all of a sudden. It’s total body length is about the width of a nickel. We live in Austin, TX in a subdivision with no new construction around us. Thanks!
The perplexing information in your letter is finding 7 Pale Bordered Field Cockroaches, Pseudomops septentrionalis, in your home. This is an outdoor species that does not infest homes. All Cockroaches have a bad reputation because of a few pestilent species. Perhaps they were attracted to lights. Though German Cockroaches shun light, others like Wood Cockroaches are attracted to lights.
Letter 20 – Probably Immature Surinam Cockroach
Subject: What kind of roach is this?
Location: Southern Louisiana
May 30, 2016 2:26 am
Usually I see flying cockroaches or the wingless females, this one I’ve never come across. It’s darker in color with shorter legs and antennae. I never kill anything I find indoors, but I like to observe them before setting them free outside.
I was just curious since this one isn’t the usual kind I find.
At first we thought that this was a flightless female Sand Cockroach in the genus Arenivaga, and though BugGuide does not list any species in Louisiana, that just means no one in Louisiana has submitted any images to the site. There are several species listed in nearby Texas, including the Boll’s Sandroach, which is pictured here on BugGuide. The more we looked at your individual, the more we began to doubt that it was a Sand Cockroach. We now believe, based on this BugGuide image, that it is an immature Surinam Cockroach, Pycnoscelus surinamensis, a species that according to BugGuide has “Nymphs look similar to the Oriental cockroach but can be easily distinguished by the rough appearence of the posterior abdomen.” It is difficult to make out that detail in your image, so we would not rule out that it might be an immature Oriental Cockroach. Of the Surinam Cockroach, BugGuide notes: “Reproduces through parthenogenesis in the US, where no males are found. It has two sexes in some parts of the world (Europe and Indo-Malaysia), though. Unlike many roaches, the egg capsule is retained inside the female’s abdomen until young are ready to emerge.”