The American Cockroach is 1-3/8" to 2-1/4" long when it reaches adult stages of development. The wings completely cover the thorax and abdomen and are a reddish-brown color. Probably the most distinctive marking that is noticeable when identifying an American Cockroach is the yellowish-tan "shield" just behind the head- as see picture above.
This cockroach does fly and is usually found in damp locations that are relatively warm. It is uncommon for the American cockroach to infest residential structures. The American Cockroach can be found in some cases in sewers, restaurants, boiler rooms, and hospitals.
If you find that this may be the pest that has infested your home, the best thing to do is to make sure all cracks around your home are sealed with caulking or expandable foam. Good sanitation is a key to keep from getting and/or eliminating most insects that infest your home. This is especially true of roaches. You also will want to make sure that you reduce as much moisture in your home as possible by repairing leaks, sealing windows, and reducing areas of harborage such as stored boxes. Quarterly services are usually sufficient to eradicate these unwanted visitors.
The Brown-Banded Cockroach matures to be about 1/2" in length. Their body color is brown and they have two bands that are light brown to tan in color running across their body, hence the name Brown-Banded Roach. These Roaches prefer to live in warm and dry climates, so they are not as common in homes as German Roaches are. When they do infest the home, they are extremely difficult to control, because they nest in uncommon areas that you would not think a cockroach would normally live. They may make nests throughout your home, attaching their egg-sacs to the underside of furniture and inside of appliances.
Brown-Banded Roaches are almost impossible to eliminate on your own. Monthly services will most likely be needed for elimination. The length of service will vary depending upon the severity of the infestation.
The Oriental Cockroach is about 1" to 1-1/4" long when it reaches maturity. As an adult, it is dark brown to almost black. The wings are not easily identified and it appears as though this roach almost has "armor plating" on it's back.
They prefer to live in very damp and secluded areas. In Nebraska and Iowa, when someone says they have water bugs, this is most likely what they are talking about. They prefer to feed on decaying organic material such as leaves. Oriental Roaches can usually be found in your home around pipes, floor drains, bathtubs, and sinks. They are commonly found trapped alive or dead in sinks because they lack the special pads that most other roaches have on their feet to crawl up smooth surfaces.
One of the best ways to prevent this form of cockroach from infesting your home is to be sure decaying organic material such as leaves are cleaned up around your home. You also may want to make sure that cracks around your home are sealed with caulk and fix any moisture problems you may have.
These roaches reach 1/2" to 1" when fully mature. Their color is a solid brown to dark brown color. Wood Roaches do fly and are typically attracted to light. Unless you live near a wooded area, this roach is fairly uncommon. Because they are attracted to light, many people near wooded areas may complain of this form of roach getting in, especially at night when porch lights may be on. Females do not fly however, so it is rare to get an infestation within a home. Females may gain access through cracks in your foundation or around windows, though. To ensure that you don't get Wood Roaches indoors, seal all cracks around windows, siding, and foundations. It is not necessary, however to have a service done on the interior of your home for this form of roach, because they will not survive inside.
As mature adults, German Cockroaches are approximately 1/2" to 3/4" long. They are light brown in color and are best identified by the two vertical black stripes on the "shield" located just behind the head.
The German Cockroach is the one that everyone fears will infest their home. These roaches are the most common household insect found in the United States. They typically are found in kitchens and bathrooms, but in large infestations, they can be found about anywhere within your home. The German roach lives in secluded areas within your home, such as wall voids, around the refrigerator motor, behind cabinets, etc. Foraging for food basically takes place at night, so if you are seeing them during the day, you may have a large infestation.
Since this cockroach is usually "carried in" from somewhere that has an infestation, it is a good idea to inspect grocery sacks, boxes, appliances, or any other container that you may bring in to the home. Sanitation is a key to eliminating and/or reducing populations. Food in which German Roaches may have access to should be sealed in plastic containers if possible. Seal all areas where they may have access for harborage.